Manage Jira Service Desk customer accounts

Still need help?

The Atlassian Community is here for you.

Ask the community

Jira administrators can manage customer accounts for Jira Service Desk projects in your site's Administration under User management in the left navigation.

Where you manage your customers depends on what type of account they have:

  • Manage customers with Atlassian accounts from Users in the left navigation.
  • Manage customers without Atlassian accounts from JIRA Service Desk in the left navigation.

Regardless of which account type they have, customers can always send you requests and access portals for free. Customers don't consume a license unless you grant them access to Atlassian cloud products.

Read on to learn more about the different account types and how to migrate customers to an Atlassian account.

Which account is best for my customers?

Look at your relationship with your customer to decide which account makes sense for them. Regardless of which account you choose, customers don't need a license to access portals or send requests. 

Here's a look at the benefits and relationships we recommend for each type of account:

Portal-only accountAtlassian account

These users can:

  • send you requests from portals or email
  • view knowledge base articles in portals

If needed, you can move these users to an Atlassian account.

In addition to the benefits of the portal-only account, you can license these users for your other Atlassian cloud products, including:

  • Jira Software
  • Confluence
  • Bitbucket

You can also configure SAML single sign-on for these accounts. Learn how to set up SAML single sign-on.


Customers who you:

  • view strictly as a client
  • don't forsee collaborating with in future projects

You can find these customers under JIRA Service Desk.

Customers you collaborate with, or who may need more access in the future.

You can find these customers under Users. In their profiles, in the Access section, these users either have licenses to other Jira Cloud products, or have no checkboxes ticked.

How can I give licenses to customers I want to collaborate with in Jira or Confluence?

Users need an Atlassian account to collaborate with teams in your Atlassian cloud products. You can manage these customers from your site's administration pages. To migrate a customer to an Atlassian account (and grant them access or licenses to your Atlassian products):

  1. Go to your site's Administration at
    • If you're an admin for one site, you'll land on the Users page of your site.
    • If you're an admin for multiple sites or an organization admin, click a site's name and URL to open the Administration for that site.
  2. Click Jira Service Desk.
  3. From the customer you want to migrate, select Migrate to Atlassian account from the More options dropdown.

Newly migrated customers must log in using their Atlassian account credentials after you migrate them. If they have a new Atlassian account, they need to verify their email address.

When you migrate a customer to Atlassian account, we do the following:

  • deactivate their portal-only profile 
  • migrate important data, such as their requests, to a new Atlassian account
  • assign a new user key to the Atlassian account.

The old portal-only profile still displays as Inactive, but you can't un-migrate it.

What happens if a portal-only customer is invited to Atlassian account?

If a portal-only customer is invited to an Atlassian product, you'll see a note in their profile prompting you to migrate them to an Atlassian account. If you don't migrate the user, then they can't view requests they sent as a portal-only user.

Can portal-only customers view my knowledge base?

Yes. Both portal-only customers and Atlassian account holders can always view knowledge base articles in your customer portal.

To allow customers to view articles directly in Confluence, you can either:
  • Allow anonymous access in the space. This lets both portal-only and Atlassian account customers view articles without logging in to Confluence. Here's how to set this up in Jira Service Desk knowledge base settings:
  • Allow unlicensed access in the space. This lets Atlassian account customers view articles by logging in to the space. Here's how to set this up in JIRA Service Desk knowledge base settings:

    To allow them to comment, you'll need to grant them Confluence licenses. 

Anything else I should know?

Portal-only customers can't log in at your site's root URL (for example, They must use the portal's specific URL.

To find this URL in your project:

  1. In a Service Desk project sidebar, select Customer channels.
  2. Copy the URL under Customer portal.
Last modified on Nov 8, 2019

Was this helpful?

Provide feedback about this article
Powered by Confluence and Scroll Viewport.