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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.

12 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.

Like # people like this

Excellent, thanks.

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

Where do you find the bulk edit menu item?

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.

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. 

Like Ian Reandeau likes this

Kind of lame that we have to do this, but a good workaround nonetheless. Thanks Jason!

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Thanks for information. One more thing i just wanted to know if we are particular about Capital letter /Small letter .  for Example if i have to Replace low high med with Low High Med then search criteria will pull both. So is there any way to choose just lower letter word i mean specific word /label and Replace it will Normalized word for better readability. Please let me know

This workaround is sorely lacking IMO because any filters that refer to the label will be broken after applying this "fix."

This is the main reason I think Atlassian should consider implementing a real solution, which would be supporting renaming of labels. After all, the main reason for labels is so that you can search on them, and the most useful searches are those that get saved, dashboarded, etc (filters).

Like Ken Walker likes this

Hi @Eric ,

I agree, you should take filters into account when "renaming" a label using bulk edit. In fact, it doesn't stop there: Labels could also be used in workflows (Conditions, Validators, some Post Functions) and even Automations. 

If I had the originally mentioned problem – a company changed their name and now I need a new label – I would still use bulk edit. However, instead of removing the old label and adding the new label, I would just add the new label. This way, older filters etc. would still work. 

Personally, I believe renaming a label is a totally different use-case: You would rename a label when someone misspelled a label, so that your filter works again. Like "login" vs "log-in" for example. Which incidentally is one of the features that almost all label apps in the marketplace have – including ours

As for Atlassian implementing a real solution, that not only updates the text of a label, but also all filters and so on: I would not count on it. Considering how widespread JQL queries and hence label-based searches are within not only Jira, but also all the different available apps, it seems to me like an almost impossible task. The user experience would definitely be worse, if all filters keep on working after changing a label, but now your ScriptRunners scripts are broken.

Best regards,

Using two labels instead of one (in the "just add a new label" suggestion) means everyone now has to track and maintain two labels for one situation. Yes, another workaround, but harder on everyone than just having the ability to rename labels.

As far as worrying about ScriptRunnner and other external tools: Doesn't this problem exist any time you integrate multiple software tools? The same problem will happen if I use the bulk edit/replace workaround suggested earlier. But I think people understand when they do their own integration like this, they have have to maintain the consistency within the queries themselves. That does not sound like a reason to not provide a feature users are requesting.

Personally, I believe there are many use cases for changing labels--not just one. Certainly more than the several identified in this topic.

Oh yes, adding a second label definitely is a sub-optimal work-around. In my mind, the best solution from the start would have been a multi-select custom field, because then you could natively rename any options. And if you wanted to integrate external tools, you could target an option's ID instead of the text – you cannot do that with labels, as far as I know.

Speaking from an app vendor's perspective, when a label is changed we never know the intend behind that change: Was it the wrong label or is a label being renamed? Should be we update the filters our users have stored or not? I think that would result in a lot of inconsistent behaviour between different apps. But hey, I might be very wrong here.

In the end, I personally like labels as an organizational tool in Jira and anything that makes that better would be welcomed by me. 


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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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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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 # people like this

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.

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 Rob 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...

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

I think this feature is never gonna make it to the software :
1-The workaround is easy

2-I always discourage my user to use label to manage important classification is Jira. Because of mistyping, it's not reliable enough. Use something else, like components or a custom property with a dropdown...

Like Noémie Jusselin likes this

Hi Stoycho, if you want simple "rename" functionality, you can use our add-on:

Label Manager & Editor for Jira Cloud

You can also view all labels in once place & remove those that are not needed.

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.

Like Elizabeth likes this

+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.

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

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

+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.

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.

2 votes
EddieW Rising Star Mar 07, 2014

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!

We should use Find /Replace option by selecting the respective Column /Field. Specially it will help for Labels and comments  to make more standardized.. Is there any way we export the data in csv - Correct the details and upload as Update the the Issues . Please let me know.

This is old thread but there does not seem to be proper solution yet.

I am happy to inform you that we have released a new add-on which allows renaming labels very easily:

Label Manager for Jira Cloud

This is currently available for Jira Cloud. It allows you to:

- View all labels in one place

- Number of issues under a label

- Rename or change label (which is reflected in all issues)

If you find any bugs or have questions, feel free to contact us.

Any chance of adding Jira Server support?

Hi @eferrell 

We want to add Jira Server support in future. I will inform you when we release server version. Thank you

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