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Bulk move subtasks to new type WITHOUT changing the parent issues?

We have a jira instance where they kind of went nuts in the past creating subtask types. For simplicity, I want to move a lot of those back to just "sub-task" and delete the extraneous types. However, when using bulk move, you have to choose a new subtask type for each individual issue; if you don't, and just check the box to use this same project and issue type pair for everything, then it also changes the parents of all the subtasks to the parent of your initial issue, which is ludicrous behavior. Is there a plugin or anything that allows you to change the subtask type en masse without changing the parents?

3 answers

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Yes, this is correct, you're using bulk edit to change the parent.

If you just want to change the issue type of a sub-task, filter for only sub-task types and select to move the issue type only.  When I try this on the Jira I'm looking at, only the issue type changes - I can't see a way to make the parent change without choosing "change parent"

I have the ssame issue as Maya. I create a JQL that returns only sub-tasks. I then bulk edit and select Move Issue operation. Then in next screen - Step 3 of 4. Select Projects and Issue Types - for each and every item in the query I am asked to select 

Move Project A > Project Z 

Move task type A > Task type B

Select Parent Issue: Parent issue 1

there is a checkbox saying "Use the above project and issue type pair for all other combinations." but if you select that the confirmation screen says:

Issue Targets

Target Project:  Project Z ( correct) 

Target issue Type: Task Type B (correct)

Target Parent Issue: Parent issue 1 - NOT CORRECT ! .. I want each moved task to retain its original Parent and not have them ALL changed to Parent issue 1 

I am on jira server v8.0.2 

A sub-task is part of its parent issue, not an independent entity.  They are part of a project because they belong to a parent issue in that project.

You can move them to a different issue if you want, and that issue might well be in another project. 

But you can't have a sub-task in a different project to its parent, that's logically nonsense. 

If you want to just change the issue type, then do NOT select a new project for the issues, keep them in A.

Lets say we have 2 sub task issue types (sub-task and dev sub-task), If I want to change all the dev sub-task issue type to sub-task in same project without loosing the parent link is that possible?

I tried move with source and destination same didn't work ask for new parent

I tried edit also it won't even list the other issue types in same level.


Any thoughts?




@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_ I also have the same issue and using Jira 8.5.3. Here is what I see:

I search and find 15 issues with issueType = Sub-Task and go to Bulk Change operation. After choosing all 15 issues with Move operation in Step 1-2, the next step 3 of 4 shows the following:

Step 3 of 4: Select Projects and Issue Types

You have chosen to move 15 issues from 1 project(s) with 1 issue type(s). You can either select a new project and issue type for each of the existing 15 combinations below or choose to move all standard issues to a single project and issue type.

Here are the available Move -> To options shown, with each of the 15 issues showing it's parent link: 

  • Project - no change 

  • Issue Type - I want to Move Sub-Task To Document

  • Select Parent Issue: - this shows the parent issue for EACH sub-task

I select the "Use the above project and issue type pair for all other combinations.", but there there is no way to "retain" the existing parent issue.

All issues are moved to link to the single parent issue from the first sub-task. 

Is this a bug, enhancement, or user error?


I would be very interested in this as well. We have hundreds of Sub-Task Issues that need to be moved to another sub-task issue Type, where project and current parent should be untouched. 

I wonder why they chose retain for the current project/parent, rather than just project.

Maybe Atlassian has an answer to that.... 

Do not select "Use the above project and issue type pair for all other combinations." - it's not ideal, but it works

I was struggling to make it work on Jira cloud but I've found that it is possible to bulk edit sub-tasks and change their types.

The option is not always visible but you can find it collapsed at the bottom of the page.

There was a couple of reasons why the field or some sub-task types were not available.

First I've found some sub-tasks with no parent.

A second reason was mixed projects with different sets of sub-tasks types. I set the same issue type scheme for different projects.

I hope it help someone as I've spent some time to find the option and make it work.

A way to deal with this on jira server (not sure about cloud) is to make use of the issue type schemes.

  • make sure you have a replacement sub-task issue type with same fields in a scheme  which also holds the obsolete sub-task issue type
  • remove the obsolete sub-task issue type from the scheme and press "save"
  • now the system allows you to migrate all of the affected (sub-task) issues in bulk, retaining fields, parent issues, etc. without confirming each parent issue
  • note that the migration causes load and potentially a time-out on the migration screen so best prepare a filter to monitor the migration progress since the process continues in the background


Unfortunately on JIRA cloud, there is a 1000 issue limit for moving the Sub-task issue type using a scheme change.  This is similar to the 1000 filter results limitation and 1000 bulk update limitation imposed on JIRA cloud instances.  The user is directed to "move" issues parent by parent if total issue count is above 1000.

Like Antoine Berry likes this

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