When exporting and importing a Confluence space, the backup file includes references to users who are in any way associated with the content. Most likely, these are the authors of the content, but any other user who ever liked, watched or even viewed the content is recorded.

In the space export file, these users are referenced by their email address and atlassianAccountID. The email address is only used when importing the content into Confluence Server. On Cloud, the user is matched using its atlassianAccountID.

If you would like the change the default creator of the content (e.g. to yourself) you need to manually alter the import file before importing it. Here’s how:

1. Determine the desired ID

From your Confluence instance, go to User Management (admin.atlassian.com):

Click Show details for the user whose ID you need. The atlassianAccountId is the last part of the URL of the page that is loaded next:

In this example, the ID is 557058:ff246baa-bb12-45cf-a9d1-977f9082767c .

Tip for Cloud users

You can also empty the value of atlassianAccountId in the export file (<property name=”atlassianAccountId”><![CDATA[]]></property>). The content will then be attributed to “Former user (deleted)”.

2. Update the space export file

  • Unzip the space export file
  • Open entities.xml in a decent text editor (like Notepad++)
  • For each occurrence of atlassianAccountID
    1. Replace the values of name and lowerName with the email address (in lowercase)
    2. Replace the value of atlassianAccountID with the ID you determined in step 1
  • Be careful not to remove the [ and ]] around the values
  • Save the file
  • Re-add it to the zip file (e.g. by drag-and-drop, if you did it right, Windows will ask if you’d like to overwrite the existing file)

3. Test the space export file

  • You need a test instance. If you do not yet have one, create a (temporary) free instance
  • Import the space
  • If the import did not succeed, this can be due to three reasons
    1. You re-zipped the entire folder and as a result the exportDescriptor.properties file is not in the /root of the zip (Could not locate exportDescriptor.properties in the archive)
    2. The import file has been corrupted when altering. Retry the whole process
    3. No apparent reason at all, just Confluence bogging down. Retry the import once more
  • After the import has succeeded, open the space and check if everything works like expected
  • The test instance can now be deleted

4. Import in production

After you have confirmed the space export file functions, import the space backup file in your production instance.

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