It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

A way to bulk copy custom field values from one custom field to another.

Jeremy Jeremy Mar 19, 2012


I have a situation where a client has a number of custom fields that need updating to different custom field types. I would prefer to stay out of the database or do project exports, although willing to do it if that is the only option.

Basically the client has successfully been using JIRA for quite some time, but some of the custom fields should be updated to meet newer requirements. For example one field that was only used for numbers before, now should be changed to a text field to bring in additional input.

I can create the second field, but the problem is they have ~400 issues that have values in the current field that will not be in the new field. Since they are not always the same value (where I can bulk edit things over to the new field), I am thinking it would be nice to copy from one field to another.

Another option might be to change the field type (number --> text), although that doesn't seem to be a good option either.

If anyone has any good ideas of some options that would be great.


Jeremy Neuharth

7 answers

2 accepted

27 votes
Answer accepted
Tyler C. Borg Nov 24, 2015

This method can be used without any add-ons or plugins tested on JIRA OnDemand (Cloud). Also note you can probably use excel format for import but I prefer CSV. I tested this first by creating 3 issues before updating live data, I would suggest you do the same to become comfortable with the process. JIRA Administrator rights are needed for this method.

  1. Go to Search for Issues in JIRA.
  2. Identify all the issues you wish to update.
  3. Adjust the columns to show your summary, issue key, and field with values(Due) to use.
  4. Click export and select a format, for this example Excel (current fields).
  5. Clean up the file, removing unnecessary columns, and everything but the header and data rows (export adds extra rows of footer/header content).
  6. Go to JIRA Administration drop-down and select "System".
  7. On the left pane under the heading "Import and Export" select "External System Import".
  8. Choose CSV.
  9. Choose file and select your CSV.
  10. Select your project. Note you may need to adjust date format at this step.
  11. Map your fields. You must have issue key and summary!
    1. Issue Key (CSV field) => issue key (JIRA field).
    2. Summary (CSV field) => Summary (JIRA field).
    3. Field to use values (CSV field) => Field to update values (JIRA field). In my case it is "Due Date" => "Original Due Date".
  12. Click next and it will perform the update and indicate the result.

Melanie Binks Nov 24, 2015

You may have just made my week by that message!! I had no idea you could import to update issues that easily! Just tested and it works wonders .. thank you SO much!! We did end up managing to get the topic working above .. but your instructions will helps us out with sooooo many other things, thank you again :)

David Hergert Dec 28, 2015

@Tyler C. Borg - did you mean to say "Summary (CSV field) => summary (JIRA field)"? Do you even need the Summary field, could you get away with just Issue Key and Field To Copy?

Tyler C. Borg Dec 28, 2015

@David Hergert thanks for catching that typo, I edited it. Yes the summary is required even when updating.

Susanne Nordholm Apr 11, 2016

Is it possible to do the update and still keep old value too? That is, is it possible to append the new value to the old value?

Ofer Prat May 26, 2016

@Susanne Nordholm - Sure, do whatever manipulations you want in the CSV file.

@Tyler C. Borg - thanks a ton for this tip - I am embarrassed to say that after years of importing from CSV I didn't know you can update...

Deepali Bagul Feb 09, 2017

Thanks a lot. You made my day smile This worked for me when tried to copy from custom text field to custom select list field whereas script runner didn't worked for copying values from for two different custom field types..

pokalav Mar 14, 2017

I have one doubt following the CSV importing way. But issuekey is diffrent after importation users are confused.

Erick Miranda Mar 16, 2018

Thanks great solution.

Kristin Bitler Mar 23, 2018

ScriptRunner failed (see attached) but your solution worked. Thank you!



Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 11.33.13 AM.png

Anna Bozhko Mar 28, 2018


This solutions is described as one that updates data, but I've tried and new JIRA items were created. 

Help me please, what I'm doing wrong?


Nic Brough [Adaptavist] Community Leader Mar 28, 2018

Probably mismatched keys.

Anna Bozhko Mar 28, 2018

Thanks @Nic Brough [Adaptavist], you gave me an idea.. so

I've found what was wrong!

First of all I've read again Tips for importing CSV data into Jira fields.. 

Issue Key - You can set the issue key for an imported issue. If an issue with a given key already exists in Jira, it will be updated instead.

The problem was that when you try to do import directly from search result page - there is no mapping field = Jira Key.. and it didn't work with issue id


But when you do it from Jira Admin..->System - there is Jira Key field.


So the solution works as expected.

Many thanks!

Like Thomas Fraser likes this
Thomas Fraser Jan 23, 2019

I was about to ask if there's a way to do this for multiple projects then saw @Anna Bozhko's comment.


In Jira Cloud, Using the 'import from CSV' option from a search page forces you to specify a single project to import to, however going to the 'external system import' via the admin menu gives you the option to specify the project in the CSV.

11 votes
Answer accepted
JamieA Mar 19, 2012

Try the copy custom field values script from the script runner plugin. This will handle a bunch of conversions, and doesn't need any downtime. So you would create a new field, copy the values, delete the old field, and optionally rename the new field.

Some conversions you can do by changing the database customfieldtype table, but number to text is not one of those, because the storage is different.

The script runner script has two problems: both fields have to be custom. You cannot merge two fields.

So if you have two description fields and want to merge then you have to code.

Andy D Apr 25, 2013

Jamie, I tried that built-in script, but was unsuccessful in copy a number custom field into a text custom field.

Error was:java.lang.ClassCastException: java.lang.Double cannot be cast to java.lang.String

Any ideas?

JamieA Apr 25, 2013

Not all conversions are supported - you could modify the code to put the cast in...

2 votes
Lisa Wright Jun 23, 2015

Any way to do this with the Cloud version of Jira? The script runner plugin is not available.

Melanie Binks Nov 01, 2015

I'd like to know this too :/

1 vote
Marlene Cote Oct 15, 2015

this script runner script won't work between these 2 field types, label and URL.


Adaptavist Nov 08, 2015

How would you convert from a label to a url, or are you talking about the converse?

0 votes
Marta Lopez Reyes Jun 30, 2014

Do you have any new solution? :)

JamieA Jul 01, 2014

What's wrong with the old solution?

Like Karan Mathur likes this
0 votes
Marta Lopez Reyes Jul 01, 2014

Ohh just that I have never used the copy custom field values script from the script runner plugin. :(

As your last answer was last year I thought that probably there's a new way to perform it.


0 votes
SABVARX Mar 29, 2015

Thanks for the hint to use the copy custom field values script from the script runner plugin. It worked fine as well for migration of custom field values of type "Date Time" to type "Date" .

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
This widget could not be displayed.
This widget could not be displayed.
Community showcase
Published in Next-gen

Introducing subtasks for breaking down work in next-gen projects

Teams break work down in order to help simplify complex tasks. This is often done iteratively, with tasks being broken down into smaller tasks and so on until the work is accurately captured in well-...

957 views 12 15
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