Importing issues

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You can import issues into your Jira Cloud site. We recommend using this process to import data from third-party tools. 

Import overwrites existing data

This import process overwrites all existing data and configuration (including cross-application settings) in your Jira Cloud site. This impacts existing issues and attachments, look and feel configuration, along with users and group memberships. 

The exception is portal-only customer accounts in Jira Service Desk. If the portal-only customer data is different in the import and the destination site, then we use the destination version.

How to generate a backup file

From another Jira Cloud site

Follow the steps on Exporting issues to generate a backup file. Then read the import steps below. 

From a Jira Server instance

Follow the steps on Backing up data to generate a backup. 

  • We recommend being on the latest release of JIRA Server when importing to JIRA Cloud to avoid any problems with the importing of the XML backup. Check out Upgrading JIRA applications to help you upgrade to the latest version. You can sign up for a new JIRA Cloud site here.
  • From Jira 4.4 and up, it is recommended that you use the zip that Jira generates during backup to fully restore your data.
  • Jira Cloud applications use UTF-8 encoding. If your Jira instance uses other character encoding methods, you will not be able to import Jira Server data to Jira Cloud applications.

From other tools

Check out Migrating from other tools to find out more about importing data from CSV and JSON. 

How to import a backup file

Importing entities.xml and activeobjects.xml will overwrite the database in your Jira Cloud site. Importing the attachments, avatars, or logos files will overwrite any existing attachments, avatars, or logos in your Jira Cloud site, respectively.

Before you import, unzip the backup file and make sure it has a file structure similar to:

├── activeobjects.xml
├── entities.xml
├── data
│   ├── attachments
│   └── avatars
└── logos

If the backup you're importing is more than 1GB, or you don't want to import some types of content (like attachments, avatars, or project logos), you can split the backup file and/or remove directories, then re-zip the modified file for import. See How to import only part of a Jira export into Jira Cloud for detailed steps.

If you've unzipped and edited an export from a Jira Cloud site, and are re-zipping it on a Mac, the process may add hidden files that will cause the import to fail. To ensure there are no hidden files, run these commands in Terminal (where is the name of the file you're going to import):

zip -d __MACOSX/\*

zip -d \*/.DS_Store

To import your backup file:

  1. Choose the Jira icon ( or ) > Jira settings > System
  2. Under IMPORT AND EXPORT, click Restore system and follow the steps to upload your backup file.

The import process checks URLs in the specified XML backup, and will let you choose whether or not to update URLs to point to the new Jira Cloud site.

After the import

Granting application access to new users

The import process does not honor the default application access settings and does not give access to any applications to new users. You must grant application access to these users for them to be able to log in.

For information on how to assign application access, see Manage product access.

Setting permissions

This process imports global permission settings such as Browse users and groups; however, imports from Jira Server to Jira Cloud will not contain the Jira System Administrators global permission (which doesn't exist in Jira Cloud) and will not contain any changes made to the Administer Jira global permission. 

Application permissions are managed in each application individually. You can configure the Administer Jira global permission after the import by adding groups and users as needed. If your site has other cloud applications, e.g. Confluence or Bamboo, refer to Manage product access for information on how to configure permissions.

Last modified on Jul 20, 2018

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