Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Sign up Log in

Next challenges

Recent achievements

  • Global
  • Personal


  • Give kudos
  • Received
  • Given


  • Global

Trophy case

Kudos (beta program)

Kudos logo

You've been invited into the Kudos (beta program) private group. Chat with others in the program, or give feedback to Atlassian.

View group

It's not the same without you

Join the community to find out what other Atlassian users are discussing, debating and creating.

Atlassian Community Hero Image Collage

Update existing issue via import

Hi, I am trying to update existing Jira issues via CSV file. I did have 'Issue Id' field for each issue. However every time I tried to update I got a new issue created for me. The existing one doesn't get updated at all. Can any expert help? Thanks!

1 answer

0 votes
Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team Feb 05, 2020

Hi Tao,

I understand that you're trying to update issues in Jira Cloud via a CSV file, but that this is not working as expected and new issues are created instead. This is possible to do in Jira with a CSV file, but there are a couple of caveats to doing this.

There is a scenario where new issues are created instead of updating existing issues.  Jira has two different features that can both import issues from CSV files.  However one of them is only available to Jira administrators, and as such that particular External System Importer has some abilities that the other importer does not have. 

You can confirm which one you are using by taking a closer look at the site URL.  If your URL on that page where you created the screenshot looks something like this:!default.jspa?externalSystem=com.atlassian.jira.plugins.jim-plugin%3AbulkCreateCsv 

Then you're not actually using the external system import utility.  If you are a Jira admin, you can go to Cog Icon -> Settings -> System -> External System import.  If you're on the correct page, the URL will looks like this: 

From there you can select your CSV file and import this. 

However from looking at your steps, I don't think you will be able to update existing issues based solely off the issue id field.  That field is important for establishing parent/child relationships of subtasks, but in order for you to update existing issues, you actually need to map to the IssueKey field instead.  This is explained in Importing data from CSV: Updating existing issues.

To update existing issues, your CSV file needs to contain a column that maps to Issue Key. If an issue exists for a given key, it will be updated.

Your CSV file will also require the summary field.  So it should still be possible for you to update these issues in Jira via CSV, but to recap, your file needs to have IssueKey, Summary, and any other fields you want to update on existing issues there.  And again, I'd recommend making sure you're using the external system import as an admin instead of the bulk create function.

Try this and let me know if this helps.


Jumping in here, why is the Summary field required ?!?  I do not want to update the summary, so why would I need to include it!

Andy Heinzer Atlassian Team May 05, 2020

The CSV importer is not smart enough to understand when you go to use it that you might only want to update existing issues.  It was initially designed as a way to get issues into Jira from an external source quickly.  It does that. 

Summary is one of the only required fields in the field configurations that you cannot make optional.  There is an existing feature request where users are seeking the ability to make Summary optional over in JRACLOUD-69507.

As such, the importer is trying to honor the field configurations that exist.  It doesn't know that it might be updating existing records, it has been built with in the specs that it will have to create new issues.  And when creating new issues in Jira from any source, you would you be obligated to have some value to provide to the required fields such as summary.

Frankly, it is probably the easiest thing to change in the whole of Jira, seriously. If the ticket key is there, then it is an update, that's all. The only required field should then be ticket key.


Also, the Jira ticket you gave is not the same thing at all. Summary should not be an optional field for a ticket. It's two different things.

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer

Community Events

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find an event

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Unfortunately there are no Community Events near you at the moment.

Host an event

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local event. Learn more about Community Events

Events near you