IntelliJ IDEA 15.0 Help

Tuning IntelliJ IDEA

In this section:

Changing IntelliJ IDEA properties

IntelliJ IDEA makes it possible to change *.vmoptions and idea.properties files without editing them in the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder.

To create an empty idea.properties file or to copy *.vmoptions file, choose the Help | Edit Custom Properties or Help | Edit Custom VM Options on the main menu respectively. Refer to Edit custom properties for details.

Managing *.vmoptions file

For Mac OS X systems:

Since version 12.0.0: The file /Applications/IntelliJ Idea XX.app/bin/idea.vmoptions or /Applications/IntelliJ Idea CE XX.app/bin/idea.vmoptions should be copied to ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX/idea.vmoptions or ~/Library/Preferences/IdeaICXX/idea.vmoptions

Since version 14.0.0:

The file /Applications/IntelliJ Idea XX.app/Contents/bin/idea.vmoptions or /Applications/IntelliJ Idea CE XX.app/Contents/bin/idea.vmoptions should be copied to ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX/idea.vmoptions or ~/Library/Preferences/IdeaICXX/idea.vmoptions

For the older versions, the settings are stored in /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA <version>.app/Contents/Info.plist.

For *NIX and Windows systems:

To avoid editing files in the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder, one should:

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Copy the existing file from the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder somewhere and save the path to this location in the environment variable IDEA_VM_OPTIONS.
    • Copy the existing file <IntelliJ IDEA installation folder>/bin/idea$BITS.vmoptions from the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder into the location under user home:
      • For *NIX:
        $HOME/.IntelliJIdeaXX/idea$BITS.vmoptions or $HOME/.IdeaICXX/idea$BITS.vmoptions
      • For Windows:
        %USERPROFILE%\.IntelliJIdeaXX\idea%BITS%.exe.vmoptions or %USERPROFILE%\.IdeaICXX\idea%BITS%.exe.vmoptions

      The value of the variable BITS depends in the JVM used to run IntelliJ IDEA:

      • For 32-bit JVM it is empty.
      • For 64-bit JVM it is 64.

      Refer to the support article Selecting the JDK version the IDE will run under for details.

  2. Edit this file in the new location.

If IDEA_VM_OPTIONS environment variable is defined, or the *.vmoptions file exists, then this file is used instead of the file located in the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder.

Example: Increasing the heap size

To increase IntelliJ IDEA heap size, you should copy the original idea.vmoptions file to the above-mentioned location, and then modify the -Xmx setting.

Managing IDEA.properties file

The file idea.properties, located in the bin directory of the IntelliJ IDEA installation folder, should not be edited. Instead of editing the original idea.properties, create file idea.properties in the location specified below, open it for editing and add the required properties.

So, depending on your platform:

  • For Windows: in %USERPROFILE%\.IntelliJIdeaXX or %USERPROFILE%\.IdeaICXX
  • For *NIX: in ~/.IntelliJIdeaXX or ~/.IdeaICXX
  • For Mac OS X: in ~Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX or ~/Library/Preferences/.IdeaICXX

Example: Changing case of unicode literals

IntelliJ IDEA allows defining whether non-ascii characters should use literals like '\u00AB' or '\00ab'.

This behavior is controlled by the system property idea.native2ascii.lowercase. By default, upper case characters are used.

If it is desirable to use lower case characters, create the file idea.properties in the location specified above, open it for editing and add the following line:

idea.native2ascii.lowercase=true

See Also

Last modified: 10 December 2015