Creating issues and sub-tasks

The building blocks of any project are issues. Issues act as the packets of work that travel through their respective workflows within their projects, until the work is completed.

An issue can have subtasks that can be assigned and tracked individually. You can also control issue-level security to restrict an issue to select members of your team. 

Before you begin

You need the Create Issue project permission for the issue's relevant project.

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We're rolling out a new issue view for Jira Service Desk, with one consistent screen to view and edit requests. It looks a little different and some procedures have changed slightly, so take a look at our info page to see what's new and get the latest updates.

Create an issue

  1. Click Create  in the global sidebar.
  2. Type a Summary for the issue.
  3. Complete all required fields and any other fields that you want.
    1. Optional: To change which fields appear when you create another issue, click Configure Fields and select and deselect the fields you want. When you next create an issue, the selected fields will be displayed.
    2. Optional: To create other issues with the same Project and Issue Type, select the Create another checkbox. Depending on your configuration and issue creation history, some fields may be pre-populated. Review these before creating the new issue.
  4. When you're finished, click Create

Clone an issue

Clone an issue to quickly create a duplicate of it in the same project. The cloned issue contains most of the same details stored in the original issue, like the summary, affected versions, and components. Some details aren't cloned, like time logged, comments, history, and links to Confluence pages. The issue status also returns to the first step of the corresponding workflow, and the resolutions are cleared. The cloned issue can be linked to the original issue, but doesn't have to be.

To clone an issue:

  1. Open the issue
  2. Select more (•••) > Clone
  3. Optionally edit the cloned issue's Summary
  4. If applicable to the issue you're cloning, you can also select from these options:
    • Clone subtasks to copy existing subtasks
    • Clone attachments to add any existing attachments
    • Clone links to add any existing linked issues
    • Clone sprint values to copy across the issue's current and closed sprint values
  5. Click Create



Create a subtask

A subtask can be created for an issue to either split the issue into smaller chunks, or to allow various aspects of an issue to be assigned to different people. If you find a subtask is holding up the resolution of an issue, you can convert the subtask to an issue, to allow it to be worked on independently. If you find an issue is really just a subtask of a bigger issue, you can also convert an issue to a subtask.

You can only create subtasks if your administrator has enabled subtasks, and has added the subtask issue type to the project's issue type scheme.

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to be the parent issue of the subtask you are about to create.
  2. Select more (•••) >  Create subtask. You will see the Create subtask screen.
  3. Fill in the details as needed, and then click Create at the bottom of the page.

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To link issues and add content from Marketplace apps in the new issue view, use the quick-add buttons below the issue summary.

  1. Quick-add buttons: Link issues and add content from Atlassian Marketplace apps via the ••• button.

Note that when you create a subtask, the following values are inherited from the parent task:

  • project
  • issue security level
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You can customize the Create subtask screen to show fields you use most often. To do this, click Configure Fields at the top right corner of the dialog, and use the All and Custom links to switch between the default screen and your custom settings. Your changes are saved for future use.


Work with issue types

Change the issue type in the new issue view

After you create an issue, you may want to change its type to better represent the work that needs to be done. For example, you may want to turn an issue that was raised as a task into a bug.

  1. Open the issue you're working with
  2. Click the issue type icon in the top-left corner next to the issue key
  3. Choose the new issue type

If there are different fields in the new issue type, or if it has a different workflow, we'll open the move issue screen to complete the change.

Convert a subtask to an issue

  1. Navigate to the subtask issue you would like convert.
  2. Select more (•••) > Convert to Issue.
  3. In the Step 1. Select Issue Type screen, select a new issue type (i.e. a standard issue type) and click Next.
  4. If the subtask's current status is not an allowed status for the new issue type, the Step 2. Select New Status screen is displayed. Select a new status and click Next.
  5. In the Step 3. Update Fields screen, you will be prompted to enter any additional fields if they are required. Otherwise, you will see the message 'All fields will be updated automatically'. Click Next.
  6. The Step 4. Confirmation screen is displayed. If you are satisfied with the new details for the issue, click Finish.
  7. The issue will be displayed. You will see that it is no longer a subtask, that is, there is no longer a parent issue number displayed at the top of the screen.

Convert an issue to a subtask

  1. Navigate to the issue you would like to convert.
  2. Select more (•••) >  Convert to subtask.
  3. In the Step 1. Select Parent Issue and subtask type screen, type or select the appropriate parent issue type and the new issue type (i.e. a subtask issue type). Click Next.
  4. If the issue's current status is not an allowed status for the new issue type, the Step 2. Select New Status screen is displayed. Select a new status and click Next.
  5. In the Step 3. Update Fields screen, you will be prompted to enter any additional fields if they are required. Otherwise, you will see the message 'All fields will be updated automatically'. Click Next.
  6. The Step 4. Confirmation screen is displayed. If you are satisfied with the new details for the issue, click Finish.
  7. The issue will be displayed. You will see that it is now a subtask, that is, its parent's issue number is now displayed at the top of the screen.


You can't convert an issue to a subtask if the issue has subtasks of its own. You first need to convert the issue's subtasks to standalone issues, then you can convert them to subtasks of another issue if you need to. Subtasks can't be moved directly from one issue to another—you need to convert them to standard issues, then to subtasks of their new parent issue.

Restrict access to an issue

When creating (or editing) an issue, you can restrict access to that issue to members of your team who are part of a chosen security level. To be able to set the security level for an issue, your administrator must add you to the appropriate issue security level, and also grant you the 'Set Issue Security' permission for the appropriate projects. 

  1. Create/edit the relevant issue.
  2. In the Security Level drop-down field, select the desired security level for the issue. You will only see the security levels you belong to.
  3. Save the issue. It is now only accessible to members of the specified security level.
    Users who are not members of this security level will not be able to access that issue, or see it in any filters, queries, or statistics. 
Last modified on Apr 12, 2019

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