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JQL to Filter out Kanban Backlog Issues

I am trying to create a filter that does not include items in the Kanban backlog.  These are all in the To Do status, by default, which is the first column on my Board.   I do not want these to appear in the filter results, but cannot find anything other than filtering by status, and not by those items that appear on the Board,. 

7 answers

I have no answer, just want to express my annoyance that this particular feature is still not there after three years.

PS: Sorry for the spam, watchers.

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The way I was able to do this was by setting Sprint = null... which will correct to sprint = EMPTY, which was able to successfully separate the tickets I have assigned to sprints, and those that I have sitting in my backlog. If you need to show only items that are assigned to sprints, and IGNORE the items that are in the backlog, then the query would be sprint != EMPTY.. 

You can set these queries in the quick filters section

I believe I've figured it out by looking at the export file. Try to add this to your JQL: "Status != Backlog"

That does not seem to work, shame it is taking so long to implement this at Atlassian.

Not sure if this solves every use case and it's not perfect but this kind of achieves what I wanted to do. 

I am using the team-managed (next-gen) Jira with Kanban and backlog enabled. In the Board settings I click the Manage workflow button and add a new To-do status labeled "Backlog" and change the workflow so an issue transitions to this status on creation. 

This adds a new status to the Unassigned statuses section of the Board settings. This column is automatically hidden from the backlog so I placed the status in the To Do column of my board as the second status assigned to this column after "To Do" status. This lets my JQL filter search for statuses not including the "Backlog" status effectively filtering out the issues in my backlog.

The only annoying part of this is when I want to start working on an issue - I need manually move the issue from the backlog to the board and also remember to change its label to "To Do".  Wish there was a way to automate moving an issue from the backlog to the board when its status changes.


*Edit - Answer was incorrect.

To whom it may concern:

Kanban boards are functionally a filter, so you *can* get everything not in the backlog.

That is unfortunately not the case.  The link you provides shows JQL that will display issues from a specific board, or from multiple board. Unfortunately there is no JQL that will all you to filter out only those issues from one board that are in the backlog. The Backlog and Board will both be in a single status (To Do for example) and there is no way to distinguish cards in a particular status that are on the Board or the in the Backlog. That functionality is not available at this time.

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is this working in any case? I would love to be able to filter out tasks on the backlog.

Hi @Todd Heath ,

Can you please try below JQL query.

project = Test AND status not in ("To Do")



Unfortunately this will also filter anything in that status, including the items on the Board.  I need to see items that are in the To Do status, on the Board, but not see anything in the Backlog, which has the same status. 

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Hi @Todd Heath ,

It depends on your Kanban board filter. Basically you need to write NOT for your board filter. It will be easy if you give us you board filter query.



Jack Brickey Community Leader Oct 30, 2019

you may have a To Do column on the Kanban board but what status is mapped to it? It will be different that the status that is in the Backlog section of your Backlog board.

As Avinash suggested share your filter and more info about your boards status-column mapping.

Here is the filter so far: 

category = "Public Cloud" AND type = Offer AND (Status = "To Do" OR Status = Expedite OR Status = "In Process" OR Status = Hold OR Status = Blocked)


The status on the card appears as To Do when I create an issue in the backlog.  It is not on the board until I drag it up to it, but the backlog cards are appearing in the filter results.  

Like Arnulf Hornbach likes this

Hi @Todd Heath ,

The JQL query seems to be fine for the board , just to check sub filter which may try to hide the some issues from board. Share the sub filter for the kanban board.

Screenshot 2019-10-31 at 1.43.20 AM.png



Issue type doesn't filter out which of the issue type is in the backlog, and which are on the board. I need to know only those that are on the board, and not in the back lock of every issue type.

Hi @Todd Heath ,

I tried below JQL and it is working for me. can you please check the same

category = "Public Cloud" AND type = Offer AND (Status = Expedite OR Status = "In Process" OR Status = Hold OR Status = Blocked)

I have To-Do status in Kanban backlog and others in board column.



That would not include the items on the board that are in the To Do column.  I need to see all cards on the Board.  The status in the Backlog is To Do by default, and the only options available are columns on the Kanban Board.  If any column from the Board is filtered out, then I can no longer see those cards.  I need to see all cards on the Board, excluding those in the Backlog.  The Board and Backlog both contain the To Do status.  The only solution is to be able to filter out those cards that are in the backlog, but I cannot determine how this can be done. 

I don't know if this is something with the Next Gen boards, but I cannot seem to determine how to show only cards on the Board in the filter results.


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@Todd Heathdid you find a solution for your problem? I am currently facing the exact same thing.



Unfortunately no.  I have found no way to do this. :( 

Hi All

I have same problem , sounds very simple but have wasted a couple of hours looking for a solution. If Jira can do it it should be JQL possible

Unfortunately it isn't possible in JQL.  This seems like an obvious thing that someone would want to do, but there isn't the ability to do it.  

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I too am looking for a way to do this but have yet to find anything. We use a board that displays tickets across multiple projects and I want to filter out projects from the backlog which are in "ToDo" status but keep the items that are on the Kanban board that are in "ToDo". However there doesn't seem to be a way to do this. 

Same issue here, can't find a way to exclude items from the Backlog. I went through all fields I can see in JQL, and I couldn't find any that seems to match. I had assumed there's a field somewhere that gets updated whenever we pull a ticket from the Backlog into the Board, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Same issue here, want to move items from kanban backlog to another board, but no way to select them

I'm also having this same problem. Will try and update if I find an answer

Like Gabriel Radic likes this

Here are a couple open related issues for anyone to upvote if you're also still looking for this feature:

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