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Is it possible to disable new labels creation?

Dear JIRA community

Does JIRA allow to restrict the new values creation for "label" field type? 

We have a huge list of functionalities/areas (more than 300)  and wanted to have them as searchable multi-select in the same way as Labels are made but without possibility to add new values by normal users (to avoid similar or duplicate values).

Thanks in advance,

Peter Ke.

3 answers

1 vote

No, the whole point of the labels field is to allow people to create new values.

If you want a limited list, the best you can do is use a multi-select.

"No, the whole point of the labels field is to allow people to create new values." - absolutely agree with you. And having one field where all the users can add values  without any control is quite enough. Right? We do not need other custom field with mess. 

"If you want a limited list, the best you can do is use a multi-select." - No, the whole point of my question is to have  searchable (like "labels"), multi-select (like "labels") custom field without scrollbar (like "labels") and show the selected values in easy to read way (like "labels") BUT without possibility to add new values (like "multi-select").

Would it not be much more better to add an additional setting to "label" field type to enable/disable new values adding by usual JIRA user?

Like Simon Hedges likes this

Well, you absolutely right, add an additional setting to "label" field type to enable/disable new values adding by usual JIRA user is better, but Atlassian does not give such an opportunity, therefore, it is necessary to resort to other methods)

Like # people like this

No, Atlassian are not going to add another field that does what a multi-select already does.

If you want people to add free-format options, use a label.  If you want a restricted list, use a multi-select.

Like Yevhen Rohovets likes this

Nic, you keep pushing multi-select, but that control does not work for the cases where you have a large number of tags. It's pretty unbelievable that you won't accept that.

The UI for multi-select is horrendous. Every modern system with labeling allows permissioning on labels. Look at Stack Overflow, you don't get to add new tags until you reach a certain level.

Would you be happier if we asked for instead for a new field type called "controlled label", or perhaps be able to configure a multi-select field with a "Use Label UI", parameter?

Like # people like this

I do agree that the multi-select is not great when there are a lot of options.  But if you're wanting to limit people's "tags", you probably don't want a lot anyway.

Ideally, yes, we get a type-ahead for multi-select instead (or better, as well as, and we can choose which we use).  But the fact remains if you want to control the tags, the best option is a multi-select.

Right now I want to create a set of countries/regions as labels. I don't want the user to create their own because then we would have inconsistent values, "USA" vs "US" vs "United States" vs.. ad infinitum. 

and.. there are over 200 countries in the world.

A labels field where we can prevent the creation of new labels is PERFECT solution for this.. Not a dropdown.

I see multiple strings of back-and-forth over this. where Nic states that's the dropdown field and that the labels field is meant to be used as free-form..

But.. it still CAN. Simply give the option to limit that field or not. Then it's up to the user. it makes  EVERYONE happy. That "supposed majority" who want the existing Labels functionality are still happy. And those who want to limit labels, can. 

Simple as that. No arguments needed. Atlassian... just do it, already!

Like # people like this

If you want to limit the field, use a select type field.  Simple as that.

Hi @Péter_Kemenyás 

Jira native 'Labels' field allows everyone to create new labels anytime. This often results in a mess of options.

We built an App that not only allows to clean up (edit, merge, delte) Jira native 'Labels' field globally or on a project level, but also to create 'Label Manager' own custom field type that allow to predefine allowed labels globally or for each project.

Label Manager for Jira

This allows project admins to manage their the options themselves without help from global Jira admins. (Like components)

Also you can use the label as checklist by assigning traffic light colors indepent on each issue.


Hope I could help you



1. There is another big reason to use labels rather than another field. The labels show on the card in various listing views.

This is important for practical usage of this tool.

2. Limiting tag creation to certain users seems like a very reasonable and useful request. Allowing everyone to create any tags they want makes the labels field almost useless since users will create garbage labels losing all consistency or value. This may be fine for some use cases, but for many (or most) cases, having no control over this turns the tags field into a garbage field.

3. Another important thing to note is that removing a label from circulation is not possible. So once someone adds a label, say a bad word for example, it is now going to be autocompleted for everyone forever.

4. Labels is the only way that I've seen, other than parent tickets and deadlines, to show words on the cards.

X. But over a decade of using jira in various businesses, I have yet to have a single feature implemented that I've commented on or requested. I have zero hope that jira cares about its users. This community just feels like a bunch of people yelling into an empty void honestly. I typically end up here in frustration. They built an entire new version of the tool and somehow are still unable to add new features on a meaningful schedule. Would love it if someone proved me wrong, but I'm so exhausted commenting in these chats with no meaningful progress ever. I've commented on things with 1000s of upvotes over many years and still nothing.

Yes, this does make a lot of sense.

1.   Yes, very much so, that's why labels are useful.

2.  Yes, you're right, it is very easy for people to create junk.  If you want to stop this, then use a controllable field instead.

3.  Ah, now that is technically wrong - to remove a label from circulation, search for it, then delete it from each issue it is on.  Might be a bit of a slog if it's been widely used, but you can do it.

4. Select lists, text fields and so-on all show words and phrases on issues

X.  Yes, Atlassian has implemented labels in a similar way to others.  They are a bit stuck in general, to be honest - there's a faction pushing for more flexibility/agility for end-users, but at the same time, another pushing for more joined-up thinking and useful collaboration. 

Atlassian doesn't go far down either route but tries to support both, which leaves us in a very grey area, and labels are one of the things that fall down the cracks - we want them to be useful, which means having a global constraint on them, but the aim of them is to let anyone put what they want in, in the name of flexibility.

Personally, I would like to see three things done to labels

  • There should be a (global) permission for creating new labels.  Everyone with create/edit can add labels to an issue, but they can only add labels that already exist (I have a feeling that rule should only kick in after a system has 128+ different labels to offer). Then the handful of people in the "can create new label" group can add whatever they like.
  • There should be a simple admin screen for labels that lists them, allows a bit of a sort, shows when they were last added to an issue, and, most importantly, allows admins to rename, merge or, if it really is that terrible, simply delete the label.
  • I would split the field into two - global and personal.  Global labels should work as they do now (with the two functions above added), but people should be free to tag issues with something that non-one else gets to see.
Like # people like this

I like your recommended solution. I don't believe that it will ever happen.

I would be happy if they would do something as simple as adding permissions on who can add new labels. 

Like Simon Hedges likes this

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