How to delete an orphaned workflow?

I created some issue types, then created some workflows for them, added to a scheme, and tested.  Decided not to use them, so I deleted the test issues I had made, and deleted the issue types, and now I can't figure out how to delete the workflows.  They are still marked as active, but are no longer part of any workflow scheme.

5 answers

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Accepted answer

I found this thread as a result of running into the same problem with JIRA 7.0. This inspired me to do some additional hacking and I resolved the issue.

I create a new scheme and associated the workflow to it, then associated the scheme with a new project. I also created a new issue using the type associated with the workflow.

I then went back to the Admin section, removed the scheme for the project then deleted the scheme. This successfully placed the workflow into an Inactive state at which point I was able to delete it at last.

PS - I believe this bug (a workflow remaining in an Active state when it should become Inactive) is caused by the associated issue type being deleted before the scheme. See this:

jira problem.png

As you can see above, the two workflows I have not blacked out are not assigned to any workflow schemes, yet they are listed as active.

Ok, that's very clearly a problem. Could you try the following: 1. Edit both of the workflows. Just add or change something harmless in them (rename a transition or something simple). Don't take backups when it's offered 2. Create a new workflow scheme 3. Add both workflows into the new scheme 4. Come back in here and check the workflows show as assigned to the scheme and still have no delete option 5. Delete the workflow scheme 6. Recheck if the delete has re-appeared again This does sound a bit odd and clearly unnecessary, but my theory is that it might update the workflow data correctly, moving them into the "inactive" section where they should be.

Tried it a couple times in a couple different ways, didn't work. I still can't delete them. The only thing I didn't try was activating the new workflow scheme in between, but I can't do that right now because I don't want to mess up my projects.

Bother. I'd still try the project association, but an empty temporary project should do the trick - i.e. create a new project with an obvious code like TOBEKILLED, associate the workflow scheme, then swap to another one, then delete the project.

As I said before, my workflows are not used in any workflow schemes, active or inactive.

I suspect that is not right. Could you re-check the Admin -> Issues -> Workflow page? Are your workflows really listed in the "active" section with no workflow scheme in the assigned scheme column?

0 votes


You can delete the workflow by navigating to Administration > issues > Workflows and open up the "Inactive" Workflows. Please note that you can only delete custom workflows that you have created.

To make a workflow inactive, please follow this documentation

Hope it helps!



I'm still confused – my workflows show up as active but they are not part of any workflow scheme.  When I deleted the related issue types, the issue types got removed from the issue type scheme for my project, and the workflows got removed from the workflow scheme.  However, the workflows are still present and marked as active.  The documentation link only talks about dissociating projects from workflow schemes, but the workflows are already not in a scheme.

0 votes

You can, as already mentioned, only delete inactive workflows.

The thing that determines inactivity is nothing to do with issues or issue types.  The definition is that the workflow is used in an active workflow scheme  and that is determined by the project. Even if a project is empty and has no issues at all, its workflow scheme is still active (because you might create an issue)

You need to disassociate every workflow scheme that uses your workflow from all the projects (by swapping them over to other schemes), then your workflow will become inactive and you can kill it.

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