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Plugins are a great way of adding functionality to our IDE. Some plugins come bundled with PhpStorm, others have to be installed separately. Let's have a look at how we can extend PhpStorm with plugins.

Bundled plugins

PhpStorm comes with a large number of plugins bundled. This means that they are installed and activated after installing PhpStorm. We can see these plugins from the IDE Settings | Plugins (press Ctrl+Alt+S or CMD+, on Mac OS X). For example, the Database and SQL Editor functionality in PhpStorm is built as a plugin which comes bundled with PhpStorm.

Installing plugins

We can add functionality to our IDE by installing plugins. These plugins can be JetBrains plugins, developed by JetBrains, or third-party plugins.

Install JetBrains plugin

From the IDE Settings | Plugins, we can click Install JetBrains plugin... to browse all plugins that are developed by JetBrains. This plugin repository contains various plugins that enrich PhpStorm. Doing AngularJS development? Why not install the plugin for that?

Many additional features can be enabled from here. NodeJS support, LiveEdit, Spy-JS, Meteor, VIM-style editing with IdeaVim, ... Once we found the plugin we want to add, clicking Install plugin will download and install the plugin. Note that after plugin installation, the IDE has to be restarted to be able to use it.

Browse Repositories

Using Browse Repositories... (under IDE Settings | Plugins), we can browse third-party plugins for PhpStorm. A web-based gallery is available as well.

Some plugins are small additions, like Copy on Steroids which lets us copy code as rich-text or FavoriteFolders which lets us pin folders we often use. Other plugins are very extensive and add a lot of functionality, like the Symfony2 plugin.


Some development teams develop their own PhpStorm plugins for internal use. For more information on adding enterprise plugin repositories, check the web help.

Install plugin from disk

Plugins can be installed from disk using the Install plugin from disk... button. We can pick the path to the plugin, shipped as a ZIP or JAR file, and then load it into our IDE.

Uninstalling plugins

To uninstall a plugin, we can open the IDE Settings | Plugins and click the Uninstall plugin button. Note that not all plugins can be uninstalled: some are required for PhpStorm to function properly. Also some plugins may depend on other plugins.


We can disable plugins we don't need for a while by unchecking the box next tothe plugin name. This will not load the plugin when PhpStorm starts, but it will still be present in the list of plugins we have installed.

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