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Change the Default Assignee in Jira On Demand

Thierry Dec 05, 2012


This was going to be a question, but in the end I found it... So I'm posting a clear message as all the others on the subject either refer to installed Jira, or don't actually say where to do this.

1) as it's mentioned everywhere, turn ON the option "Allow unassigned issues"

go to the Cog icon at the top right of, pick "System", the page title is "General Configuration" (I never understand web sites that have menu items not matching the title of the page). In the "Options" section half way down, you'll find "Allow unassigned issues". Turn it ON.

2) To change the "Default Assignee"...It took me ages to find this...

go to the Cog icon at the top right, pick "Projects Admin", then click on your project name in the list (alternatively, when in your project, click the "Administer Project" button at the top right of the page). Pick "Roles" in the left menu. Hidden in the blurb at the top of the page, just under "JIRA enables you to allocate particular people ....." you will find "Project Lead" and "Default Assignee" with a little Edit icon next to it. That's it !

What is confusing is that if you click on the Cog/"Projects Admin", you see a list of project with the column "Default Assignee" and "Project Lead", but the Edit button on that row doesn't let you change those values. It's quite unintuitive.

Combined with the fact that lots of help pages say "Go to the 'General Configuration' page" and there is not a single menu item called by that name.... it's making it very hard to find things in a very complex system.

11 answers

1 accepted

3 votes
Answer accepted
Bruno Rosa Atlassian Team Dec 05, 2012


Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It's really important for us have this kind of feedback from our customers. This way we can always try to improve our platform in order to make it more and more easier and intuitive.

Also, I've created an Improvement request about the 'Edit' button on the Project list area at, which is the website used by Atlassian to track the development of JIRA, Confluence and other Atlassian products. It's currently being tracked here:


Please feel free to leave your comments as well as vote on it.

Just for the record, you can also create Improvement requests by yourself at whenever you find something you would like to see improved in our products.

Hope it helps!


2 votes
Amos Folarin Nov 23, 2018 • edited

To be honest I looked for absolutely ages ... Finally found

Project Settings --> Components

You'll find the Component lead and Default Asignee

But this is a classic example of how badly JIRA's backend is designed with out any thought or consistency in behaviour or UX.


Screenshot from 2018-11-23 20-17-39.png

1 vote
Riteshkumar Vyas Jun 16, 2013


I am facing the same issue with JIRA 5.1 I am trying to add "Default Assignee" as one of the users but it takes Project lead by default. I tried making it to unassigned but it does not solve my purpose of making default assignee as a selected user. Can someone help please.



1 vote
Andrew Cheong May 05, 2015

My god. I'm trying out JIRA today and it took me so long to figure out how to change default roles, I almost quit JIRA. As of May 2015, you have to

  1. click on the cog wheel (settings) and go to Projects (under JIRA Administration),
  2. click on the name of your project under the Project List,
  3. click View Project Roles under Roles,
  4. and click the pencil icon to edit Default Assignee.

You would think it's in a bunch of other places, but everywhere else there's no pencil icon or no mention of the Default Assignee. Jesus.

Gerard Virga Nov 04, 2015

Followed the 2015 instructions above and don't get the pencil? What Am I missing?? I want to assign a different Default Assignee than the Project Lead.  

Paul Alexander Nov 04, 2015

The default assignee for an issue can be unassigned or the project lead. To get unassigned issues, you must allow issues to be unassigned first (Administration>System>General Configuration). You may also use components and have leads assigned to components. Then, you can allow unassigned issues associated with a component to be assigned to that component lead by default. You can configure this on your "Components" screen which is up two items on the left above "Users and roles" in the Administration section of each (JIRA) project.

1 vote
Jordan Wilkinson Sep 21, 2018

This is now located in Project Details for anyone still searching

Jack Mardack Oct 19, 2018

What about for NEXT-GEN projects? It seems to be gone. It must be somewhere, as it would be ludicrous to have to manually assign each issue created.

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0 votes
Nelson Jimenez Manio Jan 07, 2013

How about for Jira 3.13.5 ??

I am using Jira v3.13.5. I would like to change the default assignee for a Jira project, currently, I can only specify the Poject Lead or Unassigned as default assignee. How can I set a particular user as default assignee ??

Renjith Pillai Jan 09, 2013

Install Script Runner Plugin, add a new post function to automatically assign the issue to the user you need to.

0 votes
Lise Havnegjerde Jan 10, 2013


I agree that it is not exactly intuitive! However - I managed to find this BUT is it only possible to set default assignee to either Project lead or Unassigned?

I have many different projects and as a general rule I have Project lead as default assignee, but for one specific project I want to set the reporter as default assignee.

It would be great if anyone could tell me how to solve this!

0 votes
Yacov Malen Mar 23, 2013

While not the prettiest of solutions, there is one possible option. For the one project that you would like to set the default assignee as the reporter, create a new workflow for that project. Add a post function to the create button and select "Assign to Reporter". Then when the ticket is created, it will then be assigned to the current reporter as opposed to the defaut assignee.

0 votes
Andy Watson Apr 22, 2013

I have defined component leads, but when i add a component to a task it still assigns to the project lead not the default assignee. Is there something i am missing?

Paul Alexander Apr 22, 2013

Andy, you must associate that component's default assignee to the "Component Lead" from the *Components* screen. Did you do that?

0 votes
Greg Tillman May 06, 2013

WOW!!! thanks so much Thierry! I've just spent teh last hour trying to find that. The Atlassian documentation is great in most cases but this is definately a gap. Thanks for those really clear instructions!

0 votes
Sebastian Wolter Aug 12, 2013


Can you (or anybody else) post a working groovy script?

I have tried a lot but none seems to work...


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