Bulk change/update watcher

Nag January 29, 2019

Hi There,

We recently created new internal user "ABC" from AD user. Before disabling old id "XYZ" we need to transfer all the issues to "ABC". How can I move issue watchers from "XYZ" to "ABC". Please advise if you have any solutions.



I tried adding ABC as admin on the project, but I can't see option to bulk edit but when make ABC as System Admin I can able to update watchers for all the issues. Any other solution?

2 answers

1 accepted

5 votes
Answer accepted
Anthony Brittis January 9, 2023

You can use the project "Automation" to do this.


Step 1:  Create a JQL query to find the issues for which you want to add watchers.

  • You can do this from the Issues -> All Issues.
  • Update the filter only to include the issues you want to add watchers.
  • Click on the JQL tab/button to show the filter as JQL.  Copy the JQL.

Step 2:  Create an Automation to add watchers to issues.

  • Project Settings ->Automation
  • Create Rule
    • Create Trigger:  Type = Schedule
    • Choose any schedule you want.  We are only going to run it once.
    • Check the box "Run a JQL search and execute actions for each issue in the query."
    • Paste the JQL query you created in Step 1.  You can verify it by clicking on "Validate Query".
    • Save Trigger.
    • Add a new component of type "Action".
    • Select "Manage Watchers"
    • Add the users you want as Watchers.
    • Click "Save"
  • Name and Save your Automation

Step 3:  Run your new automation

  • Even though you have created it to run on a schedule, you can run it manually by clicking on "Run Rule".  (You can optionally wait until your schedule kicks in.)
  • Once run, all the issues that meet the criteria of your JQL query will have the new Watchers added.

Step 4:  Delete the automation

  • Delete the automation if you don't want it to continually run on the schedule.
Josh Kronick October 17, 2023

This answer, using the automation rule and just running it once, works faster than bulk updating anything. i think i would rather use this instead of bulk update actions, if it didnt count against the number of automations that we are allowed monthly.

I want to thank you @Anthony Brittis because i used this today and it worked perfectly!

I had to bulk update a users's watched issues and add someone else. and this worked beautifully. so thank you for the idea!

Robert Leachman April 1, 2024

Made short work of my task today, good job and thanks!

0 votes
Petter Gonçalves
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 30, 2019

Hello Eswar,

There are some add-ons that can help you bulk add watchers as you need:

1 - JIRA Command Line Interface - CLI - it has an addWatchers action. That can be used with the runFromSql action to select issues and add one or more user ids as watchers. Check the documentation below for more details:

CLI Documentation

2 - Watcher Custom field for JIRA - It adds a custom field type of watchers and add to your screens, allowing you to bulk update it like any other fields.

Let me know if this information helps.

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