php storm portable

Yes, it’s possible, just copy the installation directory to the flash drive, then edit IDEA_HOME\bin\ file, change the values of idea.config.path and idea.plugins.path to the relative location, like: ../config and ../user-plugins (locations are relative to IDEA bin directory).

Now copy your original settings and third-party plug-ins (if any):

  • ${user.home}/.IntelliJIdea10/config => usb:/IDEA_HOME/config
  • ${user.home}/.IntelliJIdea10/config/plugins => usb:/IDEA_HOME/user-plugins

Note that it’s not recommended to change idea.system.path variable, so that it remains on the fast local drive, otherwise it could affect IDEA performance and occupy a lot of USB drive space.


more details go below 🙂


Download PHPStorm from JetBrains. There are 30 days trial downloads for both stable and development (called EAP or or early access program) versions.

Unzip the downloads to an empty folder. If you have downloaded the executable version, just change the file extension from .exe to .zip then unzip it.

Investigate the extracted folder (ex. PhpStorm-8.0.2). Let go to the sub-folder bin and open the file in your text editor (ex. Notepad on Windows) and pay attention to ${idea.home}, ${user.home} and 4 commented lines in the top part of the file:

# idea.config.path=${user.home}/.WebIde/config
# idea.system.path=${user.home}/.WebIde/system
# idea.plugins.path=${idea.config.path}/plugins
# idea.log.path=${idea.system.path}/log

The macro ${idea.home} is the unpacked (executable) folder (ie.PhpStorm-8.0.2) in this case. The macro ${user.home} is to specify the user’s home folder on a system (ex. C:\Users\username on Windows), and .WebIde is the folder to be created when the program runs to store all the user settings and downloads in it.

Now make PHPStorm portable by modifying the file to store all the settings and configurations in a nested folder of your choice (ie. PhpStorm-8.0.2/usr in this tutorial) by uncommenting the 4 commented line above:


When you start PHPStorm for the first time, the program will create the folder usr, usr/config and usr/system to store its data inside its executable folder (ie. PhpStorm-8.0.2/usr/system) by the macro ${idea.home}. Remember it is ${idea.home} not ${user.home} anymore. Also, it will save all user’s custom configurations and installed plugins in the 2 folders usr/config and usr/config/plugins.

Upload everything to the cloud or save it in a USB drive. Now you have a portable PHPStorm that you can take to anywhere. Enjoy!

Notes: At the first run, you must accept the licence aggreement and choose either use the 30 days trials or import your licence key. If you already run PHPStorm on your system, you may need to transfer your settings and configurations from your home folder’s .WebIde folder to the approriate folders in the new portable PHPStorm.