JIRA + JIRA Service Desk

Upgrade task list

Ready to go? This page will take you through the process of upgrading to JIRA Software and JIRA Service Desk so your team can get back to work right away.


If you're planning to upgrade JIRA Service Desk from a version less than 3.0 to a version equal to or above 3.2, you must first upgrade to JIRA Service Desk 3.0 before upgrading to a higher version. Follow the instructions below to upgrade to JIRA Service Desk 3.0.

Example: I have JIRA 6.4 and JIRA Service Desk 2.5, and I want to upgrade to JIRA Service Desk 3.2. My upgrade path is:

JIRA 6.4 + JIRA SERVICE DESK 2.5 > JIRA SERVICE DESK 3.0 (follow the instructions on this page) > JIRA SERVICE DESK 3.2 (following the relevant instructions and upgrade notes here).

Before you upgrade, please make sure you've read the information about the various changes you can expect to see:

  • product changes
  • admin changes
  • licensing changes
  • user management changes

1. Follow your usual testing procedure

If you've upgraded JIRA before, you can use your normal pre-upgrade testing procedures. Otherwise, you can check our upgrade guides for tips on testing before rolling out the updates to production.

2. Check your agents' access (2.0 licensing only)

If you currently use an agent-based (2.0) JIRA Se rivce Desk license, before you upgrade, you should verify that all of your agents (users with the JIRA Service Desk agent access global permission) also have the JIRA Users global permission. During the upgrade, the installer will give your users access to JIRA Service Desk based on the permissions granted to groups in your instance. If there are some users who don't have both the JIRA Service Desk agent access and the JIRA Use global permission, JIRA will not give any users in those groups access to JIRA Service Desk. This is to make sure that users who were not able to log in to JIRA (because they did not have the JIRA Users global permission) do not get access to JIRA.

To check your agents' access:

  1. Review the groups that currently have agent access (groups with the JIRA Service Desk agent access global permission).
  2. Verify that all users in this group also have the JIRA Users global permission (via membership in any group).
  3. If some users don't, reorganize your groups so that only agents requiring access to JIRA Service Desk are in a group. Or, modify your agents' permissions so they also have the JIRA Users global permission.

Don't worry - if you accidentally miss a user, the installer will provide you with information about groups that weren't migrated correctly.




3. Install JIRA Software

We recommend you run the JIRA Software installer before upgrading JIRA Service Desk.

We've improved the installation process with this release, so it's easier and quicker than ever to update your application. To upgrade to the latest JIRA, you'll use the JIRA Software installer. Even though this application has a new name and a different installer, there's nothing to fear mate! It will recognize your existing JIRA instance, update it to be JIRA Software, all while leaving your existing data intact and ready to use in JIRA Software.

When the installer runs, it will import your existing license, whether it's a JIRA license or a new JIRA Software license. You must be in a valid maintenance period to upgrade to JIRA Software. If your account is out of maintenance, go to my.atlassian.com and renew your maintenance before starting the upgrade process.

  1. Go to the download center and download the installer for JIRA Software.
  2. Once the installer has downloaded, open and run the installer.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

After the installer runs, it will display a message about the status of the upgrade to JIRA Software. If any groups weren't able to be migrated correctly, the installer will open a window displaying the list of groups you need to check. Make a note of these groups so you can modify their access after you close the window.

4. Install JIRA Service Desk

If your JIRA Service Desk maintenance period is valid, you can easily install JIRA Service Desk 3 from the new Versions & licenses page. (If you don't have a valid JIRA Service Desk license, you'll need to renew your maintenance before you can upgrade.) When JIRA Service Desk is installed, it will recognize your existing license and apply it automatically.

If you don't install JIRA Service Desk, you'll receive reminders to install it (since you have a license for it).

To install JIRA Service Desk:

  1. Go to  > Applications
  2. Open the Versions & licenses page.
  3. In the JIRA Service Desk section, click the Download button.
  4. Select Download and follow the prompts to get JIRA Service Desk set up in your instance.

You'll notice that while JIRA Core is listed on the Versions & licenses page, but it's not licensed yet. Don't worry, access to JIRA Core is already included for all users have access to JIRA Software and/or JIRA Service Desk. If you want to license additional users for JIRA Core only, continue reading this task list for information on getting it set up.

If you don't have access to the internet or have disabled UPM, you'll need to download the OBR for JIRA Service Desk:

  1. Visit the JIRA Service Desk page on the Atlassian Marketplace and download the latest file for JIRA Service Desk.
  2. Go to  > Applications
  3. Open the Versions & licenses page.
  4. Select the Upload an application link. 
  5. In the Upload application dialog, browse to the file you downloaded and upload it.




5. Re-configure your agents' application access (if needed)

If the JIRA Software installer issued a message about groups that weren't able to be migrated, you'll need to manually give those groups application access. If you took note of the groups (as mentioned above) and you want to give all of those users agent access, you can go to > Application access and add those groups to the JIRA Service Desk section.

See this page for more help on how to reconfigure your agents that weren't migrated properly.


6. Explore JIRA Software

After you update to JIRA Software, you'll have access to tons of new features for managing your projects. Read an overview of these features on the Product changes page or check out all the documentation.

7. Modify your existing projects if needed

When you upgrade to JIRA Software and the new JIRA Service Desk, all of your projects will still have the same data, permissions, and history as they did in JIRA. Any projects that had service desks associated with them will become service desk projects. If you also used software features in service desk projects (for example boards), then you might want to modify your project setup after you upgrade so that your users have an experience similar to the one they had previously. See the Admin changes page for more information.

On the other hand, all of your projects that didn't have an associated service desk will be converted to a software project. Depending on the types of work you track in JIRA, you might want to tweak your project settings after the upgrade:

  • If you used JIRA to track software projects - You might want to start using boards and other software project features to add more power to your project tracking. You can read all about these features in the Product changes page. To get started making the most of your software projects, check out the JIRA Software documentation.
  • If you used JIRA to track non-software projects - You might want to convert your project to be business projects. During the upgrade process, JIRA Software converts all existing JIRA projects to be software projects. If you don't want to use these types of features to track your work, you can convert software projects to business projects, which also provides non-technical users a simplified view of projects, while still helping them track their tasks.

See the Admin changes page for information on converting projects.

8. Interested in licensing JIRA Core?  

You might find that some of your users don't need access to software or service desk features. For example, users on business teams like HR or asset management might need access to only the basic issue tracking features in JIRA. These users can work on business projects by using your existing JIRA/JIRA Software license. If your existing license for JIRA Software is fully used by software users, or if you want to use JIRA Core only, you can add a license and add users of JIRA Core.

You might also want to use JIRA Core licenses for users who will work on issues but don't need access to all service desk features (your service desk team members who aren't agents).

  1. First, license JIRA Core. 
    1. Go to > Applications
    2. Open the Versions & licenses page. 
    3. Select the Download button for JIRA Core and follow the prompts. The wizard will take you through the process of purchasing a JIRA Core license.
  2. After JIRA Core is installed and licensed, give users access to JIRA Core:
    1. Go to  > Applications.
    2. Open the Application access page.
    3. Add the appropriate group(s) to the JIRA Core section; this lets all the users in these groups access the JIRA Core application. 






If you decide that you don't want to use JIRA Software and want to use only JIRA Core, you can do that. Follow the detailed instructions on this page: How to move from JIRA Software to JIRA Core.




Read details about all the changes