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Bulk Importing Options into "Select List (single choice)" Custom Field


Does anyone know a good way to bulk import options into a custom field I wish to create? I have a csv file with 1000 values that need to be options in a custom single choice select list I am creating called "Account Name" for one of my Jira projects.


2 answers

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Answer accepted


Create a CSV file and imort into JIRA. 

Example of CSV FIle: 

Summary,My Custom Field





Do this for all the options you want to import.

Navigate to JIRA. Use the "external system import" to import the CSV file you created. I'd recommend importing into a dummy project that you can delete afterwards. You will end up creating as many issues as options you have, one for each option. 


Make sure in the importer, you map the custom field column to the correct one as it will try and create options for select lists, checkboxes, ect. 


Does this make sure? 

Hi @Kian Stack Mumo Systems so, "Summary" would be summary of the field, "My custom field" is the name of the custom field but what would "TEST" symbolize? 

Summary would be the summary of the ticket. Because you are using the CSV importer, you are actually creating tickets (they can all be deleted afterwards). 


Here's an example: 


Let's say I have a custom field of type select list called "Color" and I wanted 10 different options in there, I would create a CSV like this. 













The CSV file I defined will create 10 new tickets on import. But if I map my column "Color" to the custom field "Color" I have during the import process, JIRA will create each item I've placed in there as a new option if it doesn't exist. 

You will have now 10 tickets, and 10 new options in the "Color" custom field. 

You can now delete the 10 tickets you created, and you will have 10 new custom field options. Obviously, you could extend this to import 1000 values if you wanted. I have personally used this method to import hundreds of options at once.

Like Nenad Micic likes this

Jira documentation says to do it like this


Importing to multi select custom fields

Your CSV file can contain multiple entries for the one Multi Select Custom Field. For example:

Summary,Multi Select,Multi Select,Multi Select
Sample issue,Value 1,Value 2,Value 3

This will populate the Multi Select Custom Field with multiple values.


but I started out by trying it the way you are describing Kian and I'm not getting anywhere.

I've got a few giant lists to add either during or before a large import on a project i've been assigned.

Is there special permissions I need for this to work?


I don't want to oversell the solution here. The process I described was fitting for Bella's situation. Specifically, there was a single select custom field for which she wanted options created. I was not trying to instruct her on how to import actual tickets with those values populated. 

For you, the solution depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you'd like to simply create options to be available for a multi-select list, the solution I described will allow you to do this, provided you create the multi-select custom field first.

You should also be able to do it using the way you're showing above, I just find it easier to list them out as I did. 


You can see here that I have a csv file with each select list option that I want to be imported. In order to ensure that it was a mutli select, I created the custom field "Color" first as type multi-select (when I was first doing this, all of them existed already).  I import, and the options are all brought in.

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 8.10.29 AM.png

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 8.10.36 AM.png

Like Joanna Leung likes this

"(when I was first doing this, all of them existed already)."

ah, i see this is where we differ. My setup i have ~190 option to fill in a couple of drop downs.

From what I am gathering this should be possible using the methods we are describing, but if the options don't already exist it isn't creating them for me.

No, it will create options for you. 

So using the CSV I showed in my last response, these are the tickets that I imported: 

Screen Shot 2018-11-16 at 9.17.27 AM.pngNone of the values for the custom field "Color" existed prior to my importing. All were created on import. The CSV was structured to create 1 ticket per option, with 1 option per ticket. I do not care about these tickets and will be deleting them now that I have my values imported. This is not how a CSV should be structured if you are looking to bring in the tickets for a project. It will create the values for your custom fields, but it will not set them correctly on your tickets.

If you wanted AB-306 to have colors "Blue" and "Green" on import and AB-306 was an actual ticket you cared about, my method wouldn't work. 


Does that make sense?

yes, thats why i'm thinking i'm missing some permissions somewhere, because it doesn't do that for me.

You should be a JIRA administrator. 

Ya, that's what I thought. I'm set to a project admin, not a full Jira admin

Mike Rathwell Community Leader Aug 14, 2019

@Kian Stack Mumo Systems  I accepted your answer on behalf of all us that either didn't know or forgot that happy thing... worked like a charm for me in a little festival I hd going here.


Glad this could help! It's always nice to be able to share some of the tricks we've picked up along the way!



When I try to do this, I get the following error:


The value [ {null=Test 2} ] can't be added to the Custom Field [ Test-Options ]. The value [ {null=Test 2} ] can't be found or is in the incorrect format



I am a full admin. CSV file is extremely simple, just the summary and the custom field with the correlating option. Does this no longer work?

I have the same issue

Same issue/error here.  Has anyone found a solution?

Any updates on this? I get the same issue here and cannot use the solution described above. 

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