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Cleaning up old issues and epics


I created a project that I wish to use with my team, and in the process, I created a bunch of test issues and epics.  I would like to delete/clean these up so when the project and associated Kanban board go into use, people do not see a bunch of random issues/epics.

I am the site admin, so what would the easiest way to clean this up be?  Is there an easy way to bulk delete these issues/epics?
I read some other posts and the overwhelming response was "issues should not be deleted"...but these are not issues that are actually going to be used for this project.  Just random testers.  No issues are intended to be deleted once the project is live.

Thank you!

3 answers

Hi @kdarlow 

You are absolutely correct that the "normal" advice is not to delete anything so that you retain the full history. But as you described these are not normal epics/issues.


Step 1. Check your backup process is working! Deleting issues is a permanent action and the only way to restore is to retrieve from a backup.

Step 2. Make sure that you have the permission to delete in the appropriate permission schemes. I would suggest limiting this to yourself (or at least those you trust not to delete by mistake). 

Step 3. Write some JQL to identify your list of epics/issues to be deleted (you may do this several times)

Step 4. Use bulk tool operation selecting delete

Make sure you carefully check the list of issues/epics that will be deleted as there is no easy way back to restore other than rolling back to your last backup. (I know I am labouring this point but it is a common failing.)

0 votes

So, to echo the "issues should not be deleted", yes, that is true, it is a nightmare to get them back, can destroy your audits and and and.

If there is any chance you might need an issue, do not delete it (archive instead)

If you can be 100% sure that the issues are total junk and you'll never need them or be questioned on them again, then yes.  

You will need

  • Permission to delete issues in each project from which you want to delete
  • Bulk edit permission

Then you can

  1. Search for the issues you want to kill
  2. Use bulk-edit 
  3. Check the list and de-select issues you're not sure about
  4. Kill them

I would actually recommend not quite doing that - in most cases, I create a "dustbin" project with no permissions for most people, and move probably unwanted issues into it.  Then leave them for a while, giving people a bit of time to yell if they want, and then the bulk-edit is a bit easier, you can say "project = dustbin" and kill everything

I can assure you that these are merely test issues/epics and I won't miss them, now that I have the basics of my project set up.

If you don't mind me asking, how do I ensure that I have bulk edit permission?  I'm the site/org admin so I just need to know how to grant it to myself and access it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

In the future, I'll definitely create a dustbin project...that sounds like a good idea!

Thanks for both of your answers.

I'm still relatively new to being a Site/Org admin, so a lot of information to absorb.

Part one of my issue was solved...I had to add myself to the project.

How do I enable/access bulk change?


You'll need to get an admin to grant it - it's done by adding groups to it in Admin -> Global Permissions -> Bulk Edit permission.

(A lot of us use the "can log in" group, so everyone has it, but not everyone does it, and the default is admins only IIRC)

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