How to Install Themes for IntelliJ IDE

The IntelliJ IDEA (Community Edition) IDE comes with two preset themes, Light and Darcula. However, they can get bland rather quickly. Thus, below are two ways to change the color of your IntelliJ editor to add a splash of color to your coding experience! 

Option #1: Themes from GitHub Repositories

*Disclaimer: these themes only change the color of your editor. The project view sidebar remains unchanged during this process. 

Step 1

Find a theme that suits your tastes! Do a little research on your preferred search engine, and if it leads you to a GitHub link, continue to Step 2! (Here is one of my favorite themes)

Step 2

Download the theme as a .zip file, and unzip the resultant file. If you are on Windows, this will take longer. If you use a Mac, just open the .zip file and it will automatically unzip for you. See video below:

Step 3

Open up your IntelliJ IDE, and at the top, click File > Manage IDE Settings > Import Settings. Pick the directory that you got from unzipping the .zip file, and follow the prompts. 

Step 4

After the prompt to restart your IDE, open Preferences with Command-Comma if you are on Mac, and Control-Comma on Windows. 

Step 5

Choose Editor on the left sidebar, and pick Color Scheme. From there, you should see a drop down menu to select the Color Scheme. If you did everything correctly, you should see your color scheme in the list. Go ahead and select it, then press Apply at the bottom right corner of the screen. Give the editor a moment to change, and voila! You have your new theme. Press OK to finish, and enjoy your theme!

Option 2: Using JetBrains Marketplace

*As opposed to Option 1, this method changes the theme of everything in your IDE, including things like the Project View.

Step 1

Open preferences (Command-Comma on Mac, Control-Comma on Windows) in your IntelliJ IDE. 

Step 2

On the left sidebar, select Plugins, then press Marketplace at the top. (see image below)

Plugins > Marketplace

Step 3

Use the search bar to find a theme that suits your taste! (try searching “theme” or another keyword)

Step 4

Once you find your theme, press Install, then press Apply at the bottom right corner. 

Step 5

Give the theme some time to be implemented, and press OK. That’s it!

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