• Products
  • Documentation
  • Resources

Configure swimlanes

This page is for company-managed projects

If the lower-left of your service project sidebar says you're in a team-managed project, check out these team-managed project articles instead.

Learn more about the difference between company-managed and team-managed projects.


A swimlane is a horizontal categorization of issues in the Active sprints of a Scrum board, or on a Kanban board. You can use swimlanes to help you distinguish tasks of different categories, such as workstreams, users, application areas, etc.

Before you begin

To configure the board and any of its settings, you must be either:

  • project administrator for the location of the board

  • board administrator for the board itself

See Permissions overview for more information.

Choosing a different type of swimlane

You can choose to set up your swimlanes in a variety of ways, as shown in the following table.

Swimlanes categories



One parent issue per swimlane (i.e. each swimlane contains all of the parent's sub-tasks), with issues that have no sub-tasks appearing below.


One JQL query per swimlane (see below for examples). By default, two swimlanes will be created:

  • Expedite — this swimlane is based on the following JQL query: priority = Blocker 

  • Everything Else — this swimlane is always at the bottom of the screen, and cannot be deleted. It acts as a "catch-all" for issues that don't match the JQL of any of the swimlanes above it; hence, it has no JQL specified.

You may want to create additional swimlanes that map to other values of your Jira 'Priority' field, or use a different field to categorize your swimlanes.


One assignee per swimlane, with unassigned issues appearing either above or below the swimlanes (your choice).


One epic per swimlane. Issues that don't belong to an epic are grouped below the swimlanes. Any epics that aren’t part of the board's current filter will be hidden from the board.

If you want to change the order of the swimlanes on your board, navigate to the Backlog of the board, and drag and drop the epics as desired.


One project for each swimlane, with issues displaying below their respective projects.

No swimlanes

No horizontal categorization of issues in the Active sprints of a Scrum board, or on a Kanban board.

To choose a different type of swimlane:

  1. Go to your board, then select more () > Configure board.

  2. Click the Swimlanes tab.

  3. In the Base Swimlanes on menu, select either QueriesStoriesAssignees, EpicsProjects or No Swimlanes, as described above.

The Swimlanes tab in the Board Settings screen. A dropdown menu lists the available swimlane types.

Modifying your query-based swimlanes

If your swimlanes are based on JQL queries (rather than on stories or assignees), you can create, delete, or change them:

  1. Go to your board, then select more () > Configure board.

  2. Click the Swimlanes tab.

  3. If your swimlanes are based on queries, you can edit your swimlanes, as described in the following table and the screenshot above.

Add a new swimlane

In the blue area, type the name, JQL, and optional description, then click the Add button. Your new swimlane is added in the top swimlane position.

Change the name of a swimlane

Click in the name area of the swimlane, modify the existing name, and click the Update button.

Change the JQL of a swimlane

Click in the JQL area of the swimlane, modify the existing JQL, and click the Update button. 

See the examples below for some suggestions. For information on JQL syntax, see JQL (Jira admin documentation).

Note, the JQL 'ORDER BY' clause is not used by the swimlane, as it defaults to order by rank.

Delete a swimlane

Click the Delete button at the right of the swimlane.

Move a swimlane

Hover over the vertical 'grid'  icon, then drag and drop the swimlane up or down to its new position.

Example JQL queries for your swimlanes

Show all issues that belong to a particular component, e.g. 'User Interface'

1 project = "Angry Nerds" AND component = "User Interface"

Show all issues that are due in the next 24 hours

1 due <= "24h"

Show all issues that have a particular priority

1 priority = "Minor"


1 priority = "Major"


To learn more about how information is displayed within columns in each swimlane, including mapping multiple statuses to columns, see Configure columns.


Need help? If you can't find the answer you need in our documentation, we have other resources available to help you. See Getting help.

Additional Help