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How do I add an Existing Issue to an Epic as a Child Issue?

Hi Everyone, 

I have a bunch of issues already created and I am trying to add them to an Epic as a Child Issue. 

When I click on Add Child Issue within the epic, it seems to only allow me to create a new Issue and does not have any options to search my existing issues. 

Looking for any assistance on this. 


Screenshot 2022-12-09 121425.png

3 answers

1 accepted

5 votes
Answer accepted
Dave Mathijs Community Leader Dec 09, 2022

Hi @Kelsey Hinkel , make sure you got the Epic Link field added to the screen of your base issues, then add the Epic from the existing issue (Bug, Story, Task, ...)

If you are using a Scrum Board, then you can drag and drop the issue to the Epic panel in the backlog or to the Epic Swimlane on the Active Sprint Board if its configured that way.

Thanks, Dave, it seems like I do not have the Epic Link field available. Can you walk me through how to add this? 

Hi Dave, nvm I figured out how to add this field to the configuration :) Thanks for your help this worked 

Like Dave Mathijs likes this
Dave Mathijs Community Leader Dec 09, 2022

I suppose you have the necessary administration permissions.

Have a look at the procedure here: Configure issue screens

2 votes

Hi @Kelsey Hinkel 

Assuming you’re using a Company Managed Project, you can bulk edit all issues you want to create a parent-child relationship with the Epic via the Epic Link field.

The Epic Link field is a relational link to determine an issue's parent epic.

  1. Search for the issues
  2. From the top right, click the ellipse and select bulk update
  3. Select Bulk Edit
  4. Find the Epic Link field and assign the epic 
  5. Continue through the bulk update screens until the bulk update is run

Please noteTo perform a bulk operation, you'll need the global Make bulk changes permission (if you don’t have them already).




Hi @Kelsey Hinkel

just to add Hamza's answer, if you want to make a lot of epic link changes but prefer a somewhat more "interactive" experience than Jira's native bulk editing experience, you might like the app that my team is working on, JXL for Jira.

JXL is a full-fledged spreadsheet/table view for your issues that allows viewing, inline-editing, sorting, and filtering by all your issue fields, much like you'd do in e.g. Excel or Google Sheets. It also comes with support for

  • easy bulk editing using copy/paste, and
  • issue hierarchies (either built-in, or configurable, or a combination of these).

With that, you can easily organise your issues with just a few clicks, like so:


(Of course you can also view your issues in a nested, "hierarchical" view.) 

As the previous answers suggested, you don't need an app to organise your issues in epic/child relationships - it may just make your life a little easier :)

Any questions just let me know,

Hope this helps,


Thanks, this looks like a great app!

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