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Configure swimlanes

This page applies to company-managed projects only.

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

A swimlane is a horizontal categorization of issues. You can use swimlanes to help you distinguish tasks of different categories, such as work streams, users, or application areas.

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.

Set swimlanes based on a method

You can choose to set up your swimlanes in a variety of ways.


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.

Change methods

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

  2. Select Swimlanes.

  3. In the Select method dropdown, select either QueriesStoriesAssignees, EpicsProjects or No Swimlanes.

A screenshot of the swimlane settings when configuring a board.

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. Select Swimlanes.

  3. Hover over the existing query to find more () > Edit.

  4. In the modal, you can edit the name or modify the JQL.

  5. To move a swimlane, use the grid icon to drag and drop the swimlane to reorder its new position.

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

Example JQL queries for your swimlanes

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

1 project = "coffee hub" AND component = "ui"

Show all issues that are due in the next 24 hours

1 project = "ios app" "android app" due <= "24h"

Show all issues that have a particular priority

1 project = "dream team" priority = "Minor"

Show all issues that have a particular priority

1 project = "pet rescue " 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