Upgrading Jira Server (manual)

You've chosen to upgrade Jira Server manually by using the archive.

Before you begin

Prepare for the upgrade

Make sure you have completed the steps in Preparing for the upgrade. These are mandatory pre-requisites, and are essential for a smooth upgrade.

Choose your version

If you need help choosing the right version for you, head to the upgrade matrix to get a quick run down of features, supported platforms, and technical upgrade notes for all Jira versions.

Download Jira

  1. Download one of the Jira applications from our website.

If you're upgrading both Jira Software and Jira Service Desk, upgrade Jira Software only. You'll later upgrade Service Desk directly in Jira, without a separate installer.

Extract the files

Extract the archive you've downloaded, and start the upgrade.

  1. Extract (unzip) the files to a directory (this is your new installation directory, and must be different to your existing installation directory). 
  2. Point Jira to your existing Jira home directory.

    We recommend that you do it by setting the JIRA_HOME environment variable. For more info on how to do this, see Setting Jira home directory.

Install the database driver

If you're using an Oracle or MySQL database, download a new JDBC driver. For other databases, you can omit this step.

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If the driver is up to date, you can also copy it from your previous version.


  1. Download one of the following drivers:

  2. Place it in <installation-directory>/lib.

Re-apply any modifications

While using Jira, you’ve probably added some custom modifications to Jira files. These may include connection details, settings related to memory allocation, or other JVM arguments. In this step, you need to re-apply the same modifications to the new files by copying them from your backups.

Make sure you don't just copy over the old files, as the 'native' settings they contain might have changed between the Jira versions.


Some of the files we usually modify:

  • server.xml
  • dbconfig.xml
  • jira-config.properties
  • setenv.sh / setenv.bat (memory allocation and other JVM arguments)
  • for more, see Important files in Jira 

Disable automatic reindex

This step is recommended for the platform upgrade, that is when upgrading from 7.x to 8.x.

Because of the changes to indexes that we've introduced in Jira 8.0, your old index is incompatible with the new version. To create a new one, Jira will trigger an automatic reindex right after you start it. To avoid reindexing twice (after startup and after upgrading your apps), you can disable the automatic reindex, and run the second one later, whenever you’re ready.

  1. Edit or create the following file:

    <jira-home-directory>/jira-config.properties
  2. Add the following line, and save the file:

    upgrade.reindex.allowed=false

Start Jira for the first time

Start your new Jira version.

  1. Go back to your upgrade wizard and complete the upgrade to start Jira. 

    You can also start Jira by going to <installation-directory>/bin, and running one of the following files:

    • Windows:  start-jira.bat
    • Linux:  start-jira.sh 

  2. Open Jira in your browser.

  3. Follow instructions on the screen to complete the setup.

Post-upgrade landing page

After a successful upgrade, you should see the post-upgrade landing page. It has some useful information about the new version, as shown below.

  1. Need to know: A list of new features that might affect your work as an admin.
  2. User apps: Status of your apps after the upgrade.
  3. Application links: Status of your application links.
  4. Release notes: Link to release notes where you can see more detailed information about the version you've upgraded to.

Almost there!

Your Jira instance has been upgraded. Below you can learn how to upgrade Service Desk, if you have it, and how to upgrade your apps.

(Optional) Update Jira Service Desk

If you're using Jira Service Desk, you can update it directly in the UI, without downloading a separate installer.

  1. Go to  > Applications > Versions and licenses.
  2. Update Jira Service Desk. This will automatically update Service Desk to a compatible version.

Upgrade apps (add-ons)

Now you can upgrade apps that had the Compatible once both are updated status. If you need more information about the statuses and apps in general, see Preparing for the upgrade.

  1. Go to  > Manage apps > Manage apps.
  2. Upgrade your apps to the supported versions.
  3. Once the apps are upgraded, you can enable them.

Rebuild index

Since your old index is incompatible, reindex Jira to rebuild it. This step might take some time, depending on how many issues and apps you have.

  1. Go to  > Indexing, and run Lock Jira and rebuild reindex.

Well done!

You've upgraded Jira to a new version.

Last modified on May 8, 2019

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