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how to edit labels?

I labeled my issues with some label, but now I think I want to change the spelling of this label for all of them.
How to do that for all issues marked with this label?
Thank you.

4 answers

It's a terrible system, and it's better to use custom fields. That's an indictment on its own.

Hi Aleksandr,

There is no default feature in Jira to edit labels. One workaround is to do bulk edit mentioned above. However, if you want easier to use interface which provides overall labels management features, we have released a new add-on which does exactly that:

Label Manager Jira Cloud

This is currently available for Jira Cloud. It allows you to:

- View all labels in one place

- Number of issues under a label

- Rename or change label (which is reflected in all issues)

If you find any bugs or have questions, feel free to contact us.


I don't normally endorse plugins that provide features Atlassian should already cater for, but this plugin is remarkably good value for the problems it solves.

Not only does it help minimise "label pollution", but can also serve as a replacement for those painful-to-manage custom fields with drop-down values that then have different values per project.

Hi Richard, glad to know that our add-on solves your problem. Please upvote my answer so that others can easily find it.

1 vote

Search for issues with the incorrect label, then use bulk-edit to remove it from them and add the new one.

I suppose that is not what the author was asking about. The question was how to rename the label itself, but not how to change label to another one in task details. 

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It's the right answer though.  As you can't edit labels.

Like Rachael Fisher likes this

Clearing my text as the above comment, was removed.

The inability to edit labels really, REALY sucks!  This is what I'd call an anti-feature.  Please explain your logic for not including this?

Like # people like this

I seem to remember that there are a number of improvements logged to do with labels, including a "rename existing", but Atlassian don't have them high on the to-do list.

I suspect it's partly because the labels field is not like select lists and "renaming" a label would be a "search and replace".  With a select list, there's a list of "options", and the issue holds one (or several if it's multi-select) pointers to each selected option.  When rendering the field, it looks at the "option" and gets the name from it.  So renaming an option is as simple as changing that name on the option.  If you've got 50,000 issues, you're changing one field in one row in the database.  With labels, there is no object with a display name, each label is as written as on-screen in the issue's label field, so editing a label that's used in 50,000 places is 50,000 rows to edit and 50,000 re-indexes.

That's not a good excuse, just an explanation that labels would have to be re-architect-ed (bad word there, my imagination has failed me).   I believe labels should be editable the same way options are. 

There's other things a redesign would help with.  For example, try putting a label on a few issues, then removing it - the "dead" label on no issues still pops up in search autocomplete because it has gone into the index and isn't removed when the last instance is removed.

Annoyingly, I've ended up writing code to fix both of the problems above, which is definitely something that shouldn't be needed.

Like # people like this

Tag management functionality -- and labels are essentially "tags" -- is very important and sorely missing from Jira.  Frankly speaking, I cannot think of another system that utilizes a "tagging" construct and does not provide tag mgmt functionality.  In fact, in several systems that I've worked on, I've literally used Jira's handling of tags/labels as an anti-pattern on how not to handle tag mgmt.  It's bad, atrociously bad.

Here's one painful example: In one Jira domain I work in, folks inadvertently created "iOS", "IOS", and "ios" labels over the years for the same purpose.  However, now when a user tries to add an "iOS" tag, they get presented all 3 options and all 3 options were used between hundreds and thousands of times over the years.  Trying to fix this single issue took about 15 hours of intensive manual labor and generated around 5k notifications to dozens of users!  This is what I'd call a UX Disaster...

How to fix this this:

  1. Treat labels as relational objects/records (e.g., like components, Epics, etc. which can be connected to any other object in the system.
  2. Provide the ability to rename labels.
  3. Provide the ability to merge labels (e.g., merge all instances of "iOS" and "IOS" into the same label).
  4. Provide the ability have synonyms and/or case insensitivity for labels (e.g., a persistent merge, like "iOS", "ios", and "IOS" all being able to be the same label).
  5. Provide the option not to send notifications when batch editing labels.
Like # people like this

Very important point. I am facing the same problem. 

Completely agree! JIRA needs to have the functionality to manage labels and apply those changes to all instances of that label change. The current solution is unnecessarily complex.

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