JQL WAS Operator Returns Error due to Value does not Exist for Field

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When searching for issues using JIRA Query Language (JQL) as in Advanced Searching, the was operator may return an error similar to the one below. 

The error (this example) indicates that administrator  is not a valid value for the field assignee.  The error here is thrown in the interface, and not is not logged in JIRA.

(info) (Note: This operator can be used with the AssigneeFix VersionPriority,  ReporterResolution and Status fields only.)


This can error can be caused by a few things:

  • Misconfigured settings in 'General Configuration'
  • Could be related to the following bugs
  • It could also be that there truly is no user named 'administrator'



Please navigate to Administration > General Configuration and verify that the below options are enabled, if not please enable them and try searching again

  • User Searching By Full Name (JIRA 4.0.x - 4.4.x only)
  • User email visibility
  • JQL Auto-complete
Last modified on Feb 19, 2016

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