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IDE Settings

IDE settings are stored in the dedicated directories under the product home directory, depending on the platform. The product home directory name is composed of the product name and version.

For IntelliJ IDEA Community edition the folder name is .IdeaICXX.

For example:

  • <User home>\.IntelliJIdeaXX\config that contains user-specific settings.
  • <User home>\.IntelliJIdeaXX\system that stores IntelliJ IDEA data caches.

<User home> in WindowsXP is C:\Documents and Settings\<User name>\; in Windows Vista it is C:\Users\<User name>\

  • ~/.IntelliJIdeaXX/config that contains user-specific settings.
  • ~/.IntelliJIdeaXX/system that stores IntelliJ IDEA data caches.

Mac OS
  • ~/Library/Application Support/IntelliJIdeaXX contains the catalog with plugins.
  • ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX contains the rest of the configuration settings.
  • ~/Library/Caches/IntelliJIdeaXX contains data caches, logs, local history, etc. These files can be quite significant in size.
  • 9.0+~/Library/Logs/IntelliJIdeaXX contains logs

The config directory has several subfolders that contain xml files with your personal settings. You can easily share your preferred keymaps, color schemes, etc. by copying these files into the corresponding folders on another IntelliJ IDEA installation. Prior to copying, make sure that IntelliJ IDEA is not running, because it can erase the newly transferred files before shutting down.

The following is the list of some of the subfolders under the config folder, and the settings contained therein.

Folder nameUser Settings
codestyles Contains code style schemes.
colors Contains editor colors and fonts customization schemes.
filetypes Contains user-defined file types.
inspection Contains code inspection profiles.
keymaps Contains IntelliJ IDEA keyboard shortcuts customizations.
options Contains various options, for example, feature usage statistics and macros.
templates Contains user-defined live templates.
tools Contains configuration files for the user-defined external tools.
shelf Contains shelved changes.

Locations of the Config, System, and Plugins directories can be modified in IntelliJ IDEA_home\bin\idea.properties file.

You will need to adjust the following parameters:

  • idea.config.path
  • idea.system.path
  • idea.plugins.path

Increasing productivity

To increase productivity of IntelliJ IDEA, you can change settings that reside in the following locations (depending on your operating system):

  • On Windows systems:
    <IntelliJ IDEA installation folder>/bin/idea.exe.vmoptions
    <IntelliJ IDEA installation folder>/bin/idea64.exe.vmoptions
  • On *NIX systems:
    <IntelliJ IDEA installation folder>/bin/idea.vmoptions
    <IntelliJ IDEA installation folder>/bin/idea64.vmoptions
  • On Mac OS:

    Since version 12:
    The file /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA.app/bin/idea.vmoptions should be copied to


Example. increasing heap size

For example, to increase IntelliJ IDEA heap size, you should copy the original .vmoptions file from /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA.app/bin/idea.vmoptions to~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX/idea.vmoptions, then modify the -Xmx setting.

For the older versions, the settings are stored in:

                    /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA.app/Contents/Info.plist

Managing case of unicode literals


IntelliJ IDEA allows defining whether non-ascii characters should use literals like '\u00AB' or '\00ab'.

This behavior is controlled by the system property idea.native2ascii.lowercase. By default, upper case characters are used.

If it is desirable to use lower case characters, do the following (depending on your platform)

  • 12.0+On Windows and *NIX: add the line

    to the bin/idea.properties file, located under the product installation.

  •  On Mac OS:

    Copy the file /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA.app/bin/idea.properties to ~/Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdeaXX/, open it for editing, and add the line


    It is essential to create a copy, since the settings are replaced rather than added.

    For the older versions of IntelliJ IDEA, open for editing the file /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA.app/Contents/Info.plist, and add the following code:


    to the section <key>Properties</key> <dict> ... <dict>

To change IDEA running JDK, set <JVMVersion>  to 1.7* in /Applications/IntelliJ IDEA 13.app/Contents/Info.plist

VM arguments settings:

  • -Xms512m  
  • -Xmx512m  
  • -Xmn164m  
  • -XX:MaxPermSize=250m  
  • -XX:ReservedCodeCacheSize=64m  
  • -Xverify:none  
  • -Xnoclassgc  
  • -XX:+UseParNewGC  
  • -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC  
  • -XX:CMSInitiatingOccupancyFraction=85  
  • -ea