Configuring time tracking

Jira's time tracking feature enables users to record the time they spend working on issues. 


  • Before users can specify time estimates and log work, they must be granted the Work On Issues permission for the relevant project(s).
  • For all of the following procedures, you must be logged in as a user with the Jira Administrators global permission.

Disabling time tracking

Time tracking is ON by default (as shown in screenshot 1 below). However, this feature can be disabled from the Time Tracking administration page.
(info) Time tracking will be OFF by default if your Jira installation was upgraded from a version prior to 4.2 that had time tracking either disabled or never enabled.

  1. Choose   > Issues.
  2.  Select Issue Features > Time Tracking to open the Time Tracking page.
  3. Click the 'Deactivate' button to turn time tracking OFF.

(info) You will not lose any existing time tracking data by disabling/re-enabling time tracking.

On this page:

Time tracking add-ons for Jira in the Atlassian Marketplace extend Jira's time tracking power. Check them out here.

Enabling time tracking

  1. Choose   > Issues.

  2.  Select Issue Features > Time Tracking to open the Time Tracking page.
  3. Click the 'Activate' button to turn time tracking ON.

Screenshot 1: Time tracking is ON

Configuring time tracking settings

To edit Jira's time tracking settings, it must first be disabled. Once you have changed the settings, you will then need to re-enable time tracking so that users can log work on issues.

(info) You will not lose any existing time tracking data by disabling/re-enabling time tracking.

  1. Choose   > Issues.
  2.  Select Issue Features > Time Tracking to open the Time Tracking page.
  3. If Time Tracking is ON (refer to the indication at the top of the Time Tracking screen), click the Deactivate button to turn time tracking OFF.
  4. The time tracking settings will now be editable as shown in the following screenshot.
    Screenshot 2: Time tracking is OFF
  5. Configure time tracking settings by editing the following fields:
    • 'Hours per day' — enter a suitable value (e.g. 8). You can enter fractions if you wish.
    • 'Days per week' — enter a suitable value (e.g. 5). You can enter fractions if you wish.
    • 'Time format' — select pretty/days/hours. This will determine the format of the 'Time Spent' field when an issue is displayed.
    • 'Default Unit' — select minutes/hours/days/weeks. This will be applied whenever your users log work on an issue without specifying a unit.
    • 'Legacy Mode' — select this checkbox if you prefer to use Jira's time tracking features as they operated prior to Jira version 4.2. For more details about this option, please see About 'Legacy Mode' (below).
    • 'Copy Comment To Work Description' — select this checkbox to ensure that any content entered into a Comment field while logging work as part of an issue operation, is also copied across to the Work Description.
      (info) When 'Copy Comment To Work Description' is enabled, your user's work log entries will be visible only to members of the project role or group selected in the padlock icon drop-down on their issue operation screen. If 'Copy Comment To Work Description' is disabled, your user's work log entries will be visible to anyone by default.
  6. Click the 'Activate' button to turn time tracking ON.
    If the permission schemes used by your project(s) already have the appropriate Work On Issues permissions, then there is no need to proceed any further.
    However, if you need to configure these permissions, proceed with the remaining steps below:
  7. Click the 'permission scheme' link as shown in screenshot 1 (above). The 'Permissions Scheme' page will be displayed.
  8. Click the 'Permissions' link of the permission scheme associated with the project(s) where you wish to specify Work On Issues permissions. The 'Edit Permissions' page is displayed for your chosen permission scheme.
    (info) See Managing project permissions for details about the various permissions.
  9. Check whether the row labeled 'Work On Issues' contains the appropriate users, groups or project roles who need to specify time estimates or log work. If it does not, click the 'Add' link in the 'Operations' column:
    Screenshot 3: Time tracking Permissions
  10. Select the users, groups or project roles to whom you want to allow time tracking and work logging on issues.
  11. Click the 'Add' button.
  12. If it is needed to enter the ' Original Estimate ' during issue creation or during issue editing, ensure that the field 'Time Tracking' is added to the relevant screens associated with those operations. Refer  Associating a screen with an issue operation  for more details.

About 'Legacy Mode'

  • If Legacy Mode is disabled, your users will be able to change the Original Estimate value irrespective of any work being logged on an issue. Legacy Mode is disabled by default on new installations of Jira version 4.2 or later.
  • If Legacy Mode is enabled, your users can only specify an Original Estimate before they start logging work on an issue. This value cannot be changed once any work has been logged, unless all work logs for that issue are first deleted.
  • By default,
    • Legacy Mode is disabled if your Jira 4.2 installation was conducted cleanly (that is, without upgrading from an earlier version of Jira).
    • Legacy Mode is enabled if you upgraded Jira from a version prior to 4.2.
  • With Legacy Mode enabled, if you change the Remaining Estimate field in a workflow post function the Original Estimate is also cleared. This issue is tracked at  JRA-25031 - Getting issue details... STATUS

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Do more with Jira

Integrate time tracking tools with Jira using these time tracking apps from the Atlassian Marketplace:  

  • Tempo Timesheets: A better overview of time spent on projects and throughout your organization
  • Time Reports: Flexible time tracking and reporting of time spent on projects, epics, or initiatives broken down by days, users, or issue statuses
  • All-In-One Timesheets for Jira: Create comprehensive time tracking reports that offer key insight into workload and performance metrics

Related topics

Last modified on Dec 19, 2018

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