Your source code constantly changes as you edit, test, or compile. Any version control system tracks the differences between the committed versions, but the local changes between commits pass unnoticed. Local History is your personal version control system that tracks changes to your source code on your computer and enables you to compare versions and roll changes back, if necessary. Local History is always at your disposal, no steps are required to enable it.
Local History is independent of external version control systems and works with the directories of your project even when they are not under any VCS control. It applies to any structural artifacts: a project, a directory or package, a file, a class, class members, tags, or selected fragment of text.
Unlike usual version control systems, Local History is intended for your personal use, it does not support shared access.
With Local History, IntelliJ IDEA automatically tracks changes you make to the source code, results of refactoring, and state of the source code based on a set of predefined events (testing, deployment, commit or update).
Local History revisions are marked with labels, which are similar to versions in traditional version control systems. Labels based on predefined events are added to the local revisions automatically; besides that, you can put your own labels to the project artifacts to mark your changes. Reverting or viewing differences are performed against these labels.
Local History has certain limitations:
- Tracking local changes is only possible for textual files. Binary files do not have Local History.
- For files larger than 1 Mbyte, Local History tracks only the very fact of changes, but does not preserve the respective contents.
- Local History does not support shared access.