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How to give access to just one project


I'm sorry, this is probably a VERY easy thing to do, but I am lost in how to give a user access to just one project in our Jira + Confluence OnDemand. I've been reading several of the documentation links, but I'm confused about the difference between groups, roles and permission schemes when it comes to this. Where to I start?

As an example, I need to set up a user (from another company) connected to a specific project. He can do anything within that project, but not see anything concerning other projects, including on his dashboard. I've set up a test-user to see how things work, but I'm not capable to find the answer myself. What documentation link is my recipe?

Grateful for any help.


24 answers

1 accepted

8 votes
Answer accepted

It really isn't as bad as other people make it out to be.

1. Copy the default permission scheme to another like "Project-Client-Permissions"
2. Create a group, "Project-Client"
3. Add that group only to the perimissions you want them to have. For me, it is Browse Project, Create Issues, Edit Issues, Resolve Issues, Add Comments, Edit Own Comments, Delete Own Comments, Create Attachments, and Delete Own Attachments
4. Apply that Permission scheme to the project
5. Add a user and add them only to the Project-Client group (they should also be in jira-users by default so they can login)

Thanks! I'm a bit more comfortable with Permission schemes and such after studying for some time, but I have to agree with other comments/answers to my question: Why on earth does it have to be som complicated? Looking forward to som serious improvement on this..

Like # people like this

doesn't jira-users give them access to all projects? I would think that the other permission schemes would need to change to remove jira-users from having access in order for the above to work. What am I missing? I am trying to do the same thing and it doesn't work.

Like Christine_Slotty likes this

Are you thinking about 'users'? That group is mentioned in (default) permission schemes, not the group jira_users. jira_users just give access to Jira/login as far as I can see. I just followed the recipe above, and it worked.

Hmm. Doesn't seem to work for me. As soon as I give them jira_user they have access to all other projects as well. Did you have to change the other permission schemes? I tested this out myself by creating a bogus user and adding that user to both Jira_user and the new group that i created. Once I did that, the bogus user was able to access all other projects as well.

No, I didn't have to change the other schemes. In our schemes only 'Users', 'Administrators' and 'Developers' is used in general. Hope Atlassian or others can help you out!

Thank you. Just needed the right direction.

@Nereida Lark - I had the same problem and managed to solve it after reading the answer on this page: In short, you can add (via global permissions) the permission "JIRA Users" to the created group (group "Project-Client" in the above example). Then, you can remove the users from the "jira_user" group, and they'll still be able to login to JIRA, as long as they still belong to the "Project-Client" group.

Like # people like this

This is the way to do it.  I also had to remove "Application Access" - "Any logged in user" from the "browse projects" permission in order to hide other projects from my one project user.

Like Jingjing Guo likes this

that was it! "Any logged in user". 

Oh my gosh, I've been screwing around with this all day trying to figure this out. 

In the end what worked was to go into the Default Permissions scheme and change Browse Projects, from "Any logged in user" to "jira-software-users" 

Now, using the steps above, I was able to add a user to a group "Client X", Create a Permissions Scheme called "Client X Permissions", set the permissions I wanted. And update the project to use the Client X Permissions scheme. 

I also had to go to System > Applications > Application Access and add the "Client X" group to 'JIRA Software' and tick the checkbox for "can sign in"

Like # people like this

short answer - impossible...

Wow. I wanted to do precisely this (allow an external user access to a single project) today and upgraded to the pay-for-it plan to get this ability.

Then I tried to do it.

Then I pulled out my few remaining hairs.

Then I put in a support ticket with Atlassian to ask them how to do this.

Then I did some google searches.

Then I found this thread.

And I absolutely love this concept:

"It really isn't as bad as other people make it out to be." (followed by a set of complicated and completely non-obvious instructions).

I work for a very small company and we have no IT department nor do we have time to become experts in the tools. All I want is a simple defect tracking system....

Like Tom Charle likes this

I don't think the permisions setup in JIRA could be any more confusing.


Yeah, I used to think they just didn't know any better but then I got a look at what they charge to train... ha! So, perhaps it is all a Grand Scheme...

Like # people like this

It's absolutely shameful. Somebody in atlassian should be thinking about a complete re-write.

Like # people like this

And here we are ... 5 Years later and I still agree

Like # people like this

Maybe will get better soon(in 2025) and boy,  I am looking forward to it 💪🏼

Like gediminassukys likes this

Piece of crap, It has to be two clicks

OMFG, this is so damned confusing. Really, Atlassian, I want the normal security groups, except I want to limit which projects a user sees and can access. Why is this soooo complicated? This is unreal.

What did I expect to find? In the user record, a set of checkboxes in a tab. One is for access to all projects, If you uncheck that, then you choose which projects the user has access to, one per checkbox.

It's incredible how complicated a process you guys turn this into. Been pulling my hair for more than an hour on this now, it looks like I a large chunk of my day will go into this insanely complicated task.

"This user can access only this project" -> Are you all dumb in Attlasian and you did not figure out that that would be most common user request? Really? Have you bumped your head?

I can not f**** believe how much hassle is required to achieve this ... UNBELIEVABLE!!! 

Very confusing. Really should be easier to do this. Still trying to setup an Account Manager role for a specific project. This person should only have access to Project XYZ and should only be able to do limited create issue, add comments, add attachment, etc.

1. Created Account Manager role.

2. Project Permissions. You can't assign more than one permission scheme to a project. So I copied default permission scheme and added the (extra) specific permissions I wanted for project role: Account manager.

3. Associated this new permission scheme to Project XYZ.

4. Created test user and assigned test user to role Account Manager.

5. WTF! A user has to be assigned to a group. Groups have global permissions. So I removed account manager from users and cannot login. Created account-manager group and assigned user to account-manager group. It can login but gets blank dashboard with login link.

Hey Atlassian, could you make this any more difficult?

Ok, found the answer here:

You need to set/give/mummify this new group (account-managers) the Jira Users something or other so it can login. then everything works. It sort of makes sense but I took a lot of hallucinogens in college ;-[

Like Didier Moutou likes this

"It really isn't as bad as other people make it out to be." -> yes it is. 

If you can describe a use case scenario is as "User can access project", that means that UIX should follow this scenario with "Chose project, choose user, assign" - not to do "just this 27 simple steps". That is bad UIX design by itself. 

Ideally - it would be great if you could simply click a button 'Add User to this Project' somewhere in the project panel. If this button was very obvious then at a minimum it could help to start the process. I could see something like: 1. Create a new project. 2. Click the 'Add User to this Project' button (which is very easy to see) 3. Auto-type User name and select. 4. Assign User Role or accept default. Done.

Like Serhii Kolisnyk likes this

Indeed, it's 2019 and atlassian still hasn't figured out how to make it friendly. Damn.

There is a way to make it friendly: set up the permissions schemes so that all the permissions are defined by "project role", i.e. not by individual or group. Then within each project you assign groups or individuals to roles. So we have project roles of "user", "developer", "admin". The trick is that I don't think this is the default setup in JIRA.

I am now into phase to kill someone...

You need to create a Permission Scheme and assign the Project Permissions for that particular project. Just create a project role for such users, whom you want to restrict to a single project and assign them browse project permission for that project itself.

you'd also have to add them to "Users" in "Global Permissions" so they can login, right?

Permission Scheme + assign scheme to project in NOT ENOUGH. The user still won't have access. I'm stuck on this too.

I only use group, not role.. And from what I can see, it works without creating a project role as well.

I was thinking of adopting JIRA, but for the reasons above I'll stick to my current solution...

I couldn't agree more, this is the most confusing user system I have ever used.  Serious guys! Fix this or provide better training.  All I want to do is say User A has access to only Projects X, Y and not Z.  This shouldn't be that hard! 

i was just as furious. I needed weeks to dig into the system. Now I'm fairly confident with it and can get anything done in multiple ways. It is really powerful. I agree though: the onboarding system is ridiculous. Nobody ever gets this when first using it.

Hi Stine

This is related to Browse Projects in the Permissions Scheme settings. So, I believe that you'll be able to do it using a single Permission Scheme settings and an user group for the related project.

In other words, as an example, you'll have to:

1. Add this user to a single group

2. Change the related project role using the new group

3. In a new permission scheme, just change the Browse Projects value with the related group

4. Enable this new permission scheme in the related project.

After that, only the users members of the related group will be able to access that project. So, to avoid the access to other projects, perhaps you should review all the procedures and try to apply this kind of approach to other projects.

Also, this is the documentation related to this:

In case of further assistance, try to raise a new support ticket,


Paulo Renato

Seriously? Can this be made simpler - i.e. 'Add User to this Project' button - I see a lot of confused people in the forum - me being one of them.

I agree. This is ridiculously more difficult than it needs to be.


you could start by readin this

i prefer setting up Permission Schemes that are based on Project Roles so the Project Admin can easily choose which users should have access to browse the project and wich users should be able to assign and be assigned

besides you may create a sketch for your self and plan any kinds of permissions

you're saying this as if this would be some kind of normal, useful workflow.

This is by far the best way of doing it: then the project manager for each project can separately choose who does and doesn't have access to that project.

I've been banging my head on the wall over this issue for the past few days. I have multiple projects, and multiple external teams working on different projects. I want to limit access and visibility of specific teams to specific projects and confluence spaces. The security/permissions scheme design on Atlassian platform is not only non-intuitive, and extremely laborious, it is plain stupid. 

@Logostech Atlassian Support Is there any way of achieving project level access control without going through such a laborious process for each project? How about a tabular representation of the permission scheme where I can edit all cells without having to click through Add for each and every permission item?

This is how I achieved it :

  • Create a new project role - "Client". To achieve this, do :
    • Go to JIRA Settings and Choose Project Role
  • Add client people and assign them "Client" role. To achieve this, do :
    • Go to Project Settings -> People section
  • Change permission scheme of the project from old to new one. To achieve this, do :
    • Go to JIRA settings, copy default permission scheme of your project and create a duplicate one
    • In the new permissions scheme, remove permissions from "Any logged in user". Instead assign to "Client" project role wherever necessary.
  • Done!

Hi, I found the solution for this (very easy one): In the Permission Scheme (FYI, I just have one Permission Scheme for all projects - both internal and external with customer). In this Permission Scheme, you assign the permission by Project Role not group or anything else. 

Then, inside the project, you assign your clients to a Project role.

Then, they can only see the projects they have the role.

Hope it help :)

@Viet Nguyen Could you explain your solution more in detail, please?
Maybe, could you give us an overview of your workflow and settings?

I'm new with JIRA and do not have an idea how to set up your solution.

Thank you!

Is it MANDATORY to have this user assigned to a project role, is it enough if this user is assigned to the project, the project filter and the project board?

What is the permission that user/group should have in order to be able to login?

I have recorded a series of steps here to give a particular Group access only to selected Spaces in Confluence and selected Projects in JIRA. Hope this helps.


LInk wouldn't load :-(

At the and, I have managed to achieve mentioned. 

However - if I have to do all those steps: in order to achieve simple: this users/groups can access/see this project than really, someone is really stupid here, either me which requires for most common operation to be executed in as less clicks as possible, or people behind this functionality which in 6 versions of this product could not figure out the common need of the users and force them to spend an f**** hour to achieve the same.

I don't know if this has changed with versions, but it seems to be quite easy to do this now...

How about these steps:

  1. Go to Project Administration -> Roles
  2. Edit the Users project roles and remove jira-users
  3. Add the individual users or groups you want to have access to the project.

I don't think you need to mess with permission schemes at all.


The explanation and diagram on this linked doco page is clear. I like the Jira security layers, they're not difficult to work with and make perfect sense, try mapping your use case to the diagram on this page.

Atlassian Doco->configuring-permissions-947188734



Pete Q

So I created a project that i don't even have access to. WTH? I have literally spent hours trying to create 2 projects and verify that 1 other user cannot create more projects or have access to everything else. 


Maybe a video to show the 14 step process would be good. this is for the birds, finding another product. If you cannot set up a user in 2 hours intuitively, i hate to think what the rest of the product is like

sweet. within 20 minutes, already create a project and correct user permissions in fogbugz. for those of you interested in jira, consider a simpler alternative.


no, i don't work for fogbugz. i am s/w consultant, who doesn't want to spend hours to create a user + permission. got better things to do.

Like Stuart Davies likes this

This is bhaaad

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