JIRA Excel export of issues no longer opens correctly

Problem

On July 12th, 2016, Microsoft released a security update for Excel. Users who installed the update are no longer able to open the .xls file exported from JIRA in Excel. This can be problematic for users who relied on this export format. There are several workarounds, you can change Excel's settings, the file's settings, or your local machines internet settings. Depending on your use case and organization's IT policies, one of these workarounds should best suit your needs.

Symptom

When you open an Excel export file from JIRA, Excel opens and displays a blank state.

Workarounds for JIRA Cloud instances and JIRA Server 7.1.x and below

There are several options which may allow you to open the file.

Option 1 - Add your JIRA URL as a Trusted Site to your Windows Internet options

Adding your JIRA URL as a Trusted Site allows Excel to access the files downloaded from your JIRA. This may need to be done at the Administrator level in your organization.

Note the instructions may vary depending on your Windows version.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Select Internet Options.
  4. In the Security tab, select Trusted sites.
  5. Click Sites.
  6. Add your JIRA's URL to the text field, and click Add. Note the URL must be prefixed with https.

  7. Click Close, and click OK.

Now when you open a JIRA Excel export file, you'll be presented with this warning:

Clicking Yes will open the file as it did previously.

Option 2 - Change the Protected View settings in Excel

The security update set a default value which enabled Protected View for internet files in Excel's Trust Center. You can manually disable this setting, however you should check that this is allowed by your IT department. You only need to do this once.

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Select File > Options.
  3. Select Trust Center, then select Trust Center Settings....
  4. Select Protected View.
  5. Un-check "Enable Protected View for file originating from the Internet", and click OK.
  6. Click OK.

Once you've disabled Protected View for internet files, when you try to open an Excel file exported from JIRA, you'll be presented with this warning:

Clicking Yes will open the file as it did previously.

Option 3 - Change the properties of the exported file in Windows Explorer

This workaround needs to be applied to each individual JIRA Excel export file.

  1. Right-click on the JIRA Excel export file, and select Properties.
  2. Select the General tab, and click Unblock.
  3. Click Apply.
  4. Click OK.

Now when you open the file, you'll be presented with this warning:

Clicking Yes will open the file as it did previously.

JIRA Server 7.2 instances

We removed the Excel export option in JIRA 7.2, as we've introduced a more robust, flexible exporter in the CSV export. We hope you find this more beneficial. We do plan on removing this functionality entirely, however in the meantime it can be unlocked with the following steps:

1. Stop JIRA.
2. Locate the jira-config.properties file in the $JIRA_HOME directory. If the file does not exist, please proceed to create it.
3. Open the file and add the below on a separate line:

jira.export.excel.enabled=true

4. Save this file.
5. Restart JIRA.

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