Brighten up Your Day – Add Color to IntelliJ IDEA!

For a long time, IntelliJ IDEA came only in black and white, with developers advocating for customization tirelessly. Today we have exciting news for you: IntelliJ IDEA 2019.1 will become more flexible than ever thanks to Custom Themes!

Now you will have the power to design your own theme from scratch, and even better, we’ve made this incredibly easy to do!

We’ve created a few brand new themes to get you started. Add more color to your IDE right away by downloading one of the following new themes and selecting it as your new Theme in the Appearance settings!

Dark Purple theme


Cyan Light Theme


Gray Theme


We’ve made significant changes in our codebase so that you can tweak the entire IDE appearance, including icon colors, radio buttons, arrows, the color scheme, and everything else you can think of. You can literally change the color of anything!

Each theme is actually a theme plugin that you can download directly from our plugin repository. Or, if you feel up to it, you can create your own theme plugin using the DevKit and modify the IDE appearance via the JSON file. It really is as simple as that.

This major change affects our IntelliJ Platform which means that all IntelliJ-based IDEs will have this new ability in v2019.1. That includes IntelliJ IDEA, PhpStorm, PyCharm, RubyMine, WebStorm, DataGrip, GoLand, CLion, AppCode, and Rider.

Brighter theme? Low-contrast theme? Fun new theme? A theme that just rocks? Develop your own theme for your IDE! Then share it with the community for everyone to enjoy – by uploading it to our plugin repository!

Here are some links that you may find useful:

We hope you’ll enjoy this great new feature in IntelliJ IDEA! Let us know what you think here in the comment section, or on Twitter.

P.S. Join our Early Access Program by downloading the latest available build of the upcoming IntelliJ IDEA 2019.1 and try the new Custom Themes for yourself!

Happy Developing!

About Zlata Kalyuzhnaya

IntelliJ IDEA Marketing Manager at JetBrains. twitter: @ZlataKalyuzhnay ‏
This entry was posted in Featured Plugins, New Features, News & Events, Plugin Development and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to Brighten up Your Day – Add Color to IntelliJ IDEA!

  1. Darrel Ross says:

    I am trying to install the Dark Purple theme in Beta 3 and I cannot. I can select Default, Darcula, and High Contrast, but no other option, or even the ability to install a new theme . Any pointers?

    • Zlata Kalyuzhnaya says:

      Hi Darrel,
      Each theme is actually a theme plugin. You need to install it at first and after that, you will be able to select it from the Appearance settings.
      Step 1. Go to Settings/Preferences | Plugins and install Dark Purple theme plugin.
      Step 2. Restart the IDE.
      Step 3. Go to Settings/Preferences | Appearance & Behavior and select Dark Purple theme from the drop-down list of the theme options.

  2. TheBestPessimist says:

    Finally i can enjoy the nyan _theme_ and not only the nyan progress bars!


  3. Aardvark says:

    Slowly approaching feature parity with vim, eh? 😉

  4. Farid says:

    Nice, great! I really like it! But why 2 light and 1 dark. More dark themes from Jetbrains!

  5. Nick says:

    Some get started on gruvbox!

  6. James Yeoman says:

    Mojave dark mode support? The white bar at the top is annoying.

    • Zlata Kalyuzhnaya says:

      Hi James, the dark title bars are supported on macOS. Go to Preferences | Appearance & Behavior | Appearance and select the ‘Use dark window headers’ option.

      • Daniel Neades says:

        Is it possible to use dark title bars under Windows 10?

        • Zlata Kalyuzhnaya says:

          Hi Daniel. Yes it’s possible for Windows too. Please refer to this ticket for the instruction:

          • Daniel Neades says:

            Hi Zlata. Thank you! Enabling the setting certainly helps a lot.

            Even with this setting, note that there is still a thin strip along the top edge of the window frame that is a little clunky (particularly when the window does not have focus, as it is then very light), especially since that strip is wider in some places than others (e.g. it is thicker above the IJ icon in the top-left corner and towards the right, but thinner above the menu items). Still, the situation is nevertheless much improved over the standard caption bar.

            • Fred Deschenes says:

              Holy !”*? thanks for this, I can’t believe this isn’t available in the regular settings panel (especially since it’s the default in Rider so it’s not like it’s some obscure feature).

  7. Khanh Tran says:

    Really enjoy the dark purple. Great!

  8. Junaid Atari says:

    Gray Theme is my choice. I loved it!

  9. Mihail says:

    How do I get the light green theme for Webstorm 2019.1 Beta? I wasn’t able to find it.

  10. I created a Solarized Dark and Light theme! Please come help me improve it. It currently only needs a few more touches here and there. (It hasn’t been approved on the plugins repo yet, but that won’t happen until Monday at the earliest).

  11. Nicolas M says:

    Do the new changes allow to change the layout/spacing of elements? I really wish I could make the editor more compact in certain parts.

  12. Xinky says:

    Modify the IDE appearance via the JSON file is really convenient, but how can I define a color and multiplexing them to different component properties in the json file?

  13. John says:

    This is the best news! Had a quick try of Dark Purple in WebStorm and really like it. It’s a lot darker than Darcula and a lot easier on the eye than High Contrast. I’m looking forward to having a play about to see what customisations can be done. Thank you!

    Only thing missing is some nice theme gallery with previews. But I might just stick with Dark Purple anyway. :)

  14. Onnfee says:

    It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a long time.
    I really like this improvement.

  15. Luke says:

    I want to know, where to set up to see the “curved small arrow” inside the screenshot? It looks like useful。

  16. PhpStormer says:

    1 Dark theme and 2 light themes? Who uses light themes? I like my eyeballs, and I don’t want to fry them.

    “Purple” for the dark theme? What about like a dark cobalt blue or solarized dark? I guarantee if you made either of those it would be more popular than all 3 of these.

  17. William Stam says:

    i think this whole “theme” thing is a bit of a waste.

    you can change the editor background and the gutter background colours etc from the settings UI, you “should” be able to do the same for the rest of the UI from there to. where a “theme” comes in handy is if it allows spacing changes, fonts, package the colour scheme and settings etc for distribution.

    just changing the colours and calling it revolutionary awesome feature a theme is very deceptive tbh

  18. How can I force this notification to pop up in order to test its colors?

    • R. G. says:

      would it work with a search of test, or member that has 0 results?

      • Tyler Thrailkill says:

        That works nicely thanks. Only problem is I can’t leave it open to test out different colors, but I guess I’ll just have to work around that.

  19. Xiang Zhou says:

    Hello, I like Intellij very much, and I often use CMD + E to open recent-files page, and then use CMD + E switch recent files, but in the 2019.1 update, you remove this function, when I press CMD + E in the recent-file pages, I can just toggle “show changed only”, could you give us a setting for the previous function?

  20. Ravin Sharma says:


    Great set of themes, thank you! I’m trying to get this themes running in Android Studio, but don’t see them in the plugin repository. What should I do to load them into Android Studio?

    Thanks Again!

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