JIRA is now available as three separate applications, JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk, and JIRA Core. For more information on administering these applications, refer to the Administering JIRA Applications documentation.

Search Indexing

In order to provide fast searching, JIRA creates an index of the text entered into issue fields. This index is stored on the file system, and updated whenever issue text is added or modified. It is sometimes necessary to regenerate this index manually; for instance if issues have been manually entered into the database, or the index has been lost or corrupted.

See Re-Indexing after Major Configuration Changes for more information on when you should re-index.

Re-indexing JIRA

  1. Log in as a user with the 'JIRA Administrators' global permission.
  2. Choose > System. Select Advanced > Indexing to open the Indexing page.
    (tick) Keyboard shortcut: 'g' + 'g' + type 'index'
  3. This page allows you to choose one of the following two re-indexing options:

    • Background re-index — This will re-index all issues in the background.
    • Lock JIRA and rebuild index — This will delete and rebuild all indices, including the comment and change history indices.

Screenshot: Re-indexing JIRA

Which re-indexing option should I use?

The Background re-index option should be used in the majority of circumstances, particularly following changes to the configuration. It will generally take significantly longer to perform than the Lock JIRA and rebuild index option, but it allows JIRA to remain usable while it is being done. There will however be a performance impact on JIRA as a whole. We recommend that you perform this option during a low usage period. The actual impact of running the Background re-index option will depend upon the customer's particular hardware and software installation as well as how many issues are in the system.

The Lock JIRA and rebuild index should be used when:

  • the indices are corrupt, which may be caused by a system or disk failure or
  • it is more important to have the re-index completed quickly than to have JIRA continuously available. The Lock JIRA and rebuild index option may be in the order of twice as fast as a background re-index.

The following table summarises the differences between the two options:

Background re-index Lock JIRA and rebuild index
Slower to complete. Faster to complete (may be up to twice as fast).

JIRA can be used by users during re-index.

JIRA cannot be used by users during re-index.
Can be cancelled at any time. Cannot be cancelled once started.
(info) NFS storage for JIRA indexes is not supported. See this page for details: Supported Platforms.

Backing up and recovering your index

Enabling index recovery will cause a snapshot of the indexes to be taken periodically. This allows you to recover your index quickly, rather than rebuilding the index, if there is a failure. This is particularly useful if you have a large JIRA installation and you cannot afford for it to be offline for long. If you have a small JIRA instance, it may not be worth enabling index recovery, as it rebuilding the index won't take much time.

Whether a full index rebuild is faster than recovering from a snapshot depends on a number of factors, including how recent the snapshot being recovered was taken. Large and complex installations should test this process on a development/testing server before relying on it in production.

To enable index recovery:

  1. Navigate to the Indexing page (as described above).
  2. Click Edit Settings to enable index recovery and choose the frequency of snapshots.
    • Snapshots are stored in the <yourjirahome>/export/indexsnapshots directory.

To recover an index:

  1. Navigate to the Indexing page (as described above).
  2. Enter the name of the previously saved index in File name and click Recover.
    • JIRA will not be available during the recovery of the index. 
    • If changes were made to the configuration that required a re-index after the snapshot was taken, then you will need to do a background re-index after the recovery. Note, JIRA will be available after the recovery.

Additional information

  • JIRA will retain the last three snapshots at any time (in <yourjirahome>/export/indexsnapshots). Older snapshots will be automatically deleted. Note, snapshots may occupy considerable disk space and may need to be moved to offline storage or deleted as appropriate.
  • The snapshot process is a relatively lightweight process and does not place much of a load on the system.
  • The process of taking a snapshot will require temporary disk space equivalent to the index size. The resulting snapshots will each be about 25% the size of the index.
  • All issues will be re-indexed appropriately during the recovery, including issues that were added, updated or deleted after the snapshot was taken.
  • You can use the index recovery process to bring your index up to date, if you need to restore your JIRA database. The index snapshot must pre-date the database backup being restored.

Re-indexing a single project

If you have made a configuration change that affects a single project, you can re-index just that project. See Re-Indexing after Major Configuration Changes for more information on when you should re-index.

To re-index a single project:

  1. Navigate to the desired project and click the Administration tab.
  2. Click Actions > Re-index project to start re-indexing the project.

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10 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    jonathan doklovic

    JIRA by default schedules a re-index to run every night at midnight

    Is this correct? It seems that JIRA schedules and index optimization but that doesn't seem to actually reindex everything.

    Is there a way to schedule a FULL reindex?

    25 Aug 2010
    1. User avatar



      Do you know how to configure Jira to make itself re-index automaticly.

      I have checked Jira configuration, Jira doesn't have this function currectly. Do you know how to make Jira re-index automaticly ?

      28 Dec 2010
  2. User avatar



    Am a new bie here, just wanting to know who has done the Re-index during last month - any ways to find out the same?



    07 May 2013
    1. User avatar

      David Chou [Intuit]

      take a look at your atlassian-jira.log, you probably want to look for "Re-indexing started" lines and parse for the user (in this case 'admin') 

      In JIRA 5.2.x in the log file: atlassian-jira.log

      Background Index shows this:

      2013-10-11 16:11:00,755 JiraTaskExectionThread-1 INFO admin 971x5076x1 
      4w5lie 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1%0 /secure/admin/IndexReIndex.jspa 
      [action.admin.index.IndexAdminImpl] Re-indexing started

      Lock JIRA and rebuild index shows this:

      2013-10-11 16:11:18,529 JiraTaskExectionThread-2 INFO admin 
      971x5116x1 4w5lie 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1%0 /secure/admin/jira/IndexReIndex.jspa
       [action.admin.index.IndexAdminImpl] Re-indexing started
      11 Oct 2013
  3. User avatar

    Sergey Svishchev

    By the way (via  JRA-25788 - Re-index : Increase thread number for large instance Closed )

    We have added a property called "jira.index.issue.threads" to jpm.xml for v5.2

    This will effect the "foreground" reindex only (the old one, not the background reindex I mentioned above).
    We have not experimented with changing this value, but our guess is that it will probably will not help.
    Ultimately, the multiple threads are just gathering data to send to Lucene for indexing, but the Lucene Index writer is single-threaded by design and likely to be the bottleneck.

    21 Apr 2014
  4. User avatar

    Jon Abad


    It would be a helpful addition for the "Re-Indexing a Single Project" section to mention that clicking the link will immediately start a background re-index.

    I was caught off guard when it just started and didn't ask what type of re-index to perform.

    12 May 2014
  5. User avatar



    anyone knows why I, in JIRA version 6.3.4, can't find the "actions" section on the project admin page?

    02 Sep 2014
  6. User avatar

    Stephane Renou

    Background reindex makes our platform just unusable for any user as everything is just timeouting all over the place. How can we make sure the reindex is not taking the full power?

    03 Sep 2014
    1. User avatar

      Matt Doar [ServiceRocket]

      Here's what I'd do. Check the atlassian-jira.log for the specific errors, google them and check the answers, particularly the ones on answers.atlassian.com. Then contact Atlassian Support. If you're seeing timeouts I wonder if it's because the Lucene index is on remote storage such as NFS, which is not recommended (Supported Platforms)

      03 Sep 2014
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