How to initialize Spring Boot in IntelliJ

To initialize Spring Boot  in IntelliJ, install the Spring Boot plugin, create a new project using Spring Initializr, and configure project settings. Leverage the plugin’s features for a seamless Java development experience.

Spring Boot, with its streamlined approach to building robust Java applications, has become a cornerstone in the world of enterprise development. For developers harnessing the capabilities of IntelliJ IDEA, initializing a Spring Boot project is a crucial first step. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a Spring Boot project in IntelliJ, ensuring you’re equipped to dive into the world of Spring Boot development seamlessly.

Step 1: Install IntelliJ IDEA

Before delving into Spring Boot, ensure you have IntelliJ IDEA installed on your development machine. You can download the latest version from the official JetBrains website: IntelliJ IDEA Download.

Step 2: Install the Spring Boot Plugin

IntelliJ IDEA provides a Spring Boot plugin that enhances your development experience. To install it, follow these steps:

  1. Open IntelliJ IDEA.
  2. Navigate to “Preferences” (or “Settings” on Windows) from the main menu.
  3. Select “Plugins” in the left sidebar.
  4. Click on the “Marketplace” tab.
  5. Search for “Spring Assistant” or “Spring Boot” in the search bar.
  6. Click “Install” to add the plugin.

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Step 3: Create a New Spring Boot Project

Now that you have IntelliJ IDEA set up with the Spring Boot plugin, it’s time to create a new Spring Boot project:

  1. Open IntelliJ IDEA.
  2. Click on “Create New Project” or go to “File” -> “New” -> “Project.”
  3. In the “New Project” window, select “Spring Initializr” from the left sidebar.
  4. Configure your project settings:
    • Project SDK: Choose the Java SDK you want to use.
    • Project Name: Specify a name for your project.
    • Project Location: Set the location where your project will be stored.
  5. Click “Next” and choose the following options:
    • Group: Specify the group ID for your project.
    • Artifact: Set the artifact ID for your project.
    • Dependencies: Select the dependencies you want for your Spring Boot project (e.g., “Spring Web” for a web application).
  6. Click “Next” and review your project settings. Click “Finish” to create the project.

Step 4: Explore Your Spring Boot Project Structure

IntelliJ IDEA will generate a basic Spring Boot project structure for you. Familiarize yourself with the key directories and files:

  • src/main/java: Contains your application’s Java source code.
  • src/main/resources: Houses configuration files and static resources.
  • src/test: Holds test classes.
  • pom.xml: The Project Object Model file for Maven-based projects, managing dependencies and project configurations.

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External Links

Spring Boot Documentation

IntelliJ Documentation

FAQs Related to Initializing Spring Boot in IntelliJ:

Q1: Can I use other IDEs for Spring Boot development?

A1: While IntelliJ IDEA is a popular choice, you can use other IDEs like Eclipse or Visual Studio Code for Spring Boot development. The process may vary slightly, but the fundamental concepts remain the same.

Q2: What are some essential Spring Boot dependencies for a web application?

A2: Common dependencies for a Spring Boot web application include “Spring Web” for web-related functionality, “Thymeleaf” for templating, and “Spring Boot DevTools” for automatic application restarts during development.

Q3: How do I add additional dependencies to my Spring Boot project?

A3: Open your pom.xml file and add the desired dependencies within the <dependencies> section. IntelliJ IDEA will automatically download the dependencies for you.

Q4: Can I use Gradle instead of Maven for my Spring Boot project?

A4: Yes, Spring Boot supports both Maven and Gradle as build tools. You can choose either when creating your project through the Spring Initializr.

Q5: What is the purpose of the Spring Boot DevTools dependency?

A5: Spring Boot DevTools provides features like automatic application restarts and live reloading during development, enhancing the development experience.


Congratulations! You’ve successfully initialized a Spring Boot project in IntelliJ IDEA. This guide equips you with the essential steps to kickstart your Spring Boot development journey. As you explore further, leverage external resources such as the official Spring Boot documentation, IntelliJ IDEA documentation, and the vibrant Spring Boot community to enhance your skills and address any specific challenges you encounter along the way. Happy coding!

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