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Rename labels

We tag JIRA issues with labels to make it easier to find related issues across projects.

One of the labels we use is the customer's name. Problem is that companies sometime change their name. Now to the question: How can we change the name of a JIRA label in use?

I don't want to go through all issues and update them manually so is there an easier way to simply rename an existing label?

We use JIRA Ondemand.

10 answers

There's a decent "Bulk Modify" workaround:

  • search for issues with your particular label
  • bulk edit -> select all -> edit issues -> change labels -> add to existing. Add the new label
  • go back to your search and bulk edit again (at this point, both the new and old labels should be present)
  • bulk edit -> select all -> edit issues -> change labels -> find and remove these. Type the old label name.
  • celebrate!


This solution ultimately worked for me after I changed permissions to be able to edit closed tickets.

Excellent, thanks.

It appears that bulk editing is limited to 1000 entries at a time.

Where do you find the bulk edit menu item?

nic Community Leader Dec 12, 2018

It should be in the "tools" menu when you have run a search for a set of issues or run a saved filter.  Should be near the top right with a cog, tools or ...

Resolved.. This method really works.

Tiran Behrouz I'm New Here Sunday

i'm new to Jira and we imported a large project from PivotalTracker and a lot of the labels are imported with a comma or some extra chars in them. It would be so nice to be able to quickly rename a label in all the project. Groove.hq has a very easy way to do this. 


It'd be great if there could be the "Edit name" option for Labels, in the same way it is for Epics.

The ability to directly do what we want always beats having to indirectly take five steps to do what we want. And this is a fairly common operation.

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nic Community Leader Mar 27, 2018

If it's a common operation, you have a bit of a problem with your users.  Might be worth fixing the problem at source.

The "source" is things change over time. You can't really fix that, you can only adapt to it.

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nic Community Leader Mar 27, 2018

That would only lead you to a small number of edge-cases though.

I understand that from a developer's point of view (the JIRA team), this would be a low priority because (a) it doesn't happen THAT often and (b) there is a not-TOO-onerous workaround. But from a user's point of view (multiple JIRA users who have posted here, including myself) it happens sometime and we would like to be able to directly perform the operation, so I "voted" for it.

I'm not sure what your point is, though... Are you part of the JIRA team voting to not implement this? Or are you saying you never have the problem so you don't care if it gets implemented?

Like Tiran Behrouz likes this
nic Community Leader Mar 27, 2018

That's fine, but I think you have to understand that software can't do everything.

I'm not an Atlassian, and I'm not saying this is something I would not want to do if I were.  But I've got a list of things I would like Jira to do, and this is the sort of thing that is very very low down it, as you say, because it doesn't happen often and the workaround is trivial.

I understand how software is developed and how feature requests get prioritized. I thought this feature would be nice to have, so I expressed that opinion to give a little input to the JIRA team.

nic Community Leader Mar 27, 2018

If you think it's important, have a look at - that contains all the feature requests.

The community here generates some, and discusses them, but has zero weight when it comes to prioritisation.  You should find the request and vote for it - that's the main input Atlassian use from customers.

Like Robert Jenkins likes this

I don't think it's that important, actually. But thanks for the pointer in case I find an issue in the future I really do want to vote up...

Just want to chime in an say this is a much wanted feature for us to. (we also use ondemand)

Me too.  Labels in general often get out of hand quite quickly because it's so quick for anyone to generate a new one, so more ability to manage them is useful.

+1 We have many use cases when project names, etc. change or we need to modify, etc.  'Having to make a back-end manual update to correct/modify something that any user can set on the fly (and not be able to change) is not very user-friendly.

+1 it would be super useful to have an option to edit existing labels. Would definitely be a time saver to most of us.

This would typically require a backend database change, so I can think of 2 alternatives for OnDemand.

1) Submit a request to support. They may be willing to update the data table and reindex JIRA for you -

2) Use the "Bulk Modify" feature to search for issues with "CompanyZ" and add the label "CompanyZee". This will remove all existing labels from those issues!

+1 This would be a very useful feature for us.

+1 for label rename feature.

JIRA and other Atlassian products are great but sometimes they lack such obvious, basic and easy to implement features that it totally puzzles me.

2 votes

The first reply works, but as the author said it is "workaround". Simple "rename" would be much easier and safer operation. 

The problem with the workaround of searching the label, then bulk adding a new one and removing the old one is that it will also mess up all macros relying on the old label.

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