IntelliJ IDEA 2020.1 Help

File Colors

File | Settings | Appearance and Behavior | File Colors for Windows and Linux
IntelliJ IDEA | Preferences | Appearance and Behavior | File Colors for macOS
Ctrl+Alt+S the Settings/Preferences icon

Use this page to set different background colors for distinguishing between project files of specific scopes.

Configuring file colors in Settings/Preferences



Enable File Colors

Select this checkbox to enable the feature.

Use in Editor Tabs

Enable colors in editor tabs.

Use in Project View

Enable colors in the Project tool window and in search results (for example, in the Find in Path dialog Ctrl+Shift+F).

Manage Scopes

Click this button to define the required scopes.

Configure colors

Similarly to scopes, color associations can be local and shared.

  • Local colors are only visible to you and are not shared through VCS.

  • Shared colors are placed under version control so that people who work on a project can use the same color associations. They are stored in the project folder under .idea in the fileColors.xml file (for example: MyProject/.idea/fileColors.xml).

Once defined, a color-scope association cannot be changed. To re-assign a color to a scope, remove the existing association and define a new one.




the Add button


Click this button to open the Add Color Label dialog in which you can configure a new color-scope association.

the Remove button


Click this button to remove the selected color-scope association.

the Move up button or  the Move down button

Move up or Move down

Use these buttons to sort the color-scope associations and change the order in which they are applied.

the Share button / the Unshare button

Share / Unshare

Click this button to make the selected local scope shared or to make the shared scope local.

After you apply the changes and close the dialog, you will see colors in the selected areas in the interface:

Scope highlighting in the editor tabs and search results
Last modified: 2 June 2020