How do I close issues from the backlog?

I'm using JIRA Agile, and we are having a good experience in moving stories through sprints.  

Some stories, however, get completed along the way by the team outside of the sprint.  I can't seem to figure out how to get those off of the backlog without creating a "cleanup" sprint (which is annoying) or deleting the stories (which hides the history if we ever want to get back to them).

Any suggestions?

5 answers

1 vote
Justin Burke Atlassian Team Mar 31, 2015

Hi Michael,

I am making the assumption that when issue are completed outside of a sprint, the issues are not being moved to a completed status of any kind in JIRA.  For example, issue ABC-123 is in your backlog for Board A and somewhere along the line someone completes the work for ABC-123, but that issue is not being moved into a terminal status (such as Done or Complete or Resolved).  

If this assumption is correct, then the solution to your issue is to move those issues to a terminal status.  If you think this is something that occurs on a regular basis and you want to track it, you can even create a new terminal status or add a Resolution called "Completed Out Of Sprint" or something along those lines.  

If my assumption is incorrect and people are indeed moving these issues to a terminal status, you need to take a look at your board configuration, more specifically with your column mappings.  If you have an issue in a terminal status that still shows up in your backlog, that status is improperly mapped.  It should be mapped to your Done column (or whatever your equivalent column is). 

I think Nic's idea if using a Kanban board is an interesting one if you are indeed looking for more of a drag and drop kind if thing, but if you have enough of these issues that are completed outside of your sprints to warrant setting up and managing a new board just to handle them, I would suggest revisiting your processes to see how or why these outliers are occurring on such a regular basis.  Just something to think about.  

0 votes

First, check that your workflow allows the transition "open" (or whatever your backlog status are) to "closed"

Then, you can use that in plain JIRA to jump over the whole flow, or, for something a bit more drag and drop, create a Kanban board with "backlog" and "closed" and drag them across that 


How do I check that your workflow allows the transition "open" to "closed"?

Read it - log in as an admin and edit it. 

Non-admin users can get a workflow diagram if they have "view workflow" permission and they look at the issue in the standard issue view.  They will be able to see if there is a transition there at least, but won't be told if there are conditions like "assignee only"

0 votes

Hi Michael,

Take a look at your Board Configuration - Columns section. Issues will only be shown in you backlog if they are not in the rightmost column of your board (usually mapped to Resolved and Closed statuses). Please make sure you transition your issues to those statuses and they will no longer be shown in your backlog.

I hope this helps.


You are correct Justin,

These items are not being moved to a resolution, because they are never making it to a working board.  These are stories that have gotten refactored, or have gotten solved tangentially through another story.  I like the idea of creating a new terminal status or resolution, but I'd like to be able to set that resolution in the "Edit Issue" or full window view of the story.  

Right now, I see More–>(move / link / clone / etc) and (backlog / selected for development / workflow (in progress / done)) options, but none of those set the resolution and hide the issue from the backlog.  

I'd rather not set up another board, because I want to be able to close / hide the issue from the backlog that I'm working on.  This isn't overly frequent, but it does happen once every other sprint or so, so it's often enough that I'm on here trying to find a solution. smile

Actually, I think I just figured it out.  I found my agile simplified workflow, and the "closed" status that I created a while back.  In trying to puzzle out how to get items to transition to that state I realized that I never "published" my updated workflow.  Doing so added the "closed" state that I was looking for, which allows me to close / hide the issues.  Thanks!

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published Feb 13, 2019 in Jira

Make your Atlassian Cloud products more secure: our NEW admin security guide

Hey admins! I’m Dave, Principal Product Manager here at Atlassian working on our cloud platform and security products. Cloud security is a moving target. As you adopt more products, employees consta...

624 views 0 12
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you