Changing IDE default directories used for config, plugins, and caches storage

Common cases when you may need to change the default locations of the IDE files:

  • user profile drive runs out of space
  • disk is slow and you want to use faster HDD or SSD for caches
  • default user profile points to the UNC path unsupported by the IDE
  • home directory is on a network drive
  • user profile directory is not detected correctly (Java bug 4787931)
  • you want to create a portable installation on a USB stick
  • home directory is encrypted and slows down the IDE or causes caches corruption
  • caches should be excluded from the home directory backup
  • antivirus or search indexer is scanning the home directory affecting IDE performance
Locations can be changed by editing idea.properties file. The easiest way is to use Help | Edit Custom Properties… menu action. It will create a copy of this file in the appropriate location so that the original file in the IDE bin subdirectory remains unmodified and doesn't cause conflicts during the patch updates.
 
Follow the comments in IDE_HOME\bin\idea.properties file to change the defaults, make sure to uncomment the lines defining these properties:
  • idea.config.path
  • idea.system.path
  • idea.plugins.path
  • idea.log.path

Example:

idea.config.path=c:/work/idea/caches/trunk-config
idea.system.path=c:/work/idea/caches/trunk-system
idea.plugins.path=c:/work/idea/caches/trunk-plugins
 
 
Changing the location of idea.properties file
 
If needed, you can also override the location of idea.properties file using IDE specific environment variable:
  • IDEA_PROPERTIES — IntelliJ IDEA
  • CLION_PROPERTIES — CLion
  • APPCODE_PROPERTIES — AppCode
  • PYCHARM_PROPERTIES — PyCharm
  • DATAGRIP_PROPERTIES — DataGrip
  • STUDIO_PROPERTIES — Android Studio
  • WEBIDE_PROPERTIES — WebStorm
  • PHPSTORM_PROPERTIES — PhpStorm
  • GOLAND_PROPERTIES — GoLand
  • RIDER_PROPERTIES — Rider

For example: IDEA_PROPERTIES=C:\Users\USER\idea.properties

 

The order in which IDE will read idea.properties files is as follows:

  1. Environment variable (%IDE%_PROPERTIES)
  2. Default IDE configuration directory
  3. HOME\idea.properties (where HOME is the user's home directory on the system)
  4. IDE_HOME\bin\idea.properties

Unlike .vmoptions file handling, idea.properties file with the higher priority doesn't undefine or discard variables already defined in the file location with lower priority. If there is the same variable defined in multiple properties files, the value of the variable from the higher priority file will be used, this way you can override the defaults already defined in IDE_HOME\bin\idea.properties in another file in the IDE default config directory or defined via the %IDE%_PROPERTIES environment variable.

62 comments
Comment actions Permalink

It's asinine that this cannot be changed inside the UI and I have to manually edit a config file!

Worse, the information here is out-of-date.

Edited by Jetbrains
0
Comment actions Permalink

It can be changed via UI of the Toolbox application if you are using it to manage your IDE installation: https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox/app/ .

For 2020.x versions the default folders were changed and this document will be updated soon to reflect it. Sorry for the delay.

Related tickets:

https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-22407
https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-26855
https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-230993

0

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Have more questions?

Submit a request