Can I copy a workflow?

Phil Bustin
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February 1, 2023

I'd like to create a modified version of a workflow that is used by one project at present, but hold onto the original in case I need it.  Is there a way of doing that, so I don't have to create the modified version from scratch?  Does editing and publishing save my original version?

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Walter Buggenhout
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February 1, 2023

Hi @Phil Bustin,

It depends if your workflow is in a team managed or company managed project.

For team managed projects, this is currently only a feature request that you can track here: JSWCLOUD-21700 

For company managed projects, yes you can! Workflows are managed centrally by a Jira administrator under Jira settings > Issues > Workflows. There is a copy link available under actions when you select it from the list of workflows:

Screenshot 2023-02-01 at 20.30.14.png 

At first, clicking that link will create a brand new copy that is exactly the same as the workflow you started from. That copy is available under inactive workflows and any changes you make there will not affect the original workflow.

Once you have modified the copy, you will have to associate it with one or more projects to make it active. That is done via a workflow scheme - the vehicle used to link workflows to issue types in a project. This support article may be a good starting point to learn more about that.

Hope this helps!

Phil Bustin
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February 2, 2023

Very helpful; thanks!

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Mikael Sandberg
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February 1, 2023

Yes, if you go to Settings > Issues > Workflows and once you located the workflow you want to copy just click on the three-dot menu on the right and you should see Copy as an option.

Phil Bustin
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February 2, 2023

It was right in front of my nose!

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Lance Waldrop April 4, 2024

Edit: I didn't see that if you modify an existing status it will impact other workflows that use that status, not the workflow itself.

Has anyone else experienced a bug where modifying a copy (only) of an active workflow is also modifying the active workflow too?

Mikael Sandberg
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April 5, 2024

If you by editing mean renaming a status, then yes, this is expected. You should never rename a status from within the workflow itself. The rename should only happen from Settings > Issues > Statuses because from that view you will see how many workflows the rename will affect. 

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