How can I search for a null value?

As the subject states, I would like to search for tickets that have a null value in a particular field.  For example, I want to find all tickets that have no labels, or no fix version, etc.


In the particular case I was using it, I have a search that will find all tickets without 3 specific labels, but when it returns a result, it is basically every other ticket that has a label, just not those three.  This is only partially correct in the result I want, but I also need to see all the tickets that have no label to make my result truely complete.

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For a simple null value in a field, try

  • labels is empty
  • fix version is empty

and so-on.

The question about "not label" is a bit more of a faff, because of the way humans tend not to be precise in their logic.  "Label is not X" does not mean the same as "label is empty", it means "there is a label on the issue, but it is not X"

When you are looking for your issues that do not have 3 specific label, you need to say "Label not in ( x, y, z ) or label is empty"

Thanks, that helps, I didn't realize there was an EMPTY modifier as it does not populate in the JQL line as an option.



It does pop into the list, but only when you've used specific phrases.  Later versions of JIRA have improved it a bit, widening the phrases that trigger it.  6 is ok,  but 7 offers it more and more.


Hey Nic,

Here we use Jira v7.2.7

Whenever I try to execute the following query: 

project = P1 AND (labels not in (Test_Issue) or labels is EMPTY)

I get no results back, even though there are over 30 issues without a label in that particular project. Any idea what might be the problem. (I have permission to view the issues in that project.)

Try simplification - does "project = p1 and labels is empty" return the ones you expect?  (plus others, of course)

Hey Nic, thank you for the answer. I don't know when I did your query first (without test_issue) it showed the desired result. Then I ran my query again and it seemed to have worked

Spoke too soon...


We have 384 issues in our project of which 380 have no labels. When I do the Labels is empty it only returns me 54 issues. The issue-types all use the same field scheme and workflow. And it didn't return any issue type in particular but all randomly...

There is no issue security set

That sounds like a broken index! 

Could you try re-running the filters, note how many issues each one returns (don't worry about the content, just numbers), then re-index the project and re-run and not if any of the numbers change?

Like 1 person likes this

Thank you Nic, that fixed it!

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