Come for the products,
stay for the community

The Atlassian Community can help you and your team get more value out of Atlassian products and practices.

Atlassian Community about banner
Community Members
Community Events
Community Groups

Sort order of issues in Backlog view

When viewing issues in the Backlog view, how do I change the sort order of shown issues? It seems like a silly question, but why not just have a grid header that lets me click and sort?


2 answers

2 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

Typically the sort order for the issues is by Rank and this is incorporated into the filter on which your board is displayed.

With sorting/ordering based on Rank you have the ability to drag and drop to re-order the issues, with the assumption that things that are "higher" in the list should be done before things that are "lower" in the list.

You cannot dynamically change the sort order of the issue on the board and change between different orderings through any button type feature on the board.

To change the ordering of issues, you need to change the ORDER BY clause in the board's filter.

Note if you change it to something other than Rank, you will no longer be able to drag and drop your issue to re-order them.


So, why do you want to change the sorting order of the issues? What problem are you trying to solve?

It seems quite obvious because this is an excepted pattern in most software, but let me explain: The user would want to sort for many reasons, to see which issues they created in chronologic order, to find related items that would show up if sorted alphabetically, to sort by priority (sometimes), to add another column and sort by something else.

Compounding this, when I do try moving stuff around, I get an error.image_2021-06-29_140916.png

The error you are getting is indicative that you have either specified some other ORDER BY clause in your board filter, which prohibits your ability to drag and drop to reprioritize issues by Rank, or your board filter has no ORDER BY clause and you have also not enabled the RANK option for the board.

To review these items, go to the Board settings (the ... button for the board) and go to the General screen. Here you will see the filter used by the board and whether or not Rank is enabled.

I fixed that, but now JIRA is not letting me move things at all, just highlight text and opening issues when I click on them.

Sorry, hit the Reply button too quickly...

I meant to paste this image

Screen Shot 2021-06-29 at 11.17.54 AM.png


Additionally, in Jira the Backlog screen is for relative prioritization of your work. If your users want to see the same data but sorted in other ways, they will need to do that through the Issue Search screen where they can create filters with the ORDER BY clauses of their choice.

You can incorporate Quick Filters into the board which would give you the ability to limit the display to a subset of the issues, but that does not give you the ability to change the sort order.

0 votes
Answer accepted
Jack Brickey Community Leader Jun 29, 2021

Unlike the results of an Advanced search where you get an ‘excel-like’ table presentation, the Backlog view does not present a sortable list by column heading. As Trudy points out sorting is done by “Order by” within the underlying filter. If you use Order by Rank then you can drag and drop issues within the list which evokes lexoranking of the issues.

Well, you and Trudy did answer my question, so I gratefully accept. Though the underlying design decision irks me a bit, because it makes the user experience more constrained IMHO in favor of a more abstract model that leaves users at one-click dead ends, rather than a more permissive one.

Jack Brickey Community Leader Jun 29, 2021

I don’t disagree here at all and see value in your ideas. I recommend using the feedback feature to let Atlassian know. Having said that I fully expect there are suggestions in on this.

Just ridiculous. To do something simple like sort based on create list for backlog is almost impossible. I find so many things frustrating with the usability of this software it drives me to distraction! 

Like Francois Bertrand likes this

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Site Admin
Community showcase
Published in Jira Software

Upcoming changes to epic fields in company-managed projects

👋 Hi there Jira Community! A few months ago we shared with you plans around renaming epics in your company-managed projects. As part of these changes, we highlighted upcoming changes to epics on...

14,818 views 37 48
Read article

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you