IntelliJ IDEA 2017.3 Help

Working with SDKs

A Software Development Kit, or an SDK, is a collection of tools that you need to develop an application for a specific software framework. For example, for Android applications, you will need the Android SDK.

SKDs contain binaries, source code for the binaries, and documentation for the source code. For Java, SDKs also contain annotations.

SDK levels

SDKs can be configured at all three levels:

Global — used by multiple projects. Generally, SDKs are global; after you define an SDK for the first IntelliJ IDEA project, it will be suggested as a default SDK for all project that you will create afterwards.

Project — used by all modules within a project. For example, this might be useful if you want to compile a project with a specific SDK version.

Module — used by a specific module.

Defining SDKs

To define an SDK means to let IntelliJ IDEA know in which folder on your computer the necessary SDK version is installed. This folder is called SDK home directory.

Managing global SDKs

To manage the list of global SDKs available for your projects:

  1. Navigate to File | Project Structure.
  2. Select SDKs under the Platform Settings section.
  3. To add a new SDK or a new SDK version, click add (or press Alt+Enter), select an SDK type and specify its installation directory.
  4. To remove an SDK, select it in the list and click delete (or press Alt+Delete).
sdks project structrue sdks

Changing project SDK

To change the project SDK:

  1. Navigate to File | Project Structure.
  2. Select Project under the Project Settings section.
  3. From the Project SDK list, select another SDK or SDK version.
    If the necessary SDK is not defined in IntelliJ IDEA yet, click New and specify its installation folder.

Note that after you change the project SDK, all modules within this project will inherit this new SDK.

sdks project structure project

Changing module SDK

To change the module SDK:

  1. Navigate to File | Project Structure.
  2. Select Modules under the Project Settings section.
  3. Select the necessary module, and click Dependencies.
  4. From the Module SDK list, select another SDK or SDK version you want to use.
    If the necessary SDK is not defined in IntelliJ IDEA yet, click New and specify its installation folder.
sdks project structure modules dependencies
Last modified: 22 January 2018