The advanced search allows you to build structured queries using the Jira Query Language (JQL) to search for issues. You can specify criteria that you can't define in the quick or basic searches (the ORDER BY clause, for example). 

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If you don't have complex search criteria, try quick search instead.

JQL is not a database query language, even though it uses SQL-like syntax.

Advanced searching

  1. Choose Filters in the navigation bar.
  2. Select Advanced issue search.
    • If basic search is shown instead of advanced search, click Advanced (next to the  icon). If advanced is already enabled, you'll see the option of switching to basic.

  3. Enter your JQL query. As you type, Jira will offer a list of "auto-complete" suggestions based on the context of your query. Note, auto-complete suggestions only include the first 15 matches, displayed alphabetically, so you may need to enter more text if you can't find a match.

  4. Press Enter or click  to run your query. Your search results will display in the issue navigator.

Understanding advanced searching

Read the following topics to learn how to get the most out of advanced searching:

Constructing JQL queries

A simple query in JQL (also known as a 'clause') consists of a field, followed by an operator, followed by one or more values or functions. For example:

project = "TEST"

This query will find all issues in the "TEST" project. It uses the "project" field, the EQUALS operator, and the value "TEST".

A more complex query might look like this:

project = "TEST" AND assignee = currentuser()

This query will find all issues in the "TEST" project where the assignee is the currently logged in user. It uses the "project" field, the EQUALS operator, the value "TEST",the "AND" keyword and the "currentuser()" function.

Learn more about fields, operators, keywords and functions below.

Setting the precedence of operators

You can use parentheses in complex JQL statements to enforce the precedence of operators.

For example, if you want to find all resolved issues in the 'SysAdmin' project, as well as all issues (any status, any project) currently assigned to the system administrator (bobsmith), you can use parentheses to enforce the precedence of the boolean operators in your query, i.e.

(status=resolved AND project=SysAdmin) OR assignee=bobsmith

Note that if you do not use parentheses, the statement will be evaluated left-to-right.

You can also use parentheses to group clauses, so that you can apply the NOT operator to the group.

Restricted words and characters

Reserved characters

JQL has a list of reserved characters:

space (" ") + . , ; ? | * / % ^ $ # @ [ ]

If you wish to use these characters in queries, you need to:

  • surround them with quote-marks (you can use either single quote-marks (') or double quote-marks ("));
    and, if you are searching a text field and the character is on the list of reserved characters for text searches,
  • precede them with two backslashes.

For example:

  • version = "[example]"

You can't search for many special characters in text fields using this method. Learn more about using search syntax for text fields.

Reserved words

JQL also has a list of reserved words. These words need to be surrounded by quote-marks (single or double) if you wish to use them in queries:

"a", "an", "abort", "access", "add", "after", "alias", "all", "alter", "and", "any", "are", "as", "asc", "at", "audit", "avg", "be", "before", "begin", "between", "boolean", "break", "but", "by", "byte", "catch", "cf", "char", "character", "check", "checkpoint", "collate", "collation", "column", "commit", "connect", "continue", "count", "create", "current", "date", "decimal", "declare", "decrement", "default", "defaults", "define", "delete", "delimiter", "desc", "difference", "distinct", "divide", "do", "double", "drop", "else", "empty", "encoding", "end", "equals", "escape", "exclusive", "exec", "execute", "exists", "explain", "false", "fetch", "file", "field", "first", "float", "for", "from", "function", "go", "goto", "grant", "greater", "group", "having", "identified", "if", "immediate", "in", "increment", "index", "initial", "inner", "inout", "input", "insert", "int", "integer", "intersect", "intersection", "into", "is", "isempty", "isnull", "it", "join", "last", "left", "less", "like", "limit", "lock", "long", "max", "min", "minus", "mode", "modify", "modulo", "more", "multiply", "next", "no", "noaudit", "not", "notin", "nowait", "null", "number", "object", "of", "on", "option", "or", "order", "outer", "output", "power", "previous", "prior", "privileges", "public", "raise", "raw", "remainder", "rename", "resource", "return", "returns", "revoke", "right", "row", "rowid", "rownum", "rows", "select", "session", "set", "share", "size", "sqrt", "start", "strict", "string", "subtract", "such", "sum", "synonym", "table", "that", "the", "their", "then", "there", "these", "they", "this", "to", "trans", "transaction", "trigger", "true", "uid", "union", "unique", "update", "user", "validate", "values", "view", "was", "when", "whenever", "where", "while", "will", "with"

Performing text searches

You can use text-searching features when performing searches on the following fields, using the CONTAINS operator:

Summary, Description, Environment, Comments, custom fields that use the "Free Text Searcher" (i.e. custom fields of the following built-in custom field types: Free Text Field, Text Field, Read-only Text Field).

Learn more about using search syntax for text fields.


A field in JQL is a word that represents a Jira field (or a custom field that has already been defined in Jira). Learn more about using fields for advanced searching.


An operator in JQL is one or more symbols or words that compare the value of a field on its left with one or more values (or functions) on its right, such that only true results are retrieved by the clause. Some operators may use the NOT keyword. Learn more about using operators for advanced searching.


A keyword in JQL is a word or phrase that does (or is) any of the following:

  • joins two or more clauses together to form a complex JQL query
  • alters the logic of one or more clauses
  • alters the logic of operators
  • has an explicit definition in a JQL query
  • performs a specific function that alters the results of a JQL query