How to increase the memory for PHPStorm IDE

by  on 
27 Feb

One of the issues I have seen popping up over and over again the last year, is that the IDE starts to feel sluggish if I open up two different projects (in different windows). This especially seems to happen if you use the built in grep functionality to locate files/methods on larger projects.

When attending the PHP UK Conference last week, I had the chance to talk with one of the developers from Jetbrains that worked on PHPStorm. So I took the opportunity and asked how you could increase the memory limit.

While he recommended that I did not update the memory limit, the entire IDE feels a lot smoother now when I have multiple projects open after doing it. So if PHPStorm feel sluggish, I recommend that you at least try to increase the memory limit to see if it helps.

The steps to update the available memory/heap limit for PHPStorm is:
Note: For PHPStorm 8 on Windows 7

1. Locate your PHPStorm installation folder.
2. If you use the 64bit version, as an administrator edit the file bin/PhpStorm64.exe.vmoptions (If you use 32bit version, edit the bin/PhpStorm32.exe.vmoptions)
3. Change the line starting with -Xmx to -Xmx1024m

Note. You can change the -Xmx value to higher than one gigabyte, but I was recommended to increase it in steps due to making the value too large might also downgrade the performance.

About the author Formally educated as an electronics engineer, Sven moved on to web development in 2004 after having it as a hobby for almost a decade. Over the last few years he has accumulated a vast knowledge and experience in the field of complicated web-based applications working with everything from transaction based systems to high traffic websites.

He is passionate about clean, efficient and secure code. When working on a project he will not budge until every security aspect has been taken care of.