Taking control of PhpStorm updates

PhpStorm updates are usually patch-based: they are applied to the existing installation and only require you to restart the IDE. Due to the current limitations of the update system, these patches can only be applied sequentially, on top of one another. For example, if you are using PhpStorm 2017.1.1, you can patch it to 2017.1.2, but not to 2017.1.3.

If you skip or ignore a patch, you will lose the ability to apply the subsequent patches. As a result, when a new PhpStorm version is released, you will see a dialog box prompting you to download and install it:


If this happens, you can restore the ability to apply patched-based updates by manually applying skipped updates one by one.

Follow these steps:

  1. Ignore the proposed update by clicking Ignore This Update. This way, you will add the proposed build’s number to the Ignored updates list.
  2. Open the PhpStorm Settings / Preferences dialog and navigate to Appearance and Behavior | System Settings | Updates.
  3. Click the Check Now button to check for available updates. If you only skipped a single update, the update dialog box will now prompt you to update and restart PhpStorm. Otherwise, keep ignoring the proposed updates until a patch-based update is proposed.
  4. Update and restart PhpStorm.
  5. Navigate back to the Updates settings page and click the View/edit ignored updates link to open the Ignored updates list.
  6. Delete the ignored build’s number from this list and check for available updates once more. The update that you have un-ignored will show up, and you can now apply it as a patch as well. Note that if you have ignored several updates, you need to remove and apply them one by one, starting from the oldest update.

A note for EAP users: you can update PhpStorm only to a minor EAP release, but not to the major one. For example, you can update PhpStorm 2017.2.3 to 2017.2.4 EAP but not to 2017.3 EAP. The 2017.3 EAP version in this case will be installed in parallel with your existing stable installation. EAP versions, however, can be updated to both newer EAP and stable PhpStorm versions.

Manage PhpStorm through Toolbox App

If you prefer a one-stop shop for managing all your developer tools, consider Toolbox App. It’s great for downloading and updating all your JetBrains developer tools, as well as launching your recent projects, from one convenient place. Maintain different versions of the same tool, install updates, and roll them back if needed. Toolbox App also remembers your JetBrains Account and uses it to automatically log you in when you install and register new tools.

To install Toolbox App, follow these steps:

  1. Download Toolbox App.
  2. Launch the downloaded file.
  3. When the installation is complete, accept the JetBrains Privacy Policy and sign in to your JetBrains Account.



We hope it will help you to keep your PhpStorm updates under control and will make an update process more smooth and clear.

JetBrains PhpStorm Team
The Drive to Develop

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  • Thierry Goettelmann

    Just a suggestion (I’m not concerned since I install every updates, every time ^^).

    If a user have v2017.1.1 … skips the 2017.1.2 … then when you publish 2017.1.3, can’t you detect the user have 1.1 and apply the 2 patches (1.2 and 1.3) ?

    • Vladimir Luchansky

      Thank you! We’ll think about the best scheme here and surely will fix this behavior.

  • Gerard Lakke

    I get the error-message “ide updates are managed externally and werent checked”? Same in Toolbox, which claims PHPstorm to be manually installed and to reinstall through Toolbox.
    My latest version is 2017.2.1

    • Eugene Morozov

      Here’s how this happened.
      When you first started PhpStorm 2017.2, it was a Toolbox version, right? Toolbox versions add -Dide.no.platform.update=true to .vmoptions so if you run the same standalone version you won’t be able to update it.
      If you’re using Toolbox, please uninstall all standalone versions and edit the .vmoptions file removing this line.
      After that, you should be able to manage your updates via Toolbox.

      • Gerard Lakke

        My installation was standalone, not a Toolbox version. I added Toolbox later. Maybe I should better uninstall Toolbox?

        • Eugene Morozov

          Sorry for a late reply.
          Toolbox provides you with a more reliable update mechanism (you can update from any version), so I’d say that you better keep only the Toolbox versions.

  • Grantus Maximus

    I’ve just tried working through the above to get my version to accept patches again. All seemed to be going fine – I ignored quite a few patches until I got to one that would allow me to install and restart Storm. However, when it restarted and I tried to open the Ignored Updates list, the link didn’t do anything so I now don’t know how to access those updates I ignored. Any suggestions please?

    • Grantus Maximus

      After closing down down any other applications/browser windows I didn’t need, I retried and the Ignored Updates list started generating properly. Not sure if it was closing everything else down or something else, but I’m now successfully going through all the patch updates :)

      • Dmitry Tronin

        Thanks for letting us know :)

  • mhousser

    Really, REALLY annoying upgrade behaviour. Whenever I see a JetBrains IDE upgrade, my first thought is “oh great, there’s a 50% chance that this will be an annoying manual download/installation”. We’ve been trained to really loathe the updates.

    And here we go again. Same thing.

    • Vladimir Luchansky

      Sorry for inconveniences, we are working on that.

  • iandevlin

    I followed the first set of instructions and PHPStorm (currently on 2017.2.4) still won’t update. I always get the useless dialog box as shown in the screenshot in the article.

    I then downloade Toolbox to try that, it doesn’t show that there is a new update for PHPStorm.

    What do I do now?

    • Vladimir Luchansky

      There’s no 2017.2.5 so you won’t see any new patch updates for your 2017.2 version.
      You also cannot update via patch between different major versions so there will be no patch update from 2017.2.4 to 2017.3.
      If you want to use 2017.3, you need to install it separately.

      • iandevlin

        Why doesn’t “check for updates” inform me of this? An update is an update, regardless of versions. Weird system.

        • Eugene Morozov

          We acknowledge how lame it is, unfortunately, the only solution is to use Toolbox for now.
          Here’s the usability issue to vote for: https://youtrack.jetbrains.com/issue/IDEA-108061

          • iandevlin

            But as I said in my original post, Toolbox didn’t report that an update was needed either. I only knew that I had to update to 2017.3 first because you told me to in your first reply. I had to manually download and install it.

          • Dmitry Tronin

            Do you have “Stay on 2017.2” by any chance in toolbox settings against that PhpStorm installation? I’ve just checked that: Toolbox suggests to update 2017.2>2017.3 by default: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f11c8d084160b41808615d5c2faab9998dc7f537b98855bca2ab50cf41004551.png

          • iandevlin

            Is “Stay on 2017.2” a default setting in the Toolbox? If so (why would that be?) then yes, otherwise no, as I already said, I had only just installed it based on the information in this article and therefore didn’t change any settings as the article didn’t tell me to do so.

            And I repeat, the Toolbox did not tell me to update to 2017.3 by default.

          • Eugene Morozov

            Something must be going wrong then. You can check whether you’re staying on 2017.2 or not this way:

            It’s already too much for a comment section, could you please submit a ticket so we could sort out the update issues for you?