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Cannot add or remove watcher

Matthias Gaiser

Matthias Gaiser Last update: Jul 22, 2019

An issue does not get synchronized and appears in the troubleshooting section with the category Cannot add or remove watcher. There can be different causes for each error messages. This article will explain the cause and solution of each error message.

Error Messages

Error messageExplanation/Solution
  • Can not add watcher because there is a problem with the received user representation: 'Customer One (custone)'

User Representation

  • Can not add watcher 'Customer One (custone)' because of lacking permissions on the issue (AN-1485)
  • Can not remove watcher  'Customer One (custone)' because of lacking permissions on the issue (AN-1485)


  • Can not add watcher because either the issue (AN-1485) or the user 'Customer One (custone)' does not exist
  • Can not remove watcher  'Customer One (custone)' because the issue (AN-1485) does not exist.

Issue/user does not exist

  • Can not add the user 'Customer One (custone)' as watcher on the issue (AN-1485)
  • Unable to add the user 'Customer One (custone)' as watcher on the issue (AN-1485)
  • Can not remove watcher because the user name query parameter is not supplied:  'Customer One (custone)'
  • Can not remove watcher  'Customer One (custone)' on the issue (AN-1485)
  • Unable to remove watcher  'Customer One (custone)' on the issue (AN-1485)


Explanations & Solutions

User representation 

Cause: The user name contains characters not accepted on the target system.
Solution: Verify the characters used in the username and remove any special characters.


Cause: The Backbone synchronization user does not have the right permissions or 'Customer one' cannot watch the issue.
Solution: Make sure that the Backbone synchronization user has the 'Manage watcher list' and 'View voters and watchers' project permissions and if missing grant them. Also make sure the affected user has the necessary rights to watch the issue.

Issue/user does not exist 

Cause: The related issue or watcher does not exist.
Solution: Verify if the affected issue and the user you want to add to that issue exists in the target project.


Cause: An unidentified error occurred.
Solution: There is no standard solution for these errors. Please try one of the solutions above or let us investigate this further by following these steps:

  1. Create a support ZIP as described in Analyse & Fix Errors
  2. Contact our support and attach the support ZIP in the ticket
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