Lost Shelf


On intellij 14.0.3.  Upgraded to 14.1.1 said my license was not valid.  Went back to 14.0.3.
Shelf is gone!
Is it stored anywhere on disk?


Look under %config%\shelf. See https://intellij-support.jetbrains.com/entries/23358108 for the config folder location.

Check idea.log for errors (https://intellij-support.jetbrains.com/entries/23352446). Shelf may not display anything if any of the patch files cannot be parsed.


I am using Intellij 2018, and there is no shelf folder in the config folder.


In recent versions, shelf is stored in the .idea/shelf folder in the project. It is default location, but can be changed in Settings | Version Control | Shelf


@Dmitriy Smirnov: That's a dangerous default. If the developer runs git clean -xdf, the shelves will be gone.


> That's a dangerous default.

The previous default was also dangerous, as developers lost their work when clearing IDE configs or migrating to another version. That's why it was changed.

And now, it is possible to change the location

> but can be changed in Settings | Version Control | Shelf

> If the developer runs git clean -xdf

Not only shelves but workspace.xml and (possible) the entire project configuration, if it is not tracked in git. So I think one should responsibly use such commands. 

Moreover, delete shelves can be restored with Local History.


Dmitriy Smirnov

Faced a similar issue. Can you share the steps to recover the changes done to all the files on the shelf?

Not sure if it's related, but a few days back on PhpStorm 2021.2.4, Build #PS-212.5712.51, built on December 22, 2021, running Windows 10 10.0 there was a random workspace related error shown in the project running on WSL2. 

Looking forward to recovering the critical changes with Jetbrain's assistance.



Nikhil Ranka you should be able to call Local Histroy on the .idea/shelf directory to restore the chanegs. Or maybe the patches are there, but for some reasons changes are not listed in Shelf tab


That helped Dmitriy Smirnov. Had to use the steps here to view the .idea folder. And finally was able to recover the shelf using the patches in the shelf folder.

Currently, it appears that local storage is used - which works but is fragile. Wouldn't having the Shelves on cloud in a self-hosted/Jetbrains hosted repo make this feature a lot more robust? Are there any plans to use safer storage options for Shelves?