JQL filter for Stories without Subtasks? (without plugin)

Mike Shkolnik April 4, 2016

I know this has been asked before but the threads are old and the solutions do not appear to work with current Jira. My goal is simple - I need a JQL filter that shows all the plan items (Stories, Bugs, and Chores) that do not have any Subtasks. JIRA version is 6.4.3 with JIRA Agile 6.7.2. I am not permitted to install any plugins (such as "JQL Tricks").

In theory " hasSubtasks()" has been native in JIRA for some time, but does not appear to work. Perhaps I am using it wrong? I tried "issue not in hasSubtasks()" as well as "not (issue in hasSubtasks())" and I still get issues with subtasks. Weird thing is "issue not in hasSubtasks()" shows items that have subtasks while "issue in hasSubtasks()" shows nothing. Not one single item. And I know I have some issues with subtasks because they show when I add "not" smile. Here is the full filter I am experimenting with:

issuetype in (story, chore, bug) AND Sprint in openSprints() AND status != Closed AND issue not in hasSubtasks()

8 answers

1 accepted

6 votes
Answer accepted
Nicolas Bourdages
Rising Star
Rising Star
Rising Stars are recognized for providing high-quality answers to other users. Rising Stars receive a certificate of achievement and are on the path to becoming Community Leaders.
April 4, 2016

hasSubtask() is not native to JIRA. This is the list of native 6.4 functions. It's available in Scriptrunner with this notation:

issueFunction in hasSubtasks() 

Perhaps you have a different plugin? http://www.j-tricks.com/jqlt-subtask-functions.html has a "hasSubtasks()" function with the notation you describe.

Mike Shkolnik April 4, 2016

That did it! "issueFunction not in hasSubtasks()" is the correct answer. Not sure what "issue not in hasSubtasks()" was doing. Thank you very much!

Like Shishir Rattan likes this
6 votes
Amit Namdhari May 23, 2018

Solution without a plugin.

Use below query as a Quick Filter from the Board Configuration.

issueFunction not in hasSubtasks() AND issuetype != Sub-task

It will sort out every story, which has No or Zero sub-tasks.

Mike Shkolnik May 23, 2018

That solution requires the ScriptRunner plugin. Basically $1000 per month just for me to use JQL extensions... That's not going to happen at the current job. Two years ago when I posted this question I apparently wasn't aware we were using ScriptRunner at the old job.

Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
November 26, 2018

Hi @Mike Shkolnik,

Would a no-cost add-on be acceptable?  Not sure if there is one but thought I'd clarify before I want digging.

~~Larry Brock

Like # people like this
Prasun Kumar May 27, 2020

Thanks, this worked wonders !

Andreas Guther January 6, 2021

Thank you! That helped.

2 votes
Reg Hawkins September 21, 2018

project = <project name> AND Sprint = <Sprint Name> AND issuetype in subtaskIssueTypes()

Deleted user February 14, 2019

That will select the subtasks not the issues with no subtask...

Like # people like this
Nam Nguyen Phuong March 11, 2019

Then you can use the JQL:

project = <project name> AND issuetype in (Story, Task) AND issuetype not in subTaskIssueTypes()

Thank you Reg Hawkins

Like # people like this
Deleted user May 13, 2019

That will select the stories with or without subtasks not the issues with no subtask...

Like # people like this
1 vote
d3rb3rt May 7, 2021

issueLinkType not in (jira_subtask_outward)

does it

1 vote
scott_tripper-tl April 28, 2021

According to this page, Jira records the issue-subtask relation as "jira_subtask_inward" and "jira_subtask_outward" links. 
By using the issue link type field on this page, which was added in Jira Core 8.0, I was able to get all the issues that have subtasks.

issueLinkType = "jira_subtask_outward"
1 vote
gowri goli July 31, 2018

In latest Jira instance I can select Sub-Tasks as a column in the query. is this what you are looking for? AND Subtask IS EMPTY?

Arjen Breur August 27, 2018

Subtask does not exist:

Subtask IS EMPTY
-> Field 'Subtask' does not exist or you do not have permission to view it.


Subtasks does, but is not searchable:

Subtasks IS EMPTY
-> Field 'Subtasks' is not searchable, it is only sortable.
1 vote
Charlie Demsky July 5, 2017

I've asked support to open a feature request for this to be added as a native function:



0 votes
Harmeet Singh March 24, 2021

Below JQL will help to find Stories which do not have sub-tasks

project = <projectName> AND issuetype = Story and External Issue Id(this will show some alpha numeric like cf***) is EMPTY

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer