Creating issues using the CSV importer

Creating issues and sub-tasks

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If you have the Create Issue project permission and the Bulk Change global permission for the relevant projects, you can create issues in bulk by using a comma-separated value (CSV) file.  To find out what permissions you have, contact your Jira admin. 

CSV files are text files that represent tabulated data and are supported by most applications that handle tabulated data, such as Microsoft Excel, Numbers, and databases.

Jira's CSV importer (also CSV file import wizard) allows you to import data from external systems that export their data in a tabulated format. Also, you can create your own CSV file to bulk create or update issues.

Jira admins have access to more advanced features for importing issues. If you are planning to import a lot of issues from an external application, contact your Jira admin.

Read more about advanced import functionalities for Jira administrators inMigrating from other issue trackers andImporting data from CSV

There are two main steps to use the CSV importer:

  1. Preparing your CSV file
  2. Running the CSV import wizard

On this page:

Preparing your CSV file

The CSV importer assumes that your CSV file is based off a default Microsoft Excel-styled CSV file:

  • Fields are separated by commas
  • Any content that must be treated literally, such as commas, new lines/ (e.g."carriage returns"), or angle brackets, are enclosed in quotes

For Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice, you don’t need to place cell values in quotation marks. These applications do this automatically.

CSV file requirements

In addition to being "well-formed", your CSV file should meet the following requirements:

  • The file must have a header row. The CSV Importer uses the header row to determine how to map data from the CSV file's second row and beyond to Jira fields. 
  • The header row must contain the Summary column for the issue’s summary. 
  • The header row shouldn’t contain any punctuation, except for commas separating columns or fields. Otherwise, the import may work incorrectly. 
  • Commas as column or field separators can’t be omitted throughout the file.  
Expand to see the a valid example
Summary, Assignee, Reporter, Issue Type, Description, Priority
"Test issue", admin, admin, 1, ,
Expand to see an invalid example
Summary, Assignee, Reporter, Issue Type, Description, Priority
"Test issue", admin, admin, 1

Encapsulating Jira data structure in your CSV file

To import issues correctly, you should know how to encapsulate different data in your CSV file. In this way, Jira will be able to process them and create or update issues correctly.  

Here, you’ll find tips on and examples of building a CSV file with multiple-line fields, special characters, multiselect fields, and many more.  

Learn more about the specifics of issue fields in Tips for importing CSV data into issue fields. 

Capturing data that spans multiple lines

Use double quotation marks (") in your CSV file to capture data that spans multiple lines. For example, during the import, Jira will treat the following as a valid CSV file with a single record:

Summary, Description, Status
"Login fails", "This is on
a new line", Open

Treating special characters literally

Put the text with special characters in double quotation marks ("") to treat these characters literally. Once imported to Jira, these special characters will be stored as part of Jira's field value. Examples of special characters include carriage returns/enter characters, commas, etc.

If the text contains words or phrases in quotation marks and you want Jira to treat these quotation marks literally, put these words or phrases in another pair of quotation marks. 

  • Your CSV file may contain a value like:  "Clicking the ""Add"" button results in a page not found error". Pay attention that the name of the button is put in two pairs of quotation marks.
  • After the import, Jira will store this value as: Clicking the "Add" button results in a page not found error. The name of the button is stored in one pair of quotation marks, as it should be.

Aggregating multiple values into single issue fields

You can import multiple values into an issue field that accepts multiple values. For example, Fix (for) VersionAffects VersionComponentLabels. To do this, your CSV file must specify the same column name for each value you wish to aggregate into the mapped issue field. The number of column names must match the maximum number of values to be aggregated into the mapped field.

For example:

IssueType, Summary, FixVersion, FixVersion, FixVersion, Component, Component
bug, "First issue", v1, , , Component1,
bug, "Second issue", v2, , , Component1, Component2
bug, "Third issue", v1, v2, v3, Component1,

In this example, the Component field of the second issue and the Fix Version field of the third issue will generate multiple values in appropriate issue fields after the import.

Be aware that only a limited number of issue fields support multiple values. The CSV importer will not allow you to import aggregated data into issue fields that only support a single value.

Importing issues into multiple projects

You can import issues from your CSV file into different projects through a CSV file import. To do this:

  • The CSV file must have two additional columns with the exact names of Project Nameand Project Key. These are the mandatory values required for the correct import of issues from the CSV file to specific Jira projects. 
  • Ensure that every issue represented in your CSV file contains the appropriate name and key in these columns for the projects to which they will be imported.

    If you aren’t a Jira administrator, you won’t be able to map the fields Project Name and Project Key to Jira’s fields. You’ll need to select different fields for mapping. Learn more about this in Tips for importing CSV data into issue fields.

For example:

IssueType, Summary, Project Name, Project Key
bug, "First issue", Sample, SAMP
bug, "Second issue", Sample, SAMP
task, "Third issue", Example, EXAM

In this example, the first and second issues will be imported into the "Sample" project (with project key "SAMP") and the third issue will be imported into the "Example" project (with project key "EXAM") , assuming you match the "Project Name" and "Project Key" fields in your CSV file to the Project name and Project key issue fields respectively during the CSV file import wizard.

Importing work log entries

Your CSV file can contain work log entries. You need to use seconds to track the time spent. For example:

Only time spent (one hour),3600
With a date and an author,2012-02-10 12:30:10;wseliga;120
With an additional comment,Testing took me 3 days;2012-02-10 12:30:10;wseliga;259200

If you aren’t a Jira administrator, you won’t be able to map the Worklog field to Jira’s field. You’ll need to select different fields for mapping. Learn more about this in Tips for importing CSV data into issue fields.

Importing to multi select custom fields

Your CSV file can contain multiple entries for the one multi select custom field. Here’s an example showing how to populate the multi select custom field with multiple values:

Summary,Multi Select,Multi Select,Multi Select
Sample issue,Value 1,Value 2,Value 3

Importing cascading choice custom fields

You can import values to a custom field with cascading choice by using the following syntax:

Summary, My Cascading Custom Field
Example Summary, Parent Value -> Child Value

The -> separator allows you to import the hierarchy.

Currently Jira does not support importing multi-level cascading select fields via CSV ( JRA-34202 - Getting issue details... STATUS ).

Running the CSV file import wizard

If your Jira installation has existing data, you should back it up before proceeding with the following steps. 

To import a CSV file with your Jira issues: 

  1. Select Issues > Import Issues from CSV  to open the Bulk Create Setup page. If you do not have the option Import issues from CSV, your Jira admin must update the Jira Importers plugin to version 6.2.3 or above.

  2. On the Bulk Create Setup page, select your CSV Source File.
    Leave the Use an existing configuration file checkbox cleared if you do not have a configuration file or if you want to create a new configuration file. Configuration files specify a mapping between column names in your CSV file's header row and fields in Jira.

    If you select Use an existing configuration file checkbox, you will be asked to upload an Existing Configuration File. If you don't select this option, Jira will automatically create a configuration file that you can use for further imports.

  3. Select Next to proceed to the Settings step of the CSV file import wizard.
  4. On the Settings page, populate the required fields and select Next.

    Expand to see the import settings
    • Import to Project: select a project where you want to create or update issues. 
    • File encoding: the type of character encoding in your CSV file. 
    • Delimiter: a character that separates columns or fields in your CSV file. If your delimiter is a tab, specify it as /t. 
    • Date format: the format of dates in your CSV file. 

  5. On the Map fields page, map the fields from your CSV file to issue fields in the selected project. If you also want to map values of these fields, select the Map field value checkbox. After you finish, select Next. 

    Make sure you map the Summary field. It’s mandatory for creating or updating an issue.  

    The Don’t map this field option means that you choose not to map a field from the CSV file to any issue field in the project. As a result, after the import, you won’t see the unmapped fields in issues. 

    Use this option if: 

  6. On the Map values page, you can check and reset the target values of the issue fields for which you’ve selected the Map field value checkbox on the previous page. If you haven’t selected the checkbox, proceed to the next step.
    Your issue types may have a CSV field value of Feature Request, which you may want to map to the issue type field value Feature.

    • On this page, you’ll see all values of all fields for which you’ve selected the Map field value checkbox on the Map fields page. 
    • If you want a field to be empty after the import, select Import as blank in Target value in Jira. 
    • If you haven’t chosen to map values for username-based fields like Reporter and Assignee, usernames from the file will be automatically mapped to existing usernames (lowercase) in Jira.
    • If you import descriptions with line breaks, don’t select the Map field value checkbox for the Description field. Otherwise, Jira may remove line breaks during the import.
    • Regardless of whether or not you select the Map field value checkbox, Jira will automatically create usernames based on the data in your CSV file if they have not already been defined in Jira. 

  7. You may want to check your configuration for errors or warnings before running the import. To do it, select Validate. If your file contains warnings or errors, we recommend fixing them and uploading the file again. To learn more, download the detailed log of the validation. 

    If you need to import another CSV file with the same (or similar) settings to what you used through this procedure, select the save the configuration link to download a CSV configuration file, which you can use at the first step of the CSV file import wizard. For example, you may want to use the same field or value mappings for the next imports.

  8. When you’re sure about the correctness of data in your CSV file, select Begin Import. The importer will display updates as the import progresses, then a success message when the import is complete.
    After the import is completed, you can check the created or updated issues in Jira. Also, you can download the detailed log of the import or save the configuration for future use.
  9. Congratulations! You have successfully imported your CSV data into Jira! If you have any questions or encounter any problems, contact Atlassian support.

Tips for importing CSV data into issue fields

Here are some helpful tips on importing data from your CSV file into specific issue fields: 

Issue field

Import notes


CSV data is imported on a per-project basis. You can either specify an existing projects as the target, or the importer will automatically create new projects during the import.


This is the only required field.


Import issues with multiple components by entering each component in a separate column.

Affects Version(s)

Import issues with multiple Affects Versions by entering each version in a separate column.

Fix Version(s)

Import issues with multiple Fix Versions by entering each version in a separate column.

Due Date

Make sure to use the date format specified on the second step of the CSV import wizard: dd/MMM/yy h:mm a.

Issue Type

If not specified in your CSV file, imported issues will be givem the default (i.e. first) Issue Type as specified in your Jira system. For more information, see Defining issue type field values

You can also create new values on the fly during the import process.


Import issues with multiple labels by entering each label in a separate column or by putting all labels in one column, deliminated by a space. 


If not specified in your CSV file, imported issues will be given the default (i.e. first) Priority as specified in your Jira system. For more information, see Defining priority field values

You can also create new values on the fly during the import process.

Original Estimate

Set this value as a total number of seconds.

Remaining Estimate

Set this value as a total number of seconds.


Choose to automatically create Jira users for any values of the Assignee or Reporter field.

Expand to see tips on user creation
  • Users will be created as active accounts in Jira. Users should receive emails with passwords for the first-time login to Jira. 
  • To create full names for users with no real names, Jira will take the part of their email addresses before the @ character. 
  • If you are using external user management system, Jira users won’t be created during the import. Instead, the import wizard will give you a list of any new users that need to be created. You will need to create the users in your external user repository before running the import.
  • If you have a user-limited license (a personal license), and the number of users is larger than the limit, then the import will be stopped. You’ll see the list of users that can't be created. 
  • If Assignee and Reporter aren't mapped, no usernames will be created.

Other fields

If you wish to import any other fields, you can choose to map them to one or multiple Jira custom fields. If your custom fields don't exist yet in Jira, the importer can automatically create them for you.

If your custom field is a date field, please use the date format specified n the second step of the CSV import wizard: dd/MMM/yy h:mm a.

If you aren’t a Jira administrator, you won’t be able to map the following fields in the CSV file to their equivalents in Jira: 

  • Attachments 
  • Comment Body 
  • Date Created 
  • Date Modified 
  • Date Resolved 
  • Project Key 
  • Project Name 
  • Project Type 
  • Resolution 
  • Status 
  • Worklog 

To complete the field mapping, select either any other available field or the Don’t map this field option. 

Known issues

Problems populating multi-select fields

In case your issues get created but the multi-select fields are not populated, contact your admin. They can rerun the import by using Jira admin tools.

Importing restricted custom fields

CSV import may run incorrectly for a project with only one issue type and a required custom field with context. For details and the workaround, see JRASERVER-41584

Last modified on Aug 3, 2022

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