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Export of Backlog

Attempting to export the backlog to excel.

I have read the article but am missing the export option when viewing. Is this hidden somewhere with the new view?

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1 vote
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Brant Schroeder Community Leader Aug 09, 2018


  In the backlog next to the number of backlogged issues you should see a box with three lines next to it.  If you hover over it then it will say view in issue navigator.  Click this and then export will be available in the upper right hand sign.  You will need to export to CSV in order to open it in excel.

Thank you Brant. I feel like I am def missing something as I cannot get to this not matter what I look at:

Like Selina Suarez likes this

The three dots should be to the right of that picture, after you've cut it off.

I have to agree with Sandra here, I can´t find the option to export. See:

Nope, not there.

Like Juan Pablo Jones likes this

Still not here yet

@Brant Schroeder I don't see the option you are mentioning either. Jira Cloud. Could you help clear this up?

@Brant Schroeder Not seeing it either. Can you help? Nothing shows when I hover; when I click, I see this:


Brant Schroeder Community Leader Sep 09, 2021

@Chris Fortmueller and @Susan Parker 

Since the post in 2018 this has changed and in order to export the issues, you will need to do it from an issue filter.  In cloud or server, you can export off of the filter.

Like Juan Pablo Jones likes this

Brant, thanks so much. From another community posting, I read about using JQL/advanced search, but I am having difficulty building a query that works.

Here's the thread:

We have an active sprint, a sprint in waiting, and then the backlog. I'm trying to extract just the issues in the backlog. It seems like there is no way to specify "backlog" in the query, but rather, you have to rely on all issues in the backlog having a single status like "open" or "to do." 

Like Alexander Naula likes this

@Susan Parker for the items that aren't in any sprint (neither in active, neither in waiting) you have to search for the issues where the "Sprint" field is empty, like:

project=JXEC and Sprint IS EMPTY

This is super helpful, thanks. However, it also pulls in other issues not in backlog, but with some additional terms, I'm getting closer -  I have 227 issues in backlog, and so far I am getting 266 results. 

project = "name" AND Sprint is EMPTY AND status != Closed AND status != "In Progress" AND status != "Resolved"

Now I just have to figure out how to exclude Epics. I suppose I can figure it out in Excel but it is driving me bonkers that something so basic is THIS difficult. Why Atlassian doesn't provide a tool embedded in the backlog for this is mind boggling.

Like AStJohn likes this

Epics can be dropped with "and issuetype != Epic"

For what it's worth, there's no tool for this in Jira because it's not something people are expected to do with a backlog.

Funny, I just figured that out as your response was posted.

RE "there's no tool for this in Jira because it's not something people are expected to do with a backlog"  is hilarious, given all the threads one turns up after Googling "how to export jira backlog to excel" - clearly it's something real users want to do. 

If Atlassian has bothered to provide an export function, why not make it easy to do for the one thing people are likely to want to export the most? 

Like Vanda_Oliveira likes this

Oh, I know people want to do it, but "want to" is not a reason to code for something.  The backlog is intended to be interactive and dynamic, there for people to refine and work from all the time.

Exporting it gives you a static (and potentially immediately obsolete) snapshot of it which is of no use for refining or working from.  It's not what the backlog is for.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, or be able to do it, and your query building here has got you the export you wnted.  I'm just saying that Atlassian have not bothered to make it easy directly from the backlog because it's not what you're expected to do with a backlog.

I knew this would be your response.  Everything one exports is static and going to be obsolete.  There are just some types of analysis that are much harder to do within Jira and I've spent hours trying to figure out how to write a query because I am not a coder.  It's a shame because it's a barrier to adoption as a collaboration tool beyond people who code for a living. I wish I could answer my manager's questions by just pointing him to a Jira report, but I can't. 

Like # people like this

Yep, I've spent many years watching people get a lot less value from obsolete reporting than they think they should.  I'm quite realistic about it, and hence quite blunt, but if that's what people want, it's what they want.

It always leads me into the question of "why?".  What problem are you trying to solve with this export?  In this case, obviously, there's some analysis you want to be doing, which is the next step, but it might be worth going a few more steps down the path - what questions are the managers asking?

I inherited a bloated backlog and the easiest way to go through it as a team - with junior and senior non-technical people, with varying skills experience using a tool like Jira -  was in a spreadsheet. I got tons of value from it. Could it have been done in Jira? Perhaps. But not without stopping what everyone's doing and becoming expert users of Jira.  We did manage all of our cleanup within Jira, but the transparency, analysis, etc. that enabled us to accomplish this feat was all achieved in Excel - EASILY.

I get it. In another life, I was a Confluence Admin and a champion of using Wikis to collaborate instead of binary mediums like email, Word, etc.  

And it's not like "coding" this is a major feat for Atlassian. Or just even providing a straightforwarard query term than the endless process of elimination I. Am. Still. Going. Through. to get this report.

"Backlog" is clearly a thing in Jira. So why isn't there a query for it other than this silly trial and error.

Like # people like this

Actually, the irony about this is the tool apparently used to exist when this thread was started in 2018.  I'm sure it was removed to satisfy purists and theoretically keep users within the confines of Jira. Nice try.

Like John Oglesby likes this

Hey @Susan Parker

We are releasing the Cloud version of Better Excel Exporter soon and currently running an Early Access Program. Among many other things, the app will allow you to export issues directly from the backlog or active sprint view. Based on your comments, you would be perfect to test drive it :)

If you are interested in trying it please drop me a line at (as I can't message you privately here).

On the left pane of your Jira instance, go to ISSUES and you can filter your content and export it. It gives you many options as to how to export from that EXPORT drop down menu when you click on it. I hope this helps :)

1 vote

As a more powerful alternative to the built-in Excel export feature, you can use Better Excel Plugin.

Besides other advantages (comparison), it also integrates to various UI screens in Jira, including the backlog:


Having used Microsoft Azure DevOps I can see that Jira has a lot of work to do!  The export and general UX is miles behind which is a real shame.

Also Microsoft don't charge you for plugins! 


Has anyone been able to export backlog or sprint user stories and their acceptance criterias?

Hi @Sherwyn Pillay ,

Have you been able to try the suggestion by Aron above?

Since Jira's built-in export for backlog and sprints are not really sufficient for professional use, there is a choice of apps you can give a try. Among those

Better Excel Exporter can export from the Jira backlog to Excel >>

Better PDF Exporter can export the backlog to PDF >>

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