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How can change the project lead and assign tickets to the new project lead


I'm trying to add a new project lead to jira so the tickets can be assigned to them directly. I've already deleted the account for the old project lead but for some reason it keeps assigning the ticket automatically to the previous person. how can i assign tickets automatically to the new person?

3 answers

3 votes

Hi @Nadine_Younan

To change the Project Lead in a Jira project you'll need to be a Project Admin or Jira Admin and then it depends on your host type.

In Jira Cloud:

  1. Go to Project Settings > Details
  2. Next to the "Project Lead" field, change to the new user
  3. Ensure the Default Assignee is Project Lead
  4. Press Save

In Jira Server:

  1. Go to Project Settings > Users and Roles
  2. Select the hyperlink "Edit Defaults" in the top-right corner
  3. Change the Project Lead and ensure the Default Assignee is Project Lead
  4. Press Update

^ If you make these edits and it's not working as expected, ensure there are no Component Leads based on the old user. To check this in both host types:

  1. Go to Project Settings > Components
  2. View in this list if there is a Component Lead - and if the default assignee for any component is "Component Lead"
  3. To change this, press the 3-dots icon in a component's row and press Edit, allowing you to the edit the lead or the default assignee


I thought there used to be a way in Jira Server to set a default assignee for the project to something other than unassigned or project lead. Maybe I am repressing bad memories.

Hi @Dave F

Not that I recall.

But there are Component Leads which can be an alternative for Default Assignee.


When I look under Project Settings > Details and try to change Project Lead, I can add any of my Service Desk Customers (makes no sense) but I don't see the person On My Team that I want to set as the Project Lead. Why so complicated????

Hi @PHC Admin 

Did you manage to resolve this issue?

The Project Lead is showing all available users with an account - which for JSM, includes customers (albeit with limited access).

Changing the Project Lead for JSM matches the instructions for non-Service Projects. What happens when you try to search for the correct user?


Once again, Atlassian makes you spend an hour and a half on something that should take a minute to change.

I set up a new service desk project, but the wrong Project Lead was assigned. There is nowhere (at least logically) where I can look an change the Project Lead. WHERE DO I CHANGE A PROJECT LEAD FOR A SERVICE DESK PROJECT?? 

Guz P Atlassian Team Jun 01, 2022

It's a matter of knowing how to use it. If you don't know, you ask it instead of blaming Atlassian. 

If you want to change the project lead, you simply go to the project settings > user and roles.
Then click Edit defaults.
A window should pop up, and you can TYPE the project lead user name.
It's actually very simple.

Screen Shot 2022-06-01 at 11.09.46.png

Simply type the next project user name in the Project lead field, and then the names should appear.

Like T Fickes likes this
T Fickes I'm New Here Oct 31, 2022

Thanks Guz P, one word of clarity fixed it for me.  However, I understand the frustration because we're victim to misleading design.  I bet the others are passing right by it unawares just like I did:

I looked at this box 3 times in the 20min I spent hunting all over the space trying to assign someone new to the Project Lead after the old one left.  The Project lead role shows as a drop-down, so I would click the drop-down and it would say "No Options".   It appeared that somewhere else would flag people as potential leads & populate this list.  It was not evident that I could type until I saw the above response and tried it.  I'm baffled myself because I'm usually one to try such a thing anyway, without prompting!!

All the prior responses simply said "change the project lead" without any clarity of *how* to override the misleading UI.

Like Kim Cary likes this

@T Fickes well said. We don't have no options, we just don't know how to change the lead when presented with a single 'option' from a drop down. Who'd have thought to "just start typing" in a drop down menu!?yaman.jpg

Hi @Kim Cary 

It's not a drop-down menu, it's a searchable box which provides results as a list.

If you're receiving no results I'd recommend typing it in slower, or just one of the names - see what it can find.

You can also test it with others users, or on other Projects, to see if this is an issue across your wider instance.


@Guz P Unfortunately, changing via the Project Settings from the left side menu (which redirects to is not working though.

@PHC Admin Via the Projects header menu item click View all projects. Then click the three dots on the right and Project settings. From there you should be able to change the Project lead.

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