2019.2 GIT branch Compare With Current changed


Previous to 2019.2, the GIT branch Compare With Current feature would display a popup with current branch in a top pane and the selected branch in the bottom.  In each pane would be a list of commits that did not exist in the other.  I found this to be extremely helpful when determining merges.  In 2019.2, this feature now just lists the updated files from the selected branch.  Is there any way I can get the old way of comparing branches?

Thanks a bunch.


Jetbrains has confirmed that they do not intend to replace this feature. They believe that the git log is sufficient for our needs.


Kiril also stated "JetBrains understands that the replacement introduced a couple of usability regressions, and plans to improve new UI to solve these issues, see related tickets." but this is not very honest since said plans are just to make it easier to navigate between different filters in the git log--which is not solving the issues at all.

In other words, nothing will replace the Compare with Current that we are in the habit of using. (Why it had to go remains a mystery.)

Using 2019.1 isn't viable in the long tern and Compare with Current isn't coming back. So we need a strategy. Jetbrains isn't going to provide something like Compare with Current then we need to decide if we will

  1. adapt ourselves and our practices to how Jetbrains wants
  2. find alternatives

I choose 2.

In the last few days I've been learning to use Visual Studio Code. Since I don't know the key bindings, getting started has been slow but its UI for many tasks, including all things git, are superior to IDEA. Plus it's FAST. It looks nicer. It's open source. And it has a vital community of extension authors.


Indeed the old "compare with current" view was one of the nicest git features within IDEA. It is really useful to have a way to view the global commit differences between tho branches, specially for code reviewing, merging, backporting and managing different version staging branches.

> Do you usually need both A..B and B..A, or you sometimes need A..B and sometimes B..A?

I usually need the three options, but being able to see both A..B and B..A at the same time is the one i use the most.

> If you need both sets of commits at the same time, do you think it would be useful to show them in a single log view, as two branches (e.g. like the log is possible If you usually need only one set of commits, would it be sufficient for you to have a swap button (as proposed in the description of this issue)?

Being able to switch with a button between both filters would be fine. But i would probably be switching back and forth a lot when reviewing for example an old feature branch that must be rebased, or checking the differences between production and development version, or checking differences between the same branch over two remotes for giving some examples.

> What kind of branches do you usually compare? For example, I usually compare the main development branch (which I have checked out) with a remote feature branch of my colleague, to review their work done in this feature branch. Is your case similar?

I come across many scenarios. Apart from the case you describe, i also have to: check if my current branch has diverged too much from master, check if is safe to rebase two branches together, check which new commits have been merged on master which i do not have in my current branch, check if a remote which is not my tracking branch has commits, check which commits a feature branch adds and if its correctly rebased on master before merging, for naming a few scenarios.

On all that cases, the old view was extremely useful, now i've been having to cope with the current functionality but its cumbersome to be constantly doing "compare with current"-> click filter -> edit and reverse the filter, every time.
Again, a switch button would be useful, but being able to compare both views its incredibly useful.



Please at least allow the option to use the old "compare branches". This change has seriously slowed down our workflow for code review. 

As others have mentioned, downgrading is not a long-term solution and this will eventually lead people to VSCode..

Your customers are telling you that this "feature" is unusable, listen to them..


@Yannick Gaultier

Awesome arguments! I agree with you 100%.


It is the need to click again to see the other direction (swap) that sucks.  The value of the old way was that with ONE CLICK one could see commits in both directions IN ONE PANEL.   Dealing with branches, especially from multiple developers, is fussy enough with out having to swap views to see the differences.  If the commits are different in each direction it is extremely useful to see them AT THE SAME TIME.

Pardon my shouting, but this is extremely disturbing and the excuse of not wanting to maintain (or replace) old code to retain the user desired behavior is short-sighted at best and seems arrogant... One of the biggest reasons I use JetBrains IDEs is the substantial easing of the pain of using command line git.  Command line git is, of course, more powerful, but prone to the not insignificant slow down and distraction of having to go to a command window to fumble typing in arcane git commands to get less than easy to understand git command results.  GUIs do make jobs easier and quicker and less error-prone.  Don't ignore your users and don't look down on them because they prefer gui solutions to command line for frequently used functionality.

This kind of branch/commit checking is critical for anyone managing a repository for multiple users and keeping track of commits between branches for fast-paced development cycles (agile anyone?)



Please, please, PLEASE tell me we are not revisiting the horrible removal of git diff functionality that we went through last year.

Alan Thompson



bring back the old compare view!


after an upgrade from 2019.1.x to 2019.2.x the git compare in PHPStorm is not useable anymore.

i don't want to use another tool for this task but the built-in log X..Y is awful a.f.


downgraded now and waiting for a useable interface :-( 


I have to downgrade to version 2019.1 because of this shit.... wtf? (


The new "Compare with Current" is unusable/not user friendly. Please bring the old way back.


Hi Dmitriy

Glad to hear that you are reviewing the matter seriously and are not stuck into your own idea.

> However, we believe improving the Compare branches feature is the right thing to do, so we plan to solve all the usability issues of the new implementation and use the fixed version in 2019.3. 

I read the tickets you linked to and they do not sound too good, just basically rehashing what you and others said in this ticket.

For instance: "Show if there are commits in reversed comparison": does not sound like a good idea, it's just trying to make do with a broken thing. It will still require that a/you notice/look for some flag and b/ you then click something to get the reverse view.

The beauty of the current "Compare with current" is that with one click you have a global view of the compared state of two branches. Can I delete this branch? does it need review/action? Obvious response with one click

You can then drill down if needed but that's not the main use of the view. For me. And apparently for quite a number of your users.


Best regards




Please bring back the old compare with branch view and stop sabotaging your clients. I am not renewing my subscription unless this is fixed! So far, only a few feature changes have been questionable, but this... This is another level: you just removed one of the most useful features of your product on a whim and from what i gather from the official response you didn't know what it did in the first place!

Best regards.


Old Compare is back :D !! I missed you so much, please don't leave again


JB representatives made clear statements that the feature won't be restored. On the basis of that information I switched to VSCode, cancelled my auto-renewal and removed my credit card from my JB account. I had been a user since 2011.

I don't understand why JB was so stubborn about this. What a lot of trouble and damage. And in the end they admitted that the reason was old code they didn't want to maintain.


After a short return in 2019.2.3, old "compare with branch" window was replaced again. Is there a way to return the "old style compare window"?


I can't believe this is happening again, avoid version 2020.1 and up.


I downgraded.. and I'm happy now!
Thanks for a adventure PhpStorm dev's!


@Yannick Gaultier - I completely agree with your comment. That's almost exclusively what we used it for on my team. Quick, easy, and painless code reviews. That and me going through every other week or so tending to branch health.


Nicee.. they reminder my about subscription period expirement. :)

My answers:
Thanks for reminder, but I'm not sure will I renewal my subscription.
I was using PhpStorm for more than 5 years. Since studing IT. But your customer approach makes me fill unsafe..
According to last changes in IDE
I had to downgrade my instance. For now it is ok, but as new features of PHP will be required in projects I will need to do something.
Of course I could learn new system (as far as it will be working - currently it is not useable), but tomorrow you could change some other commonly used feature and I will have a problem again..

Lot of people in my company has simillar filling about last change - I don't think all will migrate but I personally starter looking for new IDE.

Thank you for a journey..


Thank you, Jetbrains!


(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Are you kidding me ?

JETBRAINS, have you REALLY made it again without asking devs if we really want that feature to be removed or replaced ?
Yesterday I was about to accept pending update but I'm gonna stick to the 2019.x version for now.




Could this feature be at least available as a plugin?
Its an awful solution, I know, but better that not having this functionality at all.


@Yannick Gauiltier - I use it heavily when managing multiple contributors with multiple branches for a sizable repository.

Jetbrains: Please heed your customers and bring back that functionality.   We need to see commit differences in both directions _at the same time_.


looks like im going back to 2019.x also... WHY did you do this again!!


So I just upgraded to 2020.2 EAP and the compare with diff window is now an editor tab???

It is tiny and I can hardly see anything!

I can only see 5 commits in each side and because of the other tool windows open I can't see ANY of the files that have changed in the commit that I select!

Where is the setting to make it a full window so I can actually see the difference between branches?


It looks like plugin "Git Scope" alleviates the problem


@Stanislav - Unless I'm doing it wrong it seems to be the same as "Show Diff with working tree"? The old view had a top and bottom view to show you the commits that were on each that wasn't on the other along with a new tab that showed the file diff. Let me know if I'm doing it wrong please. :) 


@Charles - Yes, it just complements the reworked branch comparison with a simple overview of differences in files. The old view is a big loss.
Actually, I have just noticed "Show diff with Working Tree" next to "Compare with Current". It looks that the built-in functionality is good enough for me.


"Show diff with Working Tree" is actually enough for me (at least for now), but the annoying thing is that I used to "Jump to source" from the diff but now the modal is always in the front. I have to close it to get to the editor and then reopen again.


@406beny Instead of closing the window, I find it easier to press Cmd+D to jump to comparing the two versions of a file, and Esc to return back to the "Difference...". 


Yeah, I use that one as well. But sometimes I need to analyse the change in context of the whole application. So I want to see project tree, database, search.. etc. Or get a full view of current file without being distracted by previous version.

2019.1.3 working as expected


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