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We want to enable external users to have limited access to some Jira project, but not others.

We are using the default permissions settings whereby all Jira users can see all projects. We want to change this so that only internal users can see all projects while external users can see a small set of projects with tighter access controls.

How do we accomplish this?

Thank you,


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Hello @Anthony Antonuccio 

Welcome to the community.

Are you talking about Company Managed (classic) projects or Team Managed (next gen) projects?

With Company Managed projects, you would change your permissions that are assigned to different groups. In most cases, all licensed users are assigned to one user group (i.e. jira-software-users) and that group is generally assigned to the Browse Projects permission in the Permission Schemes applied to projects. In that scenario all licensed users can browse all projects.

If you want to segregate a subset of users, then you need to change the permission schemes so that the "all licensed users" group is no longer given the Browse Projects permission (or other permissions) in the schemes. You would need to add your internal users to another group (i.e. "internal users") and give that group the permissions previously granted to the "all licensed users" group. And then for your external users you would need to create a group for them (i.e. "external users") and assign them permissions in only the schemes that apply to the projects you want them to see. Or, for that second group, you could create a Project Role for the limited access, assign that Project Role in the Permission Schemes, and then assign the "external users" group to that Project Role in the projects where you want them to have permissions.

Hi Trudy, thank you for your prompt reply. I followed your instructions yet still have problems with external users gaining any access to Jira. Here's what I did for 2 projects whereby both were using the Default Permissions Scheme whereby all logged in users were included in the permissions to access projects:

1. Made a copy of Default Permissions Scheme. Renamed it to Internal Users. Within the new scheme, I removed access to All Logged In Users. I added the group jira-software-users as a replacement. What I was expecting that this would allow internal company users to have access to Jira as they did before.

2. I created a new Group called External Users and added a couple of new test accounts to that group.

3. I made a copy of the Internal permissions scheme and added the group external users to it and assigned that permissions to a different project that we want external users to have access to.

Results: All internal users have access to Jira and external users have no access to Jira at all.


What am I doing wrong?

When you created the group for External Users, did you grant that group access to the product? The group must be granted product access in order for the members to be able to access JIRA.

Got to Settings > User Management > Groups.

Click on the "external users" group you created. This should show you a list of the group members.

To the right of the group members list you should see a box describing the current product access for the group and an "Edit Group Access" link. Does that box show that the group has User Access to JIRA Software? If not, you need to click the "Edit Group Access" link and grant the group that access.

Screen Shot 2021-04-20 at 7.55.05 AM.png

Notice also on the page for editing group access that it says "When a user is granted access to a product, they will be added to the products default access group."

Typically the default group is set to "jira-software-users". You may have to remove the external users from that group manually after they have been added to the "External Users" group. Otherwise they will end up with access to all the projects.

Thanks Trudy, that worked! I had to also change the default permissions scheme as projects defaulted to default. Changing each protect over solved the problem.

Thanks again for your help!


If the answer solved your issue, it is a nice gesture to mark it as Accepted. :)

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