IntelliJ IDEA 2018.2 Help

Configuring Project and IDE Settings

In IntelliJ IDEA, you can configure settings and structure on two levels — the project level and the IDE level.

Project-level settings and structure

The project level settings and structure are applied to the current project only. These settings are stored together with other project files in the .idea directory.

If your project is under a version control, it is recommended to store XML files with project-specific settings (the .idea folder inside the project folder) under version control, the exception being workspace.xml and tasks.xml, which store user-specific settings.

You can refer to this JetBrains.gitignore on GitHub to see what should be ignored.

Access the project-level settings

  • Select File | Settings for Windows and Linux, or IntelliJ IDEA | Preferences for macOS.

    Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+S, or use the icons general settings svg icon on the toolbar.

Access the project-level structure

  • Select File | Project Structure. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S, or click the icons general projectStructure svg icon on the toolbar.

IDE-level settings and structure

The IDE level settings and structure are applied to the current project and to all new projects that you create afterwards. The list of IDE-level settings contains less options, but it enables you to change the editor settings, create custom scopes, configure inspections, set VCS-specific settings, and so on.

If you want to share the IDE settings between already existing projects, you can use the Settings Repository or the Settings Sync plugin. You can also export the settings to a JAR archive and import it later to other IDE instances. However, note that the settings import may not work correctly if you already use the Settings Repository or the Sync plugin.

Access the IDE-level settings

  • From the main menu, select File | Other Settings | Settings for New Projects for Windows and Linux, or File | Other Settings | Preferences for New Projects for macOS.

Access the IDE-level structure

  • From the main menu, select File | Other Settings | Structure for New Projects.

Restore the default settings

To restore the IntelliJ IDEA default settings, you can remove the configuration directory (idea.config.path) when the IDE is not running. The directory is located in:

<SYSTEM DRIVE>\Users\<USER ACCOUNT NAME>\.<PRODUCT><VERSION>

~/Library/Preferences/<PRODUCT><VERSION>

Note that the Library folder may be hidden in the Finder.

~/.<PRODUCT><VERSION>

For more information, refer to Directories used by the IDE to store settings, caches, plugins and logs.

Last modified: 4 September 2018

See Also