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Resolutions status is defaulting to complete when editing a new issue


When we create a new issue, the "Resolution" field is set to "Unresolved".  As soon as someone edits the issue (usually to set a field they forgot to set when they created it), the Resolution is automatically set to "Completed".  This then shows on our Agile boards with a strike-through so almost all of our new issues are marked as "Completed" when actually they haven't been started yet.


Is there a way to either:

1. Default the Resolution field to "Incomplete" or
2. Stop this field being automatically set when a users presses the edit button and just leave is as "Unresolved"?


2 answers

1 accepted

I think I just found the solution.

We did not have a default set for a Resolution so the moment you edit an issue, it randomly selects a Resolution for you as this field is required.  In our case it was setting this to Complete.

The default setting for Resolution was difficult for me to find as you can't edit the field anywhere in the workflow. This field has a special place under the issues tab with Statuses and Priorities so they are not defined with the other fields.  Once I found this I could set a default value.

0 votes

You need to remove the resolution from the create issue screen.  As you have it configured now, your Jira is broadly useless as an issue tracker, unless you are only using it as an "already fixed" issue system.

Thanks Nic. 

We don't have Resolution on the create Issue screen which is why it was "Unresolved".  It was on the Edit screen which was setting the default at that time.  We just need to set an appropriate default and it works better now.


No, you need to remove it from the edit screen as well, or people who innocently update an issue will also be resolving it while not closing it.

Thanks again Nic.

I decided to leave it on the Edit screen for now in case someone wants to change it.  It now defaults to "Incomplete" so it's not doing any harm at the moment.

Hi Tim, I think there's something you're missing here.  I take responsibility for this, because, looking back, I think I have mixed up this conversation with a couple of others, and put the explanation I think you need on other similar questions.

The resolution field in Jira determines all of the reporting that Jira does on whether an issue is "done" or not. 

(This gets more complex when you have Jira Software, but that's not we're looking at here, and the recommendation is that you set up Software to match plain Jira automatically.)

The summary:

  • An issue with an empty resolution is not done, and needs attention
  • An issue with any value in the resolution is done, and can hence be ignored by anything (that is not a historical report)

This means that resolutions such as done, ended, closed, incomplete, unresolved, not done, still open, needs work, dead, penguin, woo... every single one of them all mean done.

(note that Jira displays "unresolved" for empty resolutions, just so there is something on screen for us humans to grasp)

In order for Jira to work properly, you need to remove the resolution field from your edit screens, and rename the "incomplete" resolution to something like "broken resolution, please do not use", to prevent the bad data spreading.

Like Tim Daniell likes this

Your are correct Nic! I hadn't noticed that. Thanks!

My default setting of "Incomplete" considers the issues as "Resolved with a status of Incomplete" which is not correct.

I have now removed the Resolution from our "Default Screen" which seems to be working now.  The only screens with the Resolution visible are the workflow steps where you typically close or complete an issue.

I must say this is very confusing.  The Resolution field is "Required", yet should not be set until the JIRA has ended...?  Usually required fields are the fields you must complete to create something which is clearly not the case here.  This is only required at the point you close an issue so should be controlled by a workflow step...


I just found this in the help section which also explains where I went wrong:


Don't create a Resolution named "Unresolved"/"None"

Any issue that has the Resolution field set is treated by JIRA applications as "resolved". The Issue Navigator displays Unresolved when no resolution is set for an issue. So adding a resolution named Unresolved/None and setting it in an issue will mean that the issue is seen as resolved. This will lead to confusion and is not recommended.


That looks like something I wrote (mumble) years ago for Atlassian docs or training!  But a lot of Jira admins have written very similar things many times, and when I wrote it, I was definitely paraphrasing Neal Applebaum or Donal McCarthy.

Like Tim Daniell likes this

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