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Convert Select List (single choice) to Select List (multiple choice)


I am trying to figure out how to convert a field we have [Select List (single choice)] into a [Select List (multiple choice)] field.  We have many options and this has been a single choice field for quite some time.  Is there an easy way to convert this and keep all the past data?

1 answer

3 votes

No, but sort of yes.

No, because you need to hack the database, and I rarely recommend that.  But in this case, actually, yes, you can actually just change the type - see

Just be sure you want to do this - the process is a nightmare to do in the opposite direction (multi to single) and, as always, backups are your absolute best friend ever.  Seriously.  Test it in dev/test, and always have a backup before you amend anything.

Hi @Nic Brough [Adaptavist],

You said the process is a nightmare to do in the opposite direction (multi to single select).  Well my customer just asked me to do that exact thing.  I am trying to talk them out of it, but if I fail any thoughts on how to do that?

My only thought was to create a new Select list that has the same values as the multi select and bulk issue change, and add the value to the new field (There are about 40 values so that means 40 bulk changes).   From there delete the multi and rename the single to the name of the multi. Fortunately I am the only admin and I know there are no validators/scripts/etc that call that field or their field ID would need to be changed as well.  

Any other unseen problems with this method?

Any other ways?



I think you've got everything covered there, but you could go from multi-select to single-select in the database.

The main problem there is now usually just the customer.  It's often hard to get them to explain which single value they want to keep, but if you can get that out of them, then you can use SQL to cast back from an array to a single value.

OK cool. I created scripted custom field to count the values in the multi select field and there are only 0 or 1.  That should help.  I do get nervous about changing the DB, but I could just create a sandbox and do it there first.

Always try it on test first wink

That page now references that it no longer is compatible; I tried switching from a single to multiselect in the DB and noticed no difference in the UI... I assume that's why?


Is there some other process now?

Did you take Jira offline before making the change?  And Re-indexed in full afterwards?

I had taken it offline but not reindexed, it's resolved and working now... Now working on getting it to look/feel like the "component" boxes, the default multiselect is kinda dated in look and utility (..even Atlassian seems to think so as their own multiselect fields are jazzed up w/ additional javascript).

I need to do this change but I am on Jira Cloud.  Is there any way to do this?  I don't believe I have access to the database.

You cannot use the database hack on Cloud, as yes, you have no access to the database.

You will have to do this by hand - create a new custom field and use bulk-edit or the REST API to copy data from the old field to the new one, then delete the old field.

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