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Re-using keys Edited

I have project ABC with key ABC.  My users would like to retain the info in this project, but have a new project by that name and with that key.  I renamed the project to ABC-OLD and renamed the key ABCOLD on the details page.  This worked fine; the key shows as ABCOLD-1 and would allow viewing the original data.

However, if I try to create a new ABC project, it tells me key ABC is currently in use by project ABC-OLD.  I viewed the project and could query by key ABCOLD.  However, if I queried with ABC-1 (without OLD), it showed me ABCOLD-1.

The original project has types and schemes that are no longer valid, but the user is clear they want to keep the project name and key id for the new project, but built with different issue types and workflows.  Since renaming the key didn't eliminate the original link, are there any other options?  I thought about creating the "OLD" project and then having a bulk move of data, but it was a complicated project that would be ugly to re-create.  

I'm open to any ideas!  Thanks in advance.


3 answers

2 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted

This is by design, so that users can still query using the old key.  You can't resuse the project key after renaming.  See here:


Notes for change management

While editing the project key is a major change, in most cases, your Jira project will work as you'd expect with a new key. There are a few cases that you should be aware of, which are listed below. We recommend reviewing these and advising your users accordingly.

  • The old project key can be used in JQL queries — Users won't have to update issue filters that reference the old project key.
  • If you use Confluence with Jira, the Jira issue macros in Confluence will continue to work. Please note, if you don't see the change straight away, allow some time for the cache to refresh.
  • You won't be able to create a new project with the old project key. However, you can change the renamed project back to the old project key. If you delete the project, all associated keys will be freed and you'll be able to re-use them.
0 votes
Answer accepted

This happens so that the old key remains searchable when people have external issue links.  In your example, the link to http://yourjira/browse/ABC-1 and ABCOLD-1 will both take them to the underlying issue.

If you have database access, and a steady hand (I never recommend messing with a Jira database, but this one is a little safer than most) you can destroy this and enable re-use of keys.  If you do this, the link to ABC-1 will stop working, so you need to think carefully before destroying it (the key change will persist in the history, but you won't be able to search any more, and you may get some "interesting" questions from people about why their links now point at utter rubbish)

Stop Jira.  Remove the old project from the project table, and remove all the lines in moved_issue_key that reference it as well.  Restart Jira and re-index it immediately.  Also, you will need to re-index Confluence if you have that linked to Jira, and you may have problems with Bitbucket, FeCru and Bamboo if you linked them as well (these, you may have to live with, unless you want to start editing commit messages and build history)

Thank you both for the fast response.  It makes sense.

It looks like I'll be telling the customer they have to have key ABCD since I don't want to manually manipulate the database.

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