PHPStorm freezes while debugging

I use xdebug with Docker, and it has always worked flawlessly with PHPStorm. To improve performance I only activate xdebug when I need it. Over the past month while activating xdebug I've noticed PHPStorm starting for freeze for a minute. It eventually unfreezes and I can continue debugging like normal. But now it's even worse. Now it always freezes right after activating xdebug and making a request and never unfreezes, even after disabling xdebug again. The only solution is to force close the application. What could be the problem?

  • macOS Catalina 10.15.7
  • PHPStorm 2020.2.3
  • PHP 7.4.9
  • Xdebug 2.9.8
  • Docker desktop
  • Docker 19.03.13

Hi there,

TBH: no real clues from my end (never had such issue myself; but I'm on Windows)

1) Check idea.log for possible hints/exceptions (Help | Show Log in XXX). You may want to enable extra logging on IDE side for the PHP Debug subsystem first:

2) Close IDE, go to the project root folder and delete .idea subfolder (back it up first) -- that's where this project settings are stored. Now launch IDE, use "Open" and point to that folder -- IDE will create a new project from those files. Do the minimal needed config for debugging and try to debug.

3) If still nothing: try with ALL custom (not bundled by default) plugins disabled (plugins screen has an option to do it in 1 click). Maybe (just maybe) it's some plugin interfering...

4) If possible, try also to debug locally installed PHP (some very basic script) and not docker based (in case if it's related)


Thanks Andriy! I'll try these out and report back.


So in the end it looks like the issue was with the amount of breakpoints I had set. I have a bad habit of leaving breakpoints lying around after I finish using them and had accumulated several dozen. Once I deleted them, the freezing while debugging stopped.