Working with issues

Need help working with issues? In Jira Software, issues help you manage code, estimate workload, and keep track of your team. On this page, you'll find a quick overview for everything that you can do with an issue.

Boards can display up to 5000 issues at a time. If your board is trying to display more than 5000 issues at once, you'll receive an error message, and be prompted to update your filters.

What is an issue?

Different organizations use Jira to track different kinds of issues, which can represent anything from a software bug, to a project task, or a leave request form.

Issues are the building blocks of any Jira project. An issue could represent a story, a bug, a task, or another issue type in your project.

Here's an issue in a Scrum backlog:

  1. Selected issue: Select an issue to view its details.
  2. Backlog: Estimate issues and plan your sprints.
  3. Issue actions: Move an issue, clone it, log time spent working on it, and perform other actions.
  4. Issue details: See the assignee and description, make comments, and add content to the issue.


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We're rolling out a new issue view, with a consistent appearance across Jira and one screen to view and edit. It looks a little different and some procedures have changed slightly, so take a look at Changes to issues in the new issue view to see what's changed. To turn the new issue view on or off in Jira Software and Jira Core for now, head to Your profile and settings () > Personal settings and toggle the switch for the New Jira issue view.

The new issue view is permanently on for all business boards and next-gen software projects.

If you don't see the Personal settings option when you click your avatar, the switch to turn the new issue view on or off will appear under Profile.

Here's an example issue:

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  • If you're a project admin, choose ••• > Configure to change the layout of fields in the issue view.
  • You can see related commits, builds, and pull requests to help you evaluate the development status of your issue. See Viewing the development information for an issue.

Project and issue keys

Issue keys

Issue keys are unique identifiers for every piece of work you track with Jira. They are easily recognizable and quick to remember.

You'll see issue keys:

  • On issues themselves, as a label
  • In search results and saved filters
  • On cards on your boards or in a project's backlog
  • In links connecting pieces of work
  • In the issue's URL
  • Anywhere you need to reference the work you're tracking

Issue keys are made up of two parts:

  1. The project key (SMART in the screenshot above)
  2. A sequential number

Project keys

Project keys are a series of letters that describe to people across your Jira site what pieces of work are related to your project.

Project keys are the most memorable and recognizable piece of an issue's identifier. For example, our team is codenamed Donut World. We use the project key DONUT to help people across Atlassian know and recognize work that relates to our team.

Project admins can create and assign their project's key when they create a new project. Based on the project's name, Jira suggests a recognizable key. If you're a project admin, you can customize this while creating a project by selecting Advanced options. You can also update it in the project's settings. Read more about editing a project's details.

Last modified on Aug 19, 2019

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