Different between key and username in Jira API


I encounter a problem that my program cannot find the user key.

text: User ‘JIRAUSERXXXXX’ does not exist.

But actually this user does exist and was already added in our project space. (Of course, my agent account is Admin.)

And I can use this user’s username to do some actions but the key is invalid. I have processed a lot of other users in our project space, but they do not have the same problem.

I found that almost key is the lower case of username, but this user’s key is JIRAUSERXXXXX .

Therefore, I would like to know the difference between username and key in Jira.

Thank you.



The user key was a concept introduced in Jira 6 (?). By default it was the same as the original username. When the username was changed - the user key stayed the orginal value. However in Jira 8.1 - Atlassian started to make gdpr changes - see: https://confluence.atlassian.com/jiracore/gdpr-changes-in-jira-975041009.html (8.4 made the user key be in the new format for new users - see https://confluence.atlassian.com/jiracore/preparing-for-jira-8-4-975040967.html)

In Jira 8.7 you can now anonymize the user key: https://confluence.atlassian.com/jiracore/preparing-for-jira-8-7-983794309.html

In short - username and the user key are no longer the same thing… Don’t rely on that behavior.


Got it! Thanks for your explanation in detail.

To confirm… the anonymizer function is the only way to edit the user key (via API), correct?