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How do I add a client to my Jira project without letting them view other projects?

Okay guys, I know this sounds simple and straightforward but I've been looking for an answer for 2 weeks and am ready to give up on JIRA if I can't solve this. The simple question is:

How do I create a client user that will be allowed to view her project and even edit the backlog, etc without seeing any other projects?


Someone referred me to this documentation and I really tried diligently to follow the steps but I don't think I've gotten what I was after.

I went through the first pre steps but they seem vague. It says the article assumes that I:

  1. Created the users in JIRA. 
  2. Populated these users into client-specific groups (i.e. all users from 'Company A' are grouped into the 'Client A' group) 
  3. Granted these groups JIRA access by adding the groups to JIRA Users global permission
  4. Removed Internal Project access to client-specific users by removing them from the default JIRA Users global permission. (i.e. removing jira-users group)

So what if I didn't do steps 2-4? I've spent a half hour trying to figure out where in settings I do this but it just doesn't make sense to me just starting with Jira. I think I may have figured out 3 but this just seems all hairy for just trying to give a client access to one project. Any other articles you could recommend to help me through these basic steps? I've already searched in the documentation myself.

I even took a 2 hour lynda course (outdated and the interface wasn't the same) and couldn't solve this. Can someone please help me out with some simple steps? I barely installed JIRA cloud, I started a project, so my settings shouldn't be too much different from other how to's shown. Is there a reason this seems so difficult to me?

2 answers

1 vote
Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jan 07, 2016

If you don't do steps 2-4, you won't be removing their access to other projects.

You've run into the age-old problem that the default setup of JIRA is not friendly to those who want to start restricting stuff.  You need to unravel that problem first, then you'll find the rest of the process quite easy.

JIRA needs a way to say "this person can use JIRA".  The default setup is to use the jira-users group for this.  To enable the "can use", that group is added to the *global permission" for "can use".

Then (and this is where the problem is), Atlassian put jira-users into the default role of "users" in projects.  So all projects, when they are created, have jira-users listed as users.  Which grants them access to the project automatically.

You need to remove that mis-configuration first.  There are ways to do it:

  1. Create a new group for "can use", add everyone into it, put it into the global permission, delete jira-users from the global permission, then remove your clients from jira-users
  2. Go through all the projects and remove jira-users from the roles (also remove it from the default roles)

2 is a lot easier in the long run, but it is a bit of a pain up front if you have a lot of projects already

Anyway, you now have gone from "if you can log in, you can use all the projects" to "You have to be added to a project or group to be able to use it".

And the second part is simple and intuitive now -  you can take your groups (or individual users) and add them only to the projects you want the clients to see, and that's it, they'll only see those projects.

Ok, after countless hours....I was able to get this working following your directions. A part of the confusion is that administering users and groups are in a different place as the Jira Global Administration page, and from the Users and Groups there was no "gear" to take you to the Jira Global Admin, it is at the bottom left of the panel (hard to see unless you scroll the page all the way down). Also note, that once you are in the Jira Global Admin page there are all sorts of other "group" like permissions, needless to say...super confusing!

Thank you very much Nic! I'm going to try this first thing in the morning when I go into work but it all seems a little clearer now thanks to your explanation. I'll let you know what I run up against. 


Thanks again!


Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jan 07, 2016

No problem. Although it's quite hard to explain clearly, so if you get stuck, blame my prose before you think you've missed something! Then ask, and we'll try to explain what I've written badly!

@Caleb Kingston 

So did it worked? Any simple steps you can suggest from your experience?

am at the same stage as you mentioned earlier.

@Rajesh DubeyRead my post above, I was able to get it working after I hacked my way thru the directions.

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