How to rename a group and preserve its permissions

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An administrator may need to rename a Confluence group to reflect changes their organisation undergoes. This is currently not possible to do in Confluence, but a feature request is under consideration: CONFSERVER-9159 - Getting issue details... STATUS

However, we can manually change a group name and all the permissions related to it through the database.

Bear in mind that such procedure is not part of Confluence's intended functionality. As such, this process is not covered under the Atlassian Support Offerings and the information given here is provided as-is. It should be thoroughly tested in a development or staging environment before implementing any changes in your production instance.


1. Identify the permissions granted to the target group

As noted in Confluence permissions architecture, Confluence recognizes permissions at site level and at space level, as well as page-level restrictions. Therefore, we must identify where our target group is being used before editing the group.

Run the following SQL queries against the Confluence database, replacing <group_name> with the group name, in lowercase:

GLOBAL permissions
SELECT permgroupname AS groupname,
permtype AS "permission_type (global)"
FROM spacepermissions
AND permgroupname in ('<group_name>')
ORDER BY permgroupname,
SPACE permissions
SELECT permgroupname AS groupname,
permtype AS "permission_type (space)"
FROM spacepermissions sp
JOIN spaces s ON sp.spaceid = s.spaceid
WHERE permgroupname in ('<group_name>')
ORDER BY permgroupname,
PAGE restrictions
SELECT cp.groupname,
content.title AS content_title,
cp.cp_type AS "permission_type (page)"
FROM content_perm cp
JOIN content_perm_set cps ON cp.cps_id =
JOIN content ON content.contentid = cps.content_id
WHERE cp.groupname in ('<group_name>')
ORDER BY cp.groupname,

2. Edit the permissions, depending on the permission level

For example, we may want to preserve only page-level restrictions, or our target group only has Global permissions to be adjusted.

Run the following queries depending on the situation:

Update GLOBAL permissions
UPDATE spacepermissions
SET permgroupname = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME'
WHERE permgroupname IN ('OLD_GROUP_NAME')
AND spaceid IS NULL;
Update SPACE permissions - all spaces
UPDATE spacepermissions
SET permgroupname = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME'
WHERE permgroupname IN ('OLD_GROUP_NAME')
AND spaceid IS NOT NULL;
Update SPACE permissions - specific spaces
UPDATE spacepermissions
SET permgroupname = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME'
WHERE permgroupname IN ('OLD_GROUP_NAME')
AND spaceid IN
(SELECT spaceid
FROM spaces
WHERE spacename IN ('<SPACE_NAME_1>',
Update PAGE permissions
UPDATE content_perm
SET groupname = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME'
WHERE groupname IN ('OLD_GROUP_NAME');

3. Rename the Group

If you are going to link Confluence to a different Directory and would like to transfer the permissions from group A (current) to group B (synced from the new directory), you can skip this step.

If the group is located at Confluence Internal Directory
UPDATE cwd_group
SET group_name = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME',
lower_group_name = 'NEW_GROUP_NAME'
WHERE group_name = 'OLD_GROUP_NAME';

Otherwise, update the group in the external directory that hosts the target group. e.g. JIRA or Active Directory.

4 Restart Confluence and flush caches

After adjusting the database, restart Confluence and clear Confluence's internal caches at General Configuration > Cache Management > Flush All (at the bottom).

Last modified on Nov 2, 2018

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