How do I remove a watcher from multiple issues?

Deleted user June 30, 2020

There are multiple issues (EPICs, Tasks and Sub-Tasks) created in a JIRA Project. There were watchers added on many on many of them.

I want to remove a few (more than 1) watchers ( is not me) from many issues. Is there a bulk way of doing this?

I have tried the bulk edit, which allows me to either add myself as a watcher on multiple issue types or remove myself as a watcher from multiple issue types.

I want to be able to do this bulk edit for others.

3 answers

2 votes
Scott Paden August 2, 2022

I don't think you need to use automation to stop watching a group of users, but you do need Bulk Edit privilege.

Here's what I did:

* Go to the Advanced JQL 
** Click Issues
** Click the "Go to advanced search"

* Create a JQL that lists all of the users issues (for a given project)
      project = "BLD" AND WATCHER = "John Smith"

* Click the ... in the upper right corner

* Select 'Bulk Change NN issue(s)'

At this point you should see "Bulk Operation Step 1 of 4: Choose issues"

* Select the Jira issues you wish to stop watching

* Click Next (at bottom of the list)

AT this point you should see "Bulk Operation Step 2 of 4: Choose bulk action"

* Choose the "Stop Watching Issues" radio button

* Click Next
You won't see a "Step 3 of 4:..."

AT this point you should see "Bulk Operation Step 4 of 4: Confirmation"

* Click the "Confirm" button

At this point you'll see "Bulk Operation Progress" and a dialog that says "Unwatching NN issues."

* Wait for the operation to complete.

* Click Acknowledge

Perry Tancredi September 20, 2022

This works to remove yourself as a watcher. The original question was about removing other watchers.

Like # people like this
KIMBO PHILLIPS March 13, 2024

In fact, I just used this to remove someone else as watcher from 170 issues.


To remove yourself:

...watcher = currentUser()


To remove someone else:

...watcher = "Perry Tancredi"

2 votes
Petter Gonçalves
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
July 1, 2020

Hello @[deleted]

Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

You can bulk remove or Add watchers to multiple issues by using the Jira automation feature. These would be the steps:

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Automation rules
  2. Create an automation rule following the template below:
    Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 17.42.57.png

This would be the rule background:

  1. Add a trigger to start the rule. This could be "Scheduled" or "Manually triggered"
  2. Configure a branch using the JQL syntax, where you will select which issues the changes should be applied to
  3. Use the Manage Watchers action to properly add/remove the users you want from the field 

Let us know if you have any questions

Deleted user July 1, 2020

Thanks @Petter Gonçalves .

We (myself and @Glenn Wyatt ) created the rule on our project.

How do we manually trigger the rule?

Petter Gonçalves
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
July 2, 2020

Hey @[deleted]

The manual trigger can be triggered directly from any issues, by navigating to any issue you have and clicking in the Automation (Rule executions) field at the right list and selecting the rule you created:

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 17.15.11.png

Let us know if you have any questions.

Deleted user July 3, 2020

Thanks @Petter Gonçalves .

@Glenn_Wyatt and myself applied the above, but were successful in getting the rule to apply and work for only 1 issue.

I had a requirement to choose a set of issues (based on some filter criteria) and then remove "a" watcher from all those issues which the filter returned.

Is there a way you would recommend?

Petter Gonçalves
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
July 6, 2020

Hello @[deleted]

Actually, the instructions provided above should edit the watchers for ALL issues returned in the JQL you specified in the rule, not only a single issue. Can you confirm if the JQL you specified contains more than a single issue?

Additionally, you can edit the rule to use the scheduled trigger instead of manually triggered to schedule it to be executed one time, then deactivating the rule.

Let us know if this information helps.

Laura Adams April 11, 2023

I'm having this same issue.  The automation is only working for the issue that I trigger the automation from, and not all issues in the query.  There are 4000+ results in the query, of which the user is a watcher of 195.Untitled.jpg

Like Sheshaank Pydikondala likes this
Marsha Miller December 1, 2023

I just impersonate the person and follow the steps at the top of this thread.

0 votes
Sheshaank Pydikondala July 13, 2023

I tried Scheduling.

For every 5 minutes, it would search for a JQL:

project = "TEST" and watcher = ''


If that executes, I updated the condition to "manage watchers"

remove: ''


Once published, I click on "Run Rule". This worked great for me.


It executed and remove 800 issues reflecting the watcher.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
AUG Leaders

Atlassian Community Events