How to Get a Jira API Key

Jira, developed by Atlassian, is a popular tool used for project management, issue tracking, and bug tracking. Leveraging the Jira API allows developers to interact programmatically with Jira, enabling automation, custom integrations, and enhanced productivity. This guide will walk you through the process of obtaining a Jira API key, setting up authentication, and provide some FAQs and external resources for further reading.

Introduction to Jira API

The Jira API enables developers to interact with Jira programmatically. It supports a wide range of operations, including creating and updating issues, searching for issues, managing projects, and more. The API uses RESTful architecture, which makes it straightforward to work with using standard HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE.

Why Use the Jira API?

  • Automation: Automate repetitive tasks such as issue creation, updates, and transitions.
  • Integration: Integrate Jira with other tools and systems to streamline workflows.
  • Customization: Create custom reports, dashboards, and applications tailored to specific needs.


Before you start, ensure you have the following:

  • An Atlassian account with access to Jira.
  • Administrative access to generate and manage API tokens.
  • Basic understanding of RESTful APIs and HTTP methods.

Creating an Atlassian Account

If you don’t already have an Atlassian account, follow these steps to create one:

  1. Visit the Atlassian Signup Page: Navigate to the Atlassian Signup Page.
  2. Enter Your Details: Fill in your email address, full name, and desired password.
  3. Verify Your Email: Atlassian will send a verification email to the address you provided. Click the verification link to activate your account.
  4. Access Jira: Once your account is verified, you can log in to Jira using your Atlassian credentials.

Generating an API Token

To interact with the Jira API, you need to generate an API token. This token acts as a substitute for a password when making API requests.

Steps to Generate an API Token

  1. Log In to Atlassian: Go to Atlassian’s API Token Page and log in with your Atlassian credentials.
  2. Create a New API Token:
    • Click on “Create API token.”
    • Enter a label for your token (e.g., “Jira API Key”).
    • Click “Create.”
  3. Copy the API Token: Once the token is generated, copy it. Make sure to store it securely, as this token will not be displayed again.

Using the API Token

To authenticate API requests with your Jira instance, include the API token in the request headers. Jira uses Basic Authentication, where the API token is combined with your email address and encoded in Base64.

Example with cURL

Here’s a basic example of how to use the API token with cURL:

curl -D- \
-u [email protected]:your-api-token \
-X GET \
-H "Content-Type: application/json" \

Replace [email protected] with your Atlassian email and your-api-token with the token you generated. Also, replace your-domain with your Jira instance’s domain and ISSUE-KEY with the key of the issue you want to retrieve.

Example with Python

If you prefer using Python, here’s an example using the requests library:

import requests
from requests.auth import HTTPBasicAuthurl = “”
auth = HTTPBasicAuth(‘[email protected]’, ‘your-api-token’)

response = requests.get(url, auth=auth)


Again, replace the placeholders with your actual details.


What is an API token in Jira?

An API token is a secure string generated by Atlassian that allows you to authenticate API requests without using your password. It acts as a substitute for a password in Basic Authentication.

How secure are Jira API tokens?

Jira API tokens are designed to be secure. They are randomly generated and can be revoked at any time. Ensure you store them securely and avoid sharing them publicly.

Can I generate multiple API tokens?

Yes, you can generate multiple API tokens for different purposes. Each token can be labeled and managed independently.

What should I do if I lose my API token?

If you lose an API token, you cannot retrieve it. Instead, generate a new token and update your applications to use the new token.

How do I revoke an API token?

To revoke an API token, go to the API Tokens Management Page, find the token you want to revoke, and click “Revoke.”

Are there any rate limits for the Jira API?

Yes, Jira’s API has rate limits to prevent abuse. The limits vary depending on your Jira plan (Free, Standard, Premium, or Enterprise). Refer to the Jira Cloud REST API Rate Limiting documentation for detailed information.

Can I use Jira API tokens with on-premises Jira installations?

No, API tokens are only available for Jira Cloud. For on-premises Jira (Jira Server or Data Center), you need to use other authentication methods such as session-based authentication or OAuth.

External Links and Resources

Here are some useful links and resources to help you further with Jira API:


Obtaining and using a Jira API key is a straightforward process that involves creating an Atlassian account, generating an API token, and using that token for authentication in your API requests. With the API, you can automate tasks, integrate Jira with other systems, and customize your project management workflows. Ensure you follow best practices for security by storing your API tokens securely and revoking them when no longer needed. Happy coding!

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