Illegal group reference Exception

While restoring a JIRA backup,  the following exception is thrown

"Exception importing entity: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal group reference

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Illegal group reference".

atlassian-xml-cleaner-0.1 utility cleans up all illegal characters (

java -jar atlassian-xml-cleaner-0.1.jar entities.xml > entities-clean.xml

But even after using the above utility,  the exception is thrown.  What could be the problem and what is the solution for this?

Thanks and Regards,


1 answer

Hi Krish.

Just to be sure, after run the command line to clean the XML, did you rename the files, removing the '-clean' part e made a new .zip file with them to be imported?


Yes it did that.

In this case, I would recommend to open the files and look for special characters such as the $ in the column headings and remove it.

Thanks Teilor

If you still are seeing errors I would recommend to open a ticket to the support team in

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Published Jan 08, 2019 in Jira

How to Jira for designers

I’m a designer on the Jira team. For a long time, I’ve fielded questions from other designers about how they should be using Jira Software with their design team. I’ve also heard feedback from other ...

1,091 views 4 9
Read article

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you