Custom fields with global contexts

Optimizing custom fields

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Custom fields with global contexts are available to use by all projects in your Jira instance, but only a handful actually use them. To improve performance, you can automatically change their context to project-specific, applying them only to relevant projects.

Custom field optimization is available for Jira Software Data Center and Jira Service Management Data Center.

Viewing the custom fields

The optimizer creates a list of custom fields whose configuration is not optimal, and sorts them based on the performance impact they have on your Jira instance. Note, the list of custom fields will not include those created by Jira Software, Jira Service Management or Portfolio for Jira. 

To be optimized, a custom field must have a global context and be used in several projects only. A good practice is for the field to be used in fewer than 10 projects. Otherwise, it’s considered an actual global custom field, and you shouldn't change its configuration.

The list of custom fields looks like in the following example:

Custom fields with global contexts, with annotations explained below the image.

  1. Name of a custom field.
  2. Used by: View projects that are currently using this custom field.
  3. Actions: Select Change context to change the configuration to an optimal one. Later, you can select View change to see the custom field's configuration page, and make any changes you need.

Changing the context

The global context was the reason why your custom fields were highlighted, and the solution is to change the context to project-specific. After doing so, your custom fields will be applied only to projects that currently use and need them.

To change the context, click Change context next to each custom field.

Best practices

Try applying the changes in batches and during off-peak hours. When one of your users opens an issue that uses a certain custom field, the cache will need to be recreated. If you do it in batches, the cache will be recreated once for multiple custom fields.


After making the change, we'll take care of the following actions for you: 

  • We’ll identify all projects that use a given custom field.
  • We'll change the context from global to project-specific, and apply the custom field only to relevant projects (by adding these projects to the local context.)

There's no risk of data loss, because we're not removing any values, or the custom field itself. Projects that use this custom field will continue to use it in the same way.

Next steps

Click View change to see the custom field's context. You can check the list of projects that were added to the context, add some new ones, or change the context back to global if you don't like the outcome.

The only thing you have to keep in mind is to add any future projects to the list. They won't be able to use the custom field until they belong to its new context. For more info about editing contexts and managing associated projects, see Configuring custom fields.

Last modified on Nov 23, 2020

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