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Will deleting an Issue Link Type remove the relationship from all existing issues?

I am working to encourage users in my Jira Cloud instance to use more informative issue link types (e.g., depends on, blocks, incorporates, duplicates, etc.), but we have the out of the box "relates to" issue link type in place, which is vague and says little about the relationship at a glance. I would like to remove this issue type link so users don't continue to apply it, but worry if I delete it it'll disappear from all existing issues. Nothing in the documentation tells me whether I will have an option to migrate over to a different issue link type or if it just disappears and breaks all existing linking.

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Just wanted to update this, as I am sure some people will be looking for answers for this....As of today, if you delete a link in Cloud, it will prompt you that there are conflicts (ie issues that use that relationship aka link) and will allow you to change that relationship before you delete the relationship. 

Amazing, thank you for this, Vanessa! 

When I prompted to remove issue type link, Jira suggested to swap to another link type or remove links, that is the easiest way to substitute links I think.

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Shawn Masters
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Feb 26, 2020

If you delete the value from the field you will no longer see issues linked that were previously using that link. 

I recently did this exact same thing and had to go into our system and do some Bulk editing of tickets to provide new issue links to replace the link that was about to be removed. I did this by exporting all the impacted issues into a CSV file, modifying the link field and re-uploaded them into Jira. 

Thanks @Shawn Masters

That's what I was afraid of. :) 

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