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How to change the default assignee from Project Lead to Unassigned

We are using JIRA 3.13, under Projects my name has been added as the Project Lead and because the default assignee goes to the Project Lead I am assigned a wack load of tickets everyday. Is there a way to change the default assignee to 'unassigned'?


Is there also a way to associate a ticket Type to auto assign to a specific individual?

Thanks again!

4 answers

1 accepted

17 votes
Answer accepted

Yes. First you need to enable unassigned issues (you can do it via Administration | General Configuration), then go to your project configuration and change Default Assignee to "unassigned".

And... please consider upgrading from dinosaur 3.13 to something newer and so much better. :)

Beat me to it! :)

Thanks I was able to turn on unassigned! I wish we could upgrade too but i think it has something to do with the number of users and costs.

That worked a charm! Have an upvote!

I don't have that old of a JIRA to test this, but, here's how it is in 4.3.4:

  1. Click on a project
  2. Click "Edit Project"
  3. Click "People"
  4. You should see something with the Project Lead, and the Default Assignee


Meanwhile it changed, here's how it is in 7.4.4:

1. Click on Jira Adminitstration / Projects
2. Click on your Project
3. Click on "Users and roles"
4. Click on the top right "Edit defaults"

Like Dhia Gmati likes this

'Users and roles' no longer exists in that menu, and the 'people' setting doesn't have anything that leads to editing the default assignee.

I've been fiddling with this for literally an hour now just trying to assign issues by default, if anybody figures it out for "next-gen" projects, please!

Edit: Maybe it's because I'm using Cloud. Surely that setting must still be somewhere, though?

Edit: According to this, is is actually impossible in Cloud.

I'm testing Jira 8.0.0  (server-based).  While I can change the Project Lead, I can't change the default assignee from Project Lead to anything else.  It isn't an editable field.  Interesting how this has been a challenge over multiple versions.

Like JGail59 likes this

Go to the project, then "Administration" tab, then select "Roles" on the left.

Just above the Role table are the definition controls for Project Lead and Default Asignee.

Thank you for this - I spent way too long trying to find it :)

I've just started up our old 3.13.5 to check. If you go to Administration you see a list of projects (click on 'Projects' if not). Either click Edit next to the project you want to change or click into the project and click 'Edit Project'.

If the Default Assignee does not show a dropdown containing Project Lead and Unassigned then your JIRA is configured to not allow unassigned issues. To change this, click on General Configuration (in Global Settings) and change the 'Allow Unassigned Issues' option from OFF to ON. Then if you go back to editing the project you should be able to select Unassigned for Default Assignee.

See for further details.

Don't forget you could always use a workflow post-function to set the assignee when the issue is created, or just put the assignee on the Create screen so users can select someone else.

Beat me to it :)

Thanks J Thomas!!

Can you point me to a link that explains how to edit the create screen. I think my issue might be more related to auto assign.

OK, briefly you have Screens - JIRA comes with some but you can create more, which you then combine into Screen Schemes (ie say which screen you want to use for create, view and edit) and then you have Issue Type Screen Schemes to say which screen scheme you want to use for each issue type.

The link I gave before should have a bunch of links down the left of the page - have a look through the Configuring Fields And Screens section to learn more about this.

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