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Project key still in use after changing

We have recently started a new project and wanted to give it a specific key, lets say ABC. When we tried to do this we got an error saying that key is used by project "A Bee Circus". This project is old and "abandoned" since a while back, so we changed that key to say "COB", something completely different. However When trying to give the key to our new project we still get the error that is't being used by "A Bee Circus", even after waiting a few days for the change to take affect. Is there a way to solve this or are all old keys eternally blocked?

4 answers

2 accepted

4 votes
Answer accepted

Jira keeps a record of old projects so it can tie up redirects (when an issue is moved out of a project and then the project is deleted later).  That data blocks the reuse of a project key

There's no way to fix that on Cloud, as you need database access to remove the project key and destroy all the redirect (old issue key -> moved issue key).  There is an open request to get this fixed on Cloud, not sure how it is progressing.

Nick, can we please get a link to the open request so we can upvote it? This is a pain.

Like # people like this

This is a mess, not a pain


@tom.walker here's the topic, open since 2013. Doubtfully this will ever get fixed

Like # people like this
4 votes
Answer accepted

Hi @Kajsa 

As stated in the official docs

You won't be able to create a new project with the old project key. However, you can change the renamed project back to the old project key. If you delete the project, all associated keys will be freed and you'll be able to re-use them.

So until the old project is deleted, all of it's previous project keys will redirect you to the new project key for the same project.

Hope this helps!

I deleted the old project and it still reports that the old project key is being used.

Like # people like this

As Nic said in the comment below, currently this solution isn't working on cloud but there's an open request with Atlassian to fix it.

You can delete your project. Jira will move it to trash. As admin, go to Projects and delete it from trash. Then you can re-use the key.

I'm afraid it is not.  Even after emptying the trash, Jira keeps a record of the project key you used and will stop you using it again.  (unless the project never had any issues in it)

Odd, because I had a project that had been misconfigured and this worked. There were only like 10 issues so I manually typed each issue to a new project, deleted the old project, emptied the trash and then managed to rename the new project to the old key.

This was on the cloud

I re-tested it just before posting that last comment, and Jira blocked us from using the old project key.

So, no, this remains an incorrect answer.

Like danny.sauer likes this

Hm, maybe something else need to be done before deleting the project? How long did you wait for the reindexing?

I've edited the answer to make the wording clearer

You don't need to wait for the re-indexing, but even if you did, I left it plenty of time.

Your edit has made a nonsense of the conversation.

I am experiencing the same issue. I deleted my old project and it still will not allow me to update my new project with the old project's key. 

Like Pedro Almada likes this

Please read the accepted answers above.  They won't help you, but they do explain it.

Like Pedro Almada likes this

I still have the same problem here.

See @Callum Carlile _Automation Consultants_  answer, it still applies.

Yeah I know it's not working. I was under the impression that replying here can push JIRA team to improve the behaviors faster.

It won't.  Atlassian don't look to Community for helping rank their backlogs.  They do look at votes on issues in their Jira (and they do take items from Community into it)


You can delete your project. Jira will move it to trash. If you need immediately to use a new key, as admin, go to Projects and delete it from trash. Then you can re-use the key.

Like John Hutchinson likes this

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