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?


5 answers

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3 votes
Accepted answer

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

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.

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.

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 1 person likes 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 3 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.

@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 1 person likes this

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.

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.

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