Loss of configuration settings on update

I am fairly new to PhpStorm so I would like to know if what I am experiencing during an update is considered normal. Here is what happens when I get a notification in PhpStorm that there is a new build available.

Now here is the problem - after updating I lose all my settings and the application is recognized as an evaluation copy (doesn't run with my licensing information). As far as I can see the updating process doesn't copy settings from idea.properties and PhpStorm.exe.vmoptions to the new installation folder which results in PhpStorm running on default settings. Given that I use a custom .WebIde folder in order to take advantage of SSD drive speeds for caching etc. I would completelly understand what's causing the problem but what I would like to know is if it is normal for the IDE to ignore previous configuration on update?


Hi there,

What configuration settings are you talking about? If it's about idea.properties and PhpStorm.exe.vmoptions then:

  • If you are using PhpStorm installer then it will only install into EMPTY folder (hence no idea.properties and PhpStorm.exe.vmoptions copied over). Plus, installer attempts to install each version into separate folder (e.g. for v7.0 it will offer "PhpStorm 7.0"; for latest EAP (currently it is v7.0.1) it would be "PhpStorm 7.0.1").
  • If you place your idea.properties into your user home folder, IDE will take it instead of default one from install folder. No idea about PhpStorm.exe.vmoptions though (my guess -- it has to be next to PhpStorm.exe file so the same will not work here)...

Copying idea.properties to .WebIde folder inside my user folder was actually one of the first things I tried but apparently PhpStorm requires idea.properties to be in the same folder as PhpStorm.exe (please see attached picture). The oficial documentation also doesn't mention anything about having idea.properties anywhere else aside from the installation folder so I assume its not possible to move it. It would be really nice if at least idea.properties (not IDE settings/caching etc. folders defined within idea.properties) could be moved inside the home folder so all the upcoming IDE build could reuse it without the need to copy/paste stuff. Or am I still mising something?


Copying idea.properties to .WebIde folder inside my user folder

Wrong. I've said "user home folder", not ".WebIde" folder (C:\Users\USERNAME is not the same as C:\Users\USERNAME\.WebIde)

It is possible that you are facing situation when IDE (or to be precise, java itself) may not detect user home folder correctly -- instead of asking OS (or whatever correct way is) it tries to make it up based on "My Documents" folder location (which, in certain situations, can be completely different place). This may be fixed by adding "-Duser.home=C:\Users\USERNAME" (or whatever the correct path is) to the PhpStorm.exe.vmoptions file.

I can say here that I did experiment with this in the past (4-5 months ago) and can confirm that PhpStorm was picking up settings from idea.properties from my user home folder (possibly even ignoring those from installation folder). Although I have to say that I did not touched "idea.config.path" setting or anything similar -- for me it was a bit different -- "auto.show.quick.doc" setting (which now has dedicated UI control in Settings screen).

And yes -- if you use more than one IDEA-based IDEs (e.g. PhpStorm and RubyMine, for example), the above approach may not work as desired at all (both IDEs most likely will use the same folder, which is wrong).

In any case: if the above will not work for you I may only suggest this approach:

  • Keep those files somewhere in your system
  • Once you install new IDE version (preferably into the same folder (e.g. "C:\Program Files (x86)\JetBrains\PhpStorm") all the time), copy those files into correct place (write some small batch script -- 2 lines max)

Wrong. I've said "user home folder", not ".WebIde" folder (C:\Users\USERNAME is not the same as C:\Users\USERNAME\.WebIde)

Well there was a .WebIde folder inside my user folder so I assumed that was the place to put the file. However, even after putting idea.properties directly into my home folder (accessed through %HOMEPATH% environmental variable not any sort of My Documents dependency) PhpStorm refused to start.

I currently lack time to further investigate what works and what doesn't so for the time being I'll simply stick to copying those two files after every update.

Thanks for your input Andriy!

Please sign in to leave a comment.