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How to manage labels?

As the title says, how can I manage labels?

Just like delete the labels I don't want by JIRA administration.

Is that the labels can only be deleted in issues?


8 answers

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This should be a feature that admins can use.  Scenario: a developer decides to take the time and add "a very long label to any number of issues", since labels are displayed alphabetically, this label can block off the UI and since we can't adjust the width of the issue details while on the sprint screen, this makes for a very unhealthy user experience.

Hi Daniel,

In order to fix that problem, you can use our app Label Manager for Jira Cloud

It allows managing labels per project or globally. It gives full control over your labels. You can rename, delete or merge labels. It's currently available for cloud.

Try it out from Marketplace: and let us know if you face any issues.

Always an "additional" expense for things that obviously should be part of the core product. It's so frustrating as an Admin to not be able to do things that should just "be".

It's another feature that Atlassian don't see any need to add to the core (nor do most of us frankly).

If you want a managed list of labels, use a multi-select instead.

Like John likes this

It should be possible to bulk edit and bulk assign:

Here is an example we suffer from:

Developer A adds the label: widget

Developer B adds the label: Widget

Developer C adds the label: widgets

Developer D add the label: Widgets


Now I have 4 labels which are all the same thing.... I just want to change them all to be widget...

Like # people like this

Let me save you time, the answer is always "pay for another plug in" - Atlassian seems to have no desire to make their product actually useful and every desire to pawn the responsibility for their product off on 3rd parties and ensuring you pay as much $$ as possible to use their product.

Like # people like this

In Jira Cloud you can search for issues with particular labels and use the "bulk change" option to edit/remove/replace labels. Years ago, Jira server also had the option, but at the time, it just replaced all labels in the bulk edit, you didn't have other options. I haven't used a server version for several years now so I am unsure if that feature has been improved or still exists.

Like # people like this

@Nic Brough _Adaptavist_

Hey Nic, let me explain why we need to manage the values of the label field; and to make it even easier I'll use your own words.  


Nic Brough [Adaptavist] COMMUNITY CHAMPION Nov 21, 2013

No. Multi-select list options are set by the administrators.

You'd need to write a new field to do this. Or do it the slightly easier way and simply use a labels field - not quite a drop down, but has auto-suggest and let-user-add-random-value to it.


So; this is exactly what I was looking for a multi-select with the ability to allow the users to add; and I decided a label would work based on the above.  And then I tried to pre-populate the new custom label field and couldn't figure out how to do it when I came across this topic.   


Looks like we've come full circle?  Could you maybe start to see the why it might be a "good thing" that admins can manage labels?

Like # people like this

This is certainly not an answer to the question, but it can be an easy workaround to get a "hybrid label/multi-select" item.

We have used the following condition in a ScriptRunner Behavior to set up a labeled custom field which handles our product serial numbers.

They have a predefined structure and are suitable for regex filtering, but one can adapt it for example to forbid extra-long labels.

def formField = getFieldById(getFieldChanged())
def serialNumbers = []
if (formField.getValue() in String) {
} else {
serialNumbers = formField.getValue()
formField.setFormValue( serialNumbers.findAll { it ==~ /^(0\d{2}){2}\d{4}$/ } )
log.debug("Serial Numbers : " + serialNumbers)
Like Stephen Hayden likes this
3 votes

Yes, you can only "manage labels" via issues.  Labels are not intended to be "managed" centrally, they're for users.  If you want to use managed lists of words/phrases, then use a multi-select field instead.


I'm pretty new with multi select field so you mean a custom field? 

how do I create one...?



@Nic Brough [Adaptavist]

Yes - as an admin, go to issues -> custom fields, and click "add".  Answer the initial questions about name, starting content (options) and screens, save it and you'll have the field on your issues. 

To add/update/de-activate/delete options later go back to admin -> custom fields, and change the config of the field

There is a way to manage labels if you use the plugin "Label Manager for JIRA"

You as an Project admin or JIRA Admin can manage which items are available project based. 

This looks like a great tool, I hope it come to cloud too.

Like Thomas Schneider likes this

Just use bulk edit with an appropriate search. This is why Jira will never have that feature : you can already do it in a very simple way.

And keep in mind : if managing labels in your Jira is time-consuming, maybe you not using it in the right way ;)

Can you describe in detail how to delete a label using your process?

In Jira Cloud:

  1. do a search for your isssues
  2. select all or a sub-set
  3. use the ellipsis in the top right and select "bulk change all X issues"
  4. veryify those are the issues you want, click next
  5. select edit issues, click next
  6. scroll down to "Change Labels" and select it and choose the option you want in the dropdown, and enter the label names you want, click next

I haven't used Jira Server in several years so I am not sure if the process is the same.

@Anthony France 

has anyone had issues with labels not saving? I add a TEST label to an issue and save --> delete the TEST label and save --> go to re'add TEST label and it doesn't show up under recommended labels. 

any ideas?

It sounds like it is working as intended. The suggestion list that pops up is a list of labels that are currently in use on issues. If you create a new label on an issue, then remove it, and it isn't used in any other issues, it will not pop up in the suggested list.

Like # people like this

@Christien Groff  This is a hugely underrated comment and really the simplest way to get around the problem of managing labels. It would be a manual process obviously and would require upkeep, but probably the only way without the plug-in. Thanks for the information.

Like # people like this

Nice then simply search the whole project like Michael Fasani for widget, Widget, widgets and Widgets then delete them and do that on a daily base because wrong or stupid labels could be added every second. Delivering an extra Plug In for managing a software which is expensive enough, is very very very sad. You want to get the best out of your product? Then simply dont pay the full price, pay double or triple full price for getting the chance to give colours to your labels! Wow

@Max Muster You're not wrong - yes, "wrong or stupid labels could be added every second" - but it sounds like that would be more of a "How to manage employees/project standards?" problem. Require or agree on accountability and enforce/support it or enlist the aid of someone or a group of someones that can. Jira allows you to view just about every edit on an issue and the user who did the editing, including editing of a label.

Also, it becomes pretty difficult for users to add an erroneous label after the list is populated with accurate labels. Even if the user types "lAbEl", if there is already a "Label", when you hit enter, the existing label is chosen. However, I totally agree there should be a label manager built in, because honestly, why wouldn't there be if you can add labels? 

Like Pedro Silva likes this

Thank you @Christien Groff that helps a lot!

Like Christien Groff likes this

I think if you need to standardize a "label" or category of some kind, create a custom multi-value field and manage it that way. You will need to update your screens to handle the field, but this would be a much better way to use.  It makes it easy to group like issues and report on verse labels that you don't really have central control and can get cluttered.

This misses the mark unless something else has changed.  The reason for using the label field instead of a select is that users can add labels.


It just so happens sometimes labels need to be managed and cleaned up.

Like # people like this

There is a request created to delete/maintain labels. Please vote for this functionality!

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