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Were can I find "parentless" subtasks?

Hi community,

in my Jira Next-Gen project I had a Task with three subtasks and converted the task into an epic. 

My expectation was, that Jira automatically converts the three subtasks into tasks of that EPIC. However this was not the case...Those subtasks are still subtasks which are floating around without a parent and which are hard to track down, because they do not show up in the backlog, board or anywhere else. 

If you do not know the ticket number to browse them directly I can not find them anymore...

Anyone else had this issue and knows a handy way around?


2 answers

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Answer accepted

Ok, there's a couple of tricks here.

The sub-tasks are not true orphans.  They appear to have lost the link to their parent, because the parent is an Epic, and there is even an "add parent" in the tools menu for them.  They don't look like they have a parent, and the parent has disavowed them.

But the data for the link is still there in the background and you can get to them in two ways

  • Simple searches shows them up.  Even just browsing a project, or using "issue type = sub-task" with the project got them.
  • If you change the epic back to a story-level issue, the parent/child relationship reappears.  Might be a bit clunky have to change all their parents to something else before re-doing the move to Epic, but at least it's not completely lost.

I'm a bit surprised Atlassian did it this way.  Ideally I'd like a "convert sub-tasks to stories, or tell me a new parent" question, rather than wilfully orphan them.  Either one of those would be good enough for me (but I'd like both options)

Hi Nic,

thanks for the advise!

Yes it is a really strange behavior, especially because Jira tells you that it changes (in my case) 4 issues...

In my textbook this screams bug really really hard and loud...

Not really "advice" here, in my opinion, more an explanation of the underlying data and a criticism of what Atlassian have done!

And, of course, total agreement on "Strange".  Bug - I'd say that too.  The search, the data, meh, but definitely a bug if you leave sub-tasks hanging.  Great that we have "add parent", but that's totally the wrong way to "fix" it.  You shouldn't allow it!

Hi @Mathias ,

If you still know their ticket number you can convert them to issue the same way you converted your issue into Epic. this way you will be able to add those issue to the epic.



Hi Adrien,

yeah I did this for one of the issues I had luckily open in another browser window. But am still missing the other two... :-(

If you have scriptrunner may be this JQL command will work:

issuetype in subTaskIssueTypes() and issueFunction not in subtasksOf("issuetype in standardIssueTypes()")

I did not created your situation in my instance so I did not tried it.

Hi Adrien,

no unfortunately no scriptrunner available, but maybe it is possible to let an admin install a trial and use it "quickly"...

Like SITTER_Adrien likes this

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