Start Failed, Internal error: recovering IDE to the working state after the critical startup error


IDE shows the Start Failed dialog with the exception stacktrace and the following text:

Internal error. Please report to


There are multiple possible causes for this issue: broken or incompatible plug-in, corrupted IDE installation files, failed patch update, broken caches or damaged configuration.

It may be hard to guess the root case from the exception stacktrace.


Please try the following steps one by one until the issue is resolved:

  1. Delete the third-party plug-ins directory (idea.plugins.path in the user's home directory, depends on the OS: ~/Library/Application Support/<Product><Version> on macOS, c:\Users\<user>\.<Product><Version>\config\plugins on Windows and ~/.<Product><Version>/config/plugins on Linux). <Product><Version> example: IntelliJIdea2019.1. ~ stands for the home directory (/Users/<user> on macOS, /home/<user> on Linux). You can bisect the plug-ins to find the offending one and remove only that plug-in, keeping the working plug-ins.

    Note: if the installation is managed by the Toolbox App, plug-ins directory will be located next to the application install location which can be found from the Toolbox properties of the installed app. Look for the directory name starting with the build number and ending with the .plugins, like 192.5728.98.plugins.
  2. Download and install the IDE again, either from the official site or using the Toolbox App. Your settings and projects will be preserved. When installing from .tar.gz on Linux make sure to unpack into the new empty directory, not on the top of the existing installation.
  3. Delete the IDE system (idea.system.path) directory.
  4. In most cases the issue should be already resolved, but if the IDE still doesn't start with the same error dialog, you can also try to backup and delete the settings directory (idea.config.path).
  5. Contact support with the full exception stacktrace (you can copy/paste it from the error dialog).


We'd appreciate if you report all such issues to the support team or directly to the issue tracker. We are trying to eliminate the root cases and make the IDE recovery process more seamless.

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