Advanced searching

The advanced search allows you to build structured queries using the Jira Query Language (JQL) to search for issues. You can specify criteria that cannot be defined in the quick or basic searches. For example, you can use the ORDER BY clause to sort Jira issues either in descending or ascending order.

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Learn more about searching in Jira from JQL: The most flexible way to search Jira (on the Atlassian blog)

Before using the advanced search, consider the following:

  • If you don't have complex search criteria, you may want to use quick search instead.
  • If you aren't comfortable with the Jira Query Language (JQL), you may want to use basic search instead.

Note that JQL isn't a database query language, even though it uses SQL-like syntax. 


The following is the example of an advanced search query in Jira that returns all issues for the Teams in the Space project. 

  1. JQL query that refines the search results.
  2. A list of Jira issues that match the search criteria.

On this page:

Using advanced search

  1. Go to Issues (in the header) > Search for issues.

    • If there are existing search criteria, select the New search button to reset the search criteria.
    • If the basic search is shown instead of the advanced search, select Advanced (next to the Search button).

      If you cannot switch to an advanced search, check out the following section.

  2. Enter your JQL query. As you type, Jira will offer a list of "auto-complete" suggestions based on the context of your query. Note tha, auto-complete suggestions only include the first 15 matches, displayed alphabetically, so you may need to enter more text if you can't find a match. 

    Why aren't the auto-complete suggestions being shown?

    If you don’t see auto-complete suggestions, this might happen because of the following:

    • Your administrator may have disabled the "JQL Auto-complete" feature for your Jira instance.
    • Auto-complete suggestions are not offered for function parameters.
    • Auto-complete suggestions are not offered for all fields. Check the fields reference to see which fields support auto-complete.
  3. Press Enter or click Search to run your query. Your search results will display in the issue navigator.

Switch between basic and advanced search

In general, a query created using basic search will be able to be translated to advanced search, and back again. However, sometimes a query created using an advanced search may not be able to be translated into a basic search. Expand the following section for details.

Why can't I switch between basic and advanced search?

You might not switch between two searches if:

  • the query contains an OR operator.

    You can have an IN operator and it will be translated, e.g. project in (A, B). Even though this query: (project = JRA OR project = CONF) is equivalent to this query: (project in (JRA, CONF)), only the second query will be translated.

    • the query contains a NOT operator.
    • the query contains an EMPTY operator.
    • the query contains any of the comparison operators: !=, IS, IS NOT, >, >=, <, <=
    • the query specifies a field and value that is related to a project (e.g. version, component, custom fields) and the project is not explicitly included in the query (e.g. fixVersion = "4.0", without the AND project=JRA). This is especially tricky with custom fields since they can be configured on a Project/Issue Type basis. The general rule of thumb is that if the query cannot be created in the basic search form, then it will not be able to be translated from advanced search to basic search.

For a full list of supported operators and their use cases, go to the Operators reference page.  

Understanding advanced searching

Read the following topics to learn how to get the most out of advanced searching:

Constructing JQL queries

A simple query in JQL (also known as a "clause") consists of a field, followed by an operator, followed by one or more values or functions.

For example:

project = "TEST"

This query will find all issues in the TEST project. It uses the project field, the EQUALS operator, and the value TEST. 

A more complex query might look like this:

project = "TEST" AND assignee = currentUser()

This query will find all issues in the TEST project where the assignee is the currently logged in user. It uses the project field, the EQUALS operator, the value TEST,the AND keyword and the currentUser() function.

For more information on fields, operators, keywords and functions, see the Reference section.

Precedence in JQL queries

Precedence in JQL queries depends on keywords that you use to connect your clauses. For example, a clause can be: project = “Teams in Space”. The easiest way to look at this is to treat the AND keyword as the one grouping clauses, and OR as the one separating them. The AND keyword takes precedence over other keywords because it groups clauses together, essentially turning them into one combined clause.

Example 1

status=resolved AND project=“Teams in Space” OR assignee=captainjoe

This query will return all resolved issues from the Teams in Space project (clauses grouped by AND), and also all existing issues assigned to captainjoe. The clause after the OR keyword is treated as separate.

Example 2

status=resolved OR project="Teams in Space" AND assignee=captainjoe

This query, on the other hand, will return captainjoe’s issues from the Teams in Space project (clauses grouped by AND), and also all existing resolved issues (a clause separated by OR).

Example 3

status=resolved OR projects="Teams in Space" OR assigne=captainjoe

When you only use the OR keyword, all clauses will be treated as separate, and equal in terms of precedence.

Setting the precedence

You can set precedence in your JQL queries by using parentheses. Parentheses will group certain clauses together and enforce precedence.

Example 1

As you can see in this example, parentheses can turn our example JQL query around. This query would return resolved issues that either belong to the Teams in Space project or are assigned to captainjoe.

status=resolved AND (project="Teams in Space" OR assignee=captainjoe)

Example 2

If you used parentheses like in the following example, they wouldn’t have any effect because the clauses enclosed in parentheses were already connected by AND. This query would return the same results with or without the parentheses.

(status=resolved AND project="Teams in Space") OR assignee=captainjoe

Restricted words and characters

Reserved characters

JQL has a list of reserved characters:

space (" ")+.,;?|*/%^$#@[]

If you wish to use these characters in queries, you need to:

  • surround them with quotation marks. You can use either single quote-marks (') or double quote-marks ("). 
    and
  • if you are searching a text field and the character is on the list of special characters in text searches, precede them with two backslashes. This will let you run the query that contains a reserved character, but the character itself will be ignored in your query. For details, see Special characters in Search syntax for text fields.

For example:

  • version = "[example]"
  • summary ~ "\\[example\\]"

Reserved words

JQL also has a list of reserved words. These words need to be surrounded by quotation marks (single or double) if you wish to use them in queries.

Expand to see the list of reserved words

"abort", "access", "add", "after", "alias", "all", "alter", "and", "any", "as", "asc", "audit", "avg", "before", "begin", "between", "boolean", "break", "by", "byte", "catch", "cf", "char", "character", "check", "checkpoint", "collate", "collation", "column", "commit", "connect", "continue", "count", "create", "current", "date", "decimal", "declare", "decrement", "default", "defaults", "define", "delete", "delimiter", "desc", "difference", "distinct", "divide", "do", "double", "drop", "else", "empty", "encoding", "end", "equals", "escape", "exclusive", "exec", "execute", "exists", "explain", "false", "fetch", "file", "field", "first", "float", "for", "from", "function", "go", "goto", "grant", "greater", "group", "having", "identified", "if", "immediate", "in", "increment", "index", "initial", "inner", "inout", "input", "insert", "int", "integer", "intersect", "intersection", "into", "is", "isempty", "isnull", "join", "last", "left", "less", "like", "limit", "lock", "long", "max", "min", "minus", "mode", "modify", "modulo", "more", "multiply", "next", "noaudit", "not", "notin", "nowait", "null", "number", "object", "of", "on", "option", "or", "order", "outer", "output", "power", "previous", "prior", "privileges", "public", "raise", "raw", "remainder", "rename", "resource", "return", "returns", "revoke", "right", "row", "rowid", "rownum", "rows", "select", "session", "set", "share", "size", "sqrt", "start", "strict", "string", "subtract", "sum", "synonym", "table", "then", "to", "trans", "transaction", "trigger", "true", "uid", "union", "unique", "update", "user", "validate", "values", "view", "when", "whenever", "where", "while", "with"

If you’re a Jira admin, note that this list is hard coded in the JqlStringSupportImpl.java file.

Performing text searches

You can use Lucene's text-searching features when performing searches on the following fields by using the CONTAINS operator. 

Expand to see the list of text fields
  • Summary.
  • Description.
  • Environment.
  • Comments.
  • Custom fields that use the "Free Text Searcher". These are custom fields of the following built-in custom field types: Free Text Field, Text Field, and Read-only Text Field.

When searching for text fields, you can also use single and multiple character wildcard searches. For more information, see Search syntax for text fields.

Reference

Here you can find a brief overview of Jira fields, operators, keywords, and functions used to compose JQL queries. For detailed description   and examples of their usage for advance searching, check the links from the Reference column.


DescriptionReference
Fields

A field in JQL is a word that represents a Jira field (or a custom field that has already been defined in Jira). You can perform advanced search on your Jira fileds to look for issues created on, before, or after a particular date (or date range) and time. 

To view a detailed information about fields and how to use them for advanced searching, check out Fields reference page

Show list of fields

  • affectedVersion
  • approvals
  • assignee
  • attachments
  • category
  • comment
  • component
  • created
  • creator
  • customFieldName
  • "Customer Request Type"
  • description
  • due
  • environment
  • "epic link"
  • filter
  • fixVersion
  • issueKey
  • Issue link type
  • labels
  • lastViewed
  • level
  • originalEstimate
  • parent
  • priority
  • project
  • remainingEstimate
  • reporter
  • request-channel-type
  • request-last-activity-time
  • resolution
  • resolved
  • sprint
  • status
  • summary
  • text
  • timeSpent
  • type
  • updated
  • voter
  • votes
  • watcher
  • watchers
  • worklogAuthor
  • WorklogComment
  • WorklogDate
  • WorkRatio

Operators

An operator in JQL is one or more symbols or words that compare the value of a field on its left with one or more values (or functions) on its right, such that only true results are retrieved by the clause. Some operators may use the NOT keyword.

To view a detailed information about operators and how to use them for advanced searching, check out operators reference page

Show list of operators

  • EQUALS: =
  • NOT EQUALS: !=
  • GREATER THAN: >
  • GREATER THAN EQUALS: >=
  • LESS THAN: <
  • LESS THAN EQUALS: <=
  • IN
  • NOT IN
  • CONTAINS: ~
  • DOES NOT CONTAIN: !~
  • IS
  • IS NOT
  • WAS
  • WAS IN
  • WAS NOT IN
  • WAS NOT
  • CHANGED

Keywords

A keyword in JQL is a word or phrase that does (or is) any of the following:

  • joins two or more clauses together to form a complex JQL query
  • alters the logic of one or more clauses
  • alters the logic of operators
  • has an explicit definition in a JQL query
  • performs a specific function that alters the results of a JQL query.

To view a detailed information about keywords and how to use them for advanced searching, check out keywords reference page

Show list of keywords

  • AND
  • OR
  • NOT
  • EMPTY
  • NULL
  • ORDER BY

Functions

A function in JQL appears as a word followed by parentheses, which may contain one or more explicit values or Jira fields.

A function performs a calculation on either specific Jira data or the function's content in parentheses, such that only true results are retrieved by the function, and then again by the clause in which the function is used.


To view a detailed information about functions and how to use them for advanced searching, check out functions reference page

Show list of functions

  • approved()
  • approver()
  • cascadeOption()
  • closedSprints()
  • componentsLeadByUser()
  • currentLogin()
  • currentUser()
  • earliestUnreleasedVersion()
  • endOfDay()
  • endOfMonth()
  • endOfWeek()
  • endOfYear()
  • issueHistory()
  • issuesWithRemoteLinksByGlobalId()
  • lastLogin()
  • latestReleasedVersion()
  • linkedIssues()
  • membersOf()
  • myApproval()
  • myPending()
  • now()
  • openSprints()
  • pending()
  • pendingBy()
  • projectsLeadByUser()
  • projectsWhereUserHasPermission()
  • projectsWhereUserHasRole()
  • releasedVersions()
  • standardIssueTypes()
  • startOfDay()
  • startOfMonth()
  • startOfWeek()
  • startOfYear()
  • subtaskIssueTypes()
  • unreleasedVersions()
  • votedIssues()
  • watchedIssues()

Running a saved search

You can find saved searches (also known as Saving your search as a filter) in the left-side panel, when using advanced search. If the left panel is not showing, hover your mouse over the left side of the screen to display it.

To run a filter, such as New_issues, select the filter name. The JQL for the advanced search will be set, and the search results will be displayed.

  1. A search saved as a filter, which returns issues based on the criteria specified in a JQL query.

  2. JQL query that specifies search criteria. 

  3. Issues that match the search criteria.

If you want to delete a saved search, see Deleting a filter


Last modified on Jul 26, 2022

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