IntelliJ IDEA 2021.2 Help

Configuring the IDE

IntelliJ IDEA allows you to configure the settings on several levels: the module level, the project level, and globally.

Types of settings

Global settings apply to all projects of a specific installation, or version, of IntelliJ IDEA. Such settings include IDE appearance (themes, color schemes, menus and toolbars), notification settings, the set of the installed and enabled plugins, debugger settings, code completion, and so on.

To configure your IDE, select IntelliJ IDEA | Preferences for macOS or File | Settings for Windows and Linux. Alternatively, press Ctrl+Alt+S or click the Settings/Preferences button on the toolbar.

Settings that are NOT marked with the For current project icon in the Settings/Preferences dialog are global and apply to all existing projects of the current IntelliJ IDEA version.

Global settings marked in the Settings/Preferences dialog

Restore IDE settings

In IntelliJ IDEA 2020.1, the configuration paths have been changed. That is why, the information in this section is valid for IntelliJ IDEA of version 2020.1 and later. If you use a previous version of IntelliJ IDEA, add the version number to the page URL in order to access the corresponding documentation. For example, if you use IntelliJ IDEA 2019.3, type

When you restore the default IDE settings, IntelliJ IDEA backs up your configuration to a directory. You can always restore your settings from this backup.

Back up your settings and restore the defaults

  1. From the main menu, select File | Manage IDE Settings | Restore Default Settings.

    Alternatively, press Shift twice and type Restore default settings.

    IntelliJ IDEA shows a confirmation popup:

    A popup prompting to confirm that you want to restore the default settings
  2. Click Restore and Restart. The IDE will be restarted with the default configuration.

When IntelliJ IDEA restores the default IDE settings, it creates a backup directory with your configuration in:

~/Library/Application Support/JetBrains/<product><version>-backup
~/Library/Application Support/JetBrains/IntelliJIdea2021.2-backup

Apply the IDE settings from a backup

  1. From the main menu, select File | Manage IDE Settings | Import Settings.

  2. In the dialog that opens, specify the path to the backup directory and click Open.

    IntelliJ IDEA shows a confirmation popup. Note, that after you apply the settings from the backup, these settings will be overwritten with your current IDE configuration.

    Apart from the backup configuration directory, you can select the configuration directory from another IntelliJ IDEA version or a .zip file with the previously exported settings.

  3. Click Restart to apply the settings from the backup and restart the IDE.

Last modified: 26 August 2021