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Jira import is saying You must enter the location of an XML file


I am trying to migrate from the internal DB to MySQL. I'm on Windows. I followed the steps to backup to XML. When I try to import my data again, Jira says "You must enter the location of an XML file."

Things I've tried:

  • Full directory path: C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Application Data\JIRA\import\
  • Just the zip file name
  • Extracting the zip file and placing the two XML files in C:\Program Files\Atlassian\Application Data\JIRA\import and trying to import the XML files

No matter what I try, I keep getting "You must enter the location of an XML file."

Edit: I also managed to get locked out. Jira said that it was already setup. What can I do to get back in?

3 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted

Alright - so here's how I solved this. I setup Jira as a fresh install. Once I got logged in, I attempted an import using the zip I created when I backed this up. When I imported from the fresh install, I got an error that was actually helpful. A comment had a smiley in it (☺) and I had to go into the activeobjects.xml in Notepad++, delete it, re-zip the files, then importing it and it successfully uploaded. I don't know if this is a bug, but it might be. Seems a little strange I got an error completely un-related until I did a fresh install of Jira. Thanks for getting me on the right path though!

Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 30, 2018

ah,  Thanks for clarifying.  It's a known limitation that mysql databases cannot store 4-byte characters.  Hence characters like emojis can't be stored in those databases.   This is something that looks like it might get fixed in the next major version of Jira per

0 votes
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Oct 29, 2018

Two things I would check:

  1. Windows systems have a tendency to default themselves to hide file extensions.  If this is enabled in your system, then the file might actually have a filename such as  In which case you need to enter it exactly as such to get Jira to use this.   You could confirm the true filename by going to a command prompt in this directory (cmd.exe) and the doing a dir command to see the actual filename.
  2. If that is not the case, please extract this file to make sure that it has exactly two files in it:  activeobjects.xml and entities.xml.  You won't be able to import just the xml files directly, they do need to be inside a zip file for this to work.

Yep, it only has one extension. Extracted it and the two files activeobjects.xml and entities.xml are in there. mstsc_2018-10-29_21-40-57.png

When I import the zip file, I see it go to a screen where it looks like it's extracting the files. But I've seen it disappear after a random percentage (could be 20%, could be 2% - it varies each time I do this).

I'm starting to get behind on work. Could I just setup Jira as a fresh install and then restore from the latest automated backup zips?

0 votes


You should not unzip the file. Just write during import.

Did that. Still get “You must enter the location of an XML file.”

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