PhpStorm 2023.2 Help


Breakpoints are special markers that suspend program execution at a specific point. This lets you examine the program state and behavior. Breakpoints can be simple (for example, suspending the program on reaching some line of code) or involve more complex logic (checking against additional conditions, writing log messages, and so on).

Once set, a breakpoint remains in your project until you remove it explicitly, except for temporary breakpoints.

Types of breakpoints

The following types of breakpoints are available in PhpStorm:

  • Line breakpoints: suspend the program upon reaching the line of code where the breakpoint was set. This type of breakpoints can be set on any executable line of code.

  • Method breakpoints: suspend the program upon entering or exiting the specified method or one of its implementations, allowing you to check the method's entry/exit conditions.

  • Exception breakpoints: suspend the program when Exception or its subclasses are thrown. They apply globally to the exception condition and do not require a particular source code reference.

Set breakpoints

Set line breakpoints

  • Click the gutter at the executable line of code where you want to set the breakpoint. Alternatively, place the caret at the line and press Control+F8.

    Line breakpoint

Set method breakpoints

  • Click the gutter at the line where the method is declared. Alternatively, place the caret at the line and press Control+F8.

    Method breakpoint hit

    Alternatively, do the following:

    1. Press Control+Shift+F8 or select Run | View Breakpoints from the main menu.

    2. In the Breakpoints dialog that opens, press Alt+Insert or click the Add button, and select PHP Method Breakpoints.

    3. In the Add Method Breakpoint dialog, specify the class and the method, or the plain function to add a breakpoint for.

Set exception breakpoints

  1. Press Control+Shift+F8 or select Run | View Breakpoints from the main menu.

  2. In the Breakpoints dialog, press Alt+Insert or click the Add button, and select PHP Exception Breakpoints or JavaScript Exception Breakpoint.

    creating an exception breakpoint
  3. In the Add Exception Breakpoint dialog, specify the exception class.

For more information, refer to Debug with PHP exception breakpoints.

Resolved breakpoints

When using Xdebug (2.8 and later), PhpStorm employs its breakpoints resolving mechanism. Under this mechanism, the debugger evaluates whether PHP can generate internal executable bytecode for the current line. If there is no such code on the line that the breakpoint refers to, the corresponding breakpoint cannot be hit. Xdebug will scan up to 5 subsequent lines, stop at the line where executable code is located, and update the breakpoint definition to this line.

In the following example, the breakpoint is placed on line 4, which doesn't contain any executable code:

Resolved breakpoint in the editor

When you run a debugging session, PhpStorm moves the breakpoint to line 5 where it is resolved, suspends the session, and displays a corresponding notification.

Resolved breakpoint with notification

Disable resolved breakpoints

If you don't want PhpStorm to resolve and move breakpoints during debugging sessions, you can disable this feature on the PHP | Debug page of the Settings dialog (Control+Alt+S).

In the Xdebug area:

  • Unselect the Resolve breakpoint if it's not available on the current line (Xdebug 2.8+) checkbox to disable the entire breakpoint resolving feature. Note that if resolving is disabled, the breakpoints set on the code lines without executable code will always be ignored.

  • Unselect the Move breakpoint to resolved position if it's different from the source checkbox to disable only automated adjustment of the breakpoint position to the line where Xdebug actually stops after resolving the breakpoint. Note that the breakpoint resolving feature will still be enabled.

In the Settings area, unselect the Notify if breakpoint was resolved to a different line (Xdebug 2.8+) checkbox to turn off PhpStorm notifications every time when a breakpoint is resolved.

    Return value debugging breakpoints

    With Xdebug 3.2 and later, PhpStorm supports Xdebug's return value debugging feature. This is an extra debugging step for inspection of return values in functions that return them immediately without storing in intermediate variables.

    Run Xdebug return value debugging

    To run Xdebug return value debugging in PhpStorm:

    1. Set a line breakpoint at the return statement line.

    2. Launch the PHP debugging session. The debugger will suspend execution at the last statement in the function.

    3. Press Step Into on the Debug toolbar (F7).

      The additional variable is now available for inspection in the Variables tab of the Debug tool window in a watch.

      Run return value debugging

      Disable Xdebug return value debugging

      Return value debugging is enabled in PhpStorm by default. To disable it, do either of the following:

      • In the Debug tool window, open the Settings menu and unselect the Enable Function Return Value Debugging option.

        Disable return value debugging
      • On the PHP | Debug page of the Settings dialog (Control+Alt+S), unselect the Enable return function value debugging (Xdebug 3.2+) checkbox in the Xdebug area.

        Manage breakpoints

        Remove breakpoints

        • For non-exception breakpoints: click the breakpoint in the gutter.

        • For all breakpoints: go to Run | View Breakpoints Control+Shift+F8, select the breakpoint, and click Remove Delete.

        To avoid accidentally removing a breakpoint and losing its parameters, you can choose to remove breakpoints by dragging them to the editor or clicking the middle mouse button. To do this, go to Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Debugger and select Drag to the editor or click with middle mouse button. Clicking a breakpoint will then enable or disable it.

        Mute breakpoints

        If you don't need to stop at your breakpoints for some time, you can mute them. This allows you to resume normal program operation without leaving the debugger session. After that, you can unmute breakpoints and continue debugging.

        • Click the Mute Breakpoints button Mute Breakpoints button in the toolbar of the Debug tool window.

        Enable/disable breakpoints

        When you remove a breakpoint, its internal configuration is lost. To temporarily turn an individual breakpoint off without losing its parameters, you can disable it:

        • For non-exception breakpoints: right-click it and set the Enabled option as required. You can also toggle them with the middle mouse button if removing breakpoints is not assigned to it.

        • For all breakpoints: click View Breakpoints Control+Shift+F8 and check/uncheck the breakpoint on the list.

        Move/copy breakpoints

        • To move a breakpoint, drag it to another line.

        • To copy a breakpoint, hold Control and drag a breakpoint to another line. This creates a breakpoint with the same parameters at the destination.

        Configure breakpoints' properties

        Depending on the breakpoint type, you can configure additional properties which allow you to tailor its operation for specific needs. The most used options are available via intentions.

        • To access breakpoint intentions, place the caret at the line with the breakpoint and press Alt+Enter. Use this option when you need to quickly configure basic breakpoint properties.

          breakpoint intentions
        • To access the full list of properties, right-click the breakpoint and click More or press Control+Shift+F8. Use this option for a bird's eye view of all breakpoints and full control over their configuration.

        Intentions reference



        Remove breakpoint

        Removes the breakpoint at the selected line.

        Disable Breakpoint

        Disables the breakpoint at the selected line.

        Edit breakpoint

        Opens a dialog with the most used breakpoint properties. For more properties, click More or press Control+Shift+F8.

        Breakpoints' properties


        Clear the checkbox to temporarily disable a breakpoint without removing it from the project. Disabled breakpoints are skipped during stepping.

        You can configure PhpStorm to enable/disable breakpoints on clicking rather than removing them altogether. To do this, go to Settings | Build, Execution, Deployment | Debugger and set the Remove breakpoint option to Drag to the editor or click with middle mouse button.


        Specifies whether to pause the program execution when the breakpoint is hit.

        Non-suspending breakpoints are useful when you need to log some expression without pausing the program (for example, when you need to know how many times a method was called) or if you need to create a master breakpoint that will enable dependent breakpoints when hit.


        This option is used to specify a condition that is checked each time the breakpoint is hit. A condition is a PHP Boolean expression evaluating to true or false, for example $someID == 'foo'. If the condition evaluates to true, the selected actions are performed. Otherwise, the breakpoint is ignored.

        The result of the expression is taken from the return statement. When there is no return statement, the result is taken from the last line of code.

        When evaluating expressions, make sure you are aware of their possible side effects as they may potentially affect the behavior and the result of the program.

        Logging options

        When a breakpoint is hit, the following can be logged to the console:

        • "Breakpoint hit" message: a log message like Breakpoint reached: LineBreakpoint.php:10

        • Stack trace: the stack trace for the current frame. This is useful if you want to check what paths have led to this point without interrupting the program execution.

        • Evaluate and log: the result of an arbitrary expression, for example, 'Initializing' or users->size ().

          The result of the expression is taken from the return statement. When there is no return statement, the result is taken from the last line of code which doesn't even have to be an expression: a literal works too. This can be used to produce a custom message or to keep track of some values as the program executes.

          When evaluating expressions, make sure you are aware of their possible side effects as they may potentially affect the behavior and the result of the program.

        Remove once hit

        Specifies whether the breakpoint should be removed from the project after it has been hit once.

        Disable until hitting the following breakpoint

        When a breakpoint is selected in the Disable until hitting the following breakpoint box, it acts as a trigger for the current breakpoint. This disables the current breakpoint until the specified breakpoint has been hit.

        You can also choose whether to disable it again after this has happened or leave it enabled.

        This option is useful when you only need to suspend the program under certain conditions or after certain actions. In this case, the trigger breakpoint usually isn't required to stop the program execution and is made non-suspending.

        Breakpoint statuses

        Breakpoints can have the following statuses:




        After you have started a debugger session, the debugger checks whether it is technically possible to suspend the program at the breakpoint. If yes, the debugger marks the breakpoint as verified.


        If it is technically possible to suspend the program at the breakpoint, however there are issues related to it, the debugger gives you a warning. This may happen, for example, when it is impossible to suspend the program at one of the method's implementations.


        If it is technically impossible to suspend the program at the breakpoint, the debugger marks it as invalid. The most common cause for this is that there is no executable code on the line.


        A breakpoint is marked as inactive/dependent when it is configured to be disabled until another breakpoint is hit, and this has not happened yet.


        All breakpoints are temporarily inactive because they have been muted.


        This breakpoint is temporarily inactive because it has been disabled.


        The suspend policy is set for this breakpoint so that it does not suspend the execution when hit.

        Breakpoint icons

        Depending on their type and status, breakpoints are marked with the following icons:





        line breakpoint

        method breakpoint

        exception breakpoint


        disabled line breakpoint

        disabled method breakpoint

        disabled exception breakpoint


        verified line breakpoint

        verified method breakpoint


        muted line breakpoint

        muted method breakpoint


        inactive/dependent line breakpoint

        inactive/dependent method breakpoint

        Muted disabled

        muted disabled line breakpoint

        muted disabled method breakpoint


        non-suspending line breakpoint

        non-suspending method breakpoint

        Verified non-suspending

        verified non-suspending line breakpoint

        verified non-suspending method breakpoint


        invalid breakpoint

        Productivity tips

        Use breakpoints for debug printing

        Use non-suspending logging breakpoints (sometimes referred to as watchpoints in other debuggers) instead of inserting print statements in your code. This provides a more flexible and centralized way of handling debug log messages.

        Set logging breakpoints more quickly

        To set a non-suspending logging breakpoint, hold Shift and click the gutter. This will not suspend the program execution and instead log a message like Breakpoint reached: LineBreakpoint.php:10. If you want to log some expression that is in front of you in the editor, select it before holding Shift and clicking the gutter.

        Add breakpoint descriptions

        If you have many breakpoints in your project, you can add descriptions to breakpoints for ease of search. To do this, right-click a breakpoint in the Breakpoints dialog Control+Shift+F8 and select Edit description from the menu. Now when you start typing the breakpoint name, it gets the focus.

        Group breakpoints

        You can organize breakpoints into groups, for example, if you need to mark out breakpoints for a specific problem. To do this, in the Breakpoints dialog Control+Shift+F8, select a breakpoint you want to place in a group and select Move to group from the menu.

        Jump to source

        To jump from the Breakpoints dialog to the line of code where the selected breakpoint is set, press F4.

        Last modified: 16 October 2023