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Cleanup of associated schemes or references when a project is deleted in Jira Cloud

Hi everyone!


The purpose of this article is to list all the artifacts that need to be deleted when a project has been deleted from Jira Cloud. i.e., A clean-up of the cloud instance so that orphaned records are not present.


Currently deleting a company-managed project will not delete any of the associated schemes, workflows or issues types as they are treated as 'global' config. There is an open feature request to delete the associated items when a project is deleted but it has not been done yet. These artifacts need to be manually deleted individually once the project has been deleted permanently/when they are not associated with any project. 

Since this is a manual process there is a chance for some related items to be left out or missed and so this article aims to provide instructions that can be followed to ensure proper cleanup of the instance.

The first thing I would recommend doing before performing any delete operations is to always take a backup of the site following How to create a backup for Jira Cloud.

Deleting workflows, issues, screens and their associated schemes can be performed after ensuring that the schemes are not being shared with other projects (which are usually listed in the column right next to the workflows/screens, etc).


IMPORTANT - The workflow will still be marked as active when a project is sent to the trash because the project has not been deleted permanently. In order to be able to delete the workflow, navigate to 'Trash' and click on the 3 dots right next to the project and click 'Delete permanently'. This will make the workflow inactive and OK to be deleted.

Please follow the following steps after navigating to cog icon -> Settings -> Issues:

  1. Navigate to the Workflow schemes and find the scheme listed under 'Inactive' and click 'Delete’.

  2. Navigate to Workflows and find the workflow listed under 'Inactive' and click 'Delete'

  3. Navigate to Issue type schemes, find the scheme(s) which have no projects associated (specified via the name that it belongs to the deleted project) and delete the record.

  4. Navigate to Issue type screen schemes and delete the record which is not associated to any project and which can be identified from the name to belong to the deleted project. Specifying this to be clear so that the default issue type screen scheme which may or may not have a project associated is not deleted in error. 

  5. Navigate to Screen schemes and find the scheme associated with the deleted project (will not have any entries listed in the 2nd column under 'Issue type screen schemes’). You should be able to delete this record here.

  6. Navigate to Screens and then delete the screens which were only used in the deleted project (the 2nd and 3rd columns showing Screen Schemes and Workflows respectively will be empty)

  7. Navigate to Field configuration schemes and determine if there are any schemes that do not have any Projects associated with them under the 2nd column under 'Projects'. These can be deleted.

  8. Navigate to Field configurations and check if there are any unused field configurations associated with the deleted field configuration scheme/deleted project that can be deleted. 

  9. Navigate to Statuses and find any status which is not associated with any workflows and delete them after confirming that they are not needed.

  10. Navigate to Issue security schemes and determine if any of the schemes were being used by the deleted project. You should be able to delete these here.

  11. Navigate to Notification Schemes and find the scheme which was being used exclusively by the deleted project. If the project was already permanently deleted, the scheme will not be associated with a project (as seen in the 2nd column under 'Projects') and it can be deleted.

  12. Navigate to the Permission schemes and delete the record which is not associated to any project and which can be identified from the name to belong to the deleted project. Specifying this to be clear so that the default permission scheme which may or may not have a project associated is not deleted in error.  


  • Deleting custom fields: Custom fields are special because even though the custom fields which do not have any screens associated with them could be deleted, some of the fields can be used by add-ons and they don't necessarily need to be added to screens. Some of the fields are used for the sole purpose of measuring a statistic and then being used in a dashboard gadget. For that reason, it is best to not delete any custom fields unless they are without doubt the fields created by the user.


Important - Please double check to ensure that you do not delete any scheme shared by other projects.

Related Feature Request: Deleting a project should delete the schemes if they are unused


Alexander Bondarev
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May 11, 2022

@Bhaargavi Natarajan , thanks for the article! 

Deleted user May 11, 2022

@Bhaargavi Natarajan  is a good article. I have known this manual procedure for at least 15 years. So will we always do this or will Atlassian finally present us with a better interface for deleting projects in the near future?

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