If you have a paid version of IDEA, you probably already know that you can automatically sync your settings to the currently active account. That doesn’t cover all use cases though:

  • You can’t share settings with another account, whether your own or someone else’s.
  • You can’t keep track of how your preferences have changed over time.
  • If you want to edit the global settings manually you first have to find them.

Happily IDEA provides a second way of syncing settings, using a custom settings repository. It’s pretty easy to set up:

  1. Create a Git repository (the rest of the instructions assumes you’re using a free private repo on GitLab).
  2. If necessary, change the default branch to “master”.
  3. Create a project access token (if you can) or personal access token with read_repository and write_repository access.
  4. In the File → Manage IDE Settings menu:
    1. Disable syncing to JetBrains account.
    2. Set up syncing to repo with your normal GitLab username and the token generated above.