How to import only part of a Jira export into Jira Cloud

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Platform Notice: Cloud Only - This article only applies to Atlassian products on the cloud platform.

You can import a backup from another Jira Cloud site or Jira Server instance by creating an export file and uploading it to your current Jira Cloud site. By default, all contents from the export file are imported into your Jira Cloud site, overwriting all existing data.

Before importing a backup file to Jira Cloud there are a few important things to note:

  • Importing a database backup file containing activeobjects.xml and entities.xml will erase all existing data and replace it with data from your backup. Likewise, importing a media file with the attachments, avatars, or logos directory will overwrite the corresponding data (attachments, avatars, or logos, respectively).
  • You can't use this process to import a specific project while maintaining your existing site data. To request the ability to import only specific projects, watch and vote for the Jira ticket: JRACLOUD-31806 - Getting issue details... STATUS .

Modify your backup file

We recommend splitting your cloud backup file into a database file containing your activeobjects.xml and entities.xml, and a separate one for your attachments and other media. This can help avoid timeout errors and reduce the risk of issues when importing.

Remove files from a cloud backup

  1. Unzip the backup file generated from Jira Cloud. Your cloud backup will have a structure similar to the one below:

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

    When unzipping the file, please make sure that all attachments have an ID as the name. If the file has anything different from that (such as ID_name.extension) please edit it and keep the expected format or the attachments won't be properly imported.


    (tick) Correct Format:


    (error) Incorrect Format:

  2. Remove the entity type you don't want to import. If you don't want to import:
    • attachments: remove the attachments directory
    • avatars: remove the avatars directory
    • logos: remove the logos directory
    • database data: remove both the activeobjects.xml and entities.xml files
  3. Zip (compress) the modified directory.
  4. In your Jira Cloud site, go to Settings in the Jira sidebar, System > Restore system to upload the modified file.

Import only attachments and other media

We recommend importing your media (attachments, project avatars, and logos) separately after importing your database backup (entities.xml and activeobjects.xml files).

Follow these steps to import only your media files:

  1. Unzip your exported .zip backup file
  2. Create a directory outside the backup directory called media-only
  3. Drag or copy the data directory from the backup directory into the media-only directory
  4. If your media file is over 5 GB, we recommend splitting your file into multiple 2 - 5 GB media files and importing them separately. 

    See how
    1. Unzip your exported .zip backup file
    2. Create directories outside the backup directory called media-only-1media-only-2, etc.
    3. Drag or copy the data directory from the backup directory into the media-only-1 directory
    4. Create a data directory in media-only-2, then create a mediadirectory under it.
    5. Move some of the project folders from media-only-1 to media-only-2
    6. Zip (compress) both media-only directories
      Your compressed files should have the following structure:
      └─── data
            ├── attachments
            │         ├── ProjectKey
            │         │         └── 10000
            │         │		    ├── IssueKey-1
            │         │		    ├── IssueKey-2
            │         │       	└── IssueKey-3
            │         └─── ProjectKey2
            └── avatars
      └─── data
            └─── attachments
                      ├── ProjectKey3
                      │         └── 30000
                      │		    ├── IssueKey-1
                      │		    ├── IssueKey-2
                      │       	└── IssueKey-3
                      └─── ProjectKey4

      Recheck the size of your compressed ZIP files. If the media directories you're trying to import are still larger than 5 GB per file, you should consider splitting them further to avoid timeout errors.

      In your Jira Cloud site, go to Settings in the Jira sidebar, System > Restore system to upload the files.
  5. In your Jira Cloud site, go to Settings in the Jira sidebar, System > Restore system to upload the file. If you've split your media into separate smaller files in the previous step, you'll need to repeat this step for each file. 

DescriptionLearn how to split your backup file before importing to Jira Cloud.
Last modified on Oct 4, 2021

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