others-How to solve Unsupported Java Version when start intellij IDEA?

1. Purpose

In this post, I would demo how to solve the following error when trying to start Intellij IDEA.

Cannot start under Java 1.8.0: Java 11 or later is required.

Java 11 or newer is required to run the IDE.
Please contact support at https://jb.gg/ide/critical-startup-errors

Your JRE: 1.8.0 x86_64 (Oracle Corporation)

2. The solution

2.1 The quick solution

TL;DR, the quick solution is:

If you are using macbook, you can goto this directory:

~/Library/Application Support/JetBrains/IntelliJIdeaXXX

Find the idea.jdk , then:

del idea.jdk

2.2 The reason

From the error above, you can just follow the links of the issue.

You can goto Selecting the JDK version the IDE will run under to check the solution, If you have changed the IDE’s runtime, you can switch back to the default runtime as follows:

All platforms: Switch back to the default bundled JetBrains Runtime

  1. Open the Choose Boot Java Runtime for the IDE dialog as described above
  2. Click the Use Default Runtime button
  3. Restart the IDE

If you can’t start the IDE to access this dialog or the runtime doesn’t change, please see below for the platform specific instructions. You would need to remove the *.jdk* file from the [configuration directory](https://intellij-support.jetbrains.com/hc/en-us/articles/206544519) and unset any environment variables that override the default runtime. If there is no *jbr* subdirectory in the IDE installation directory, reinstall the product.

If you still failed to start , you can do as follows:


  • IDE is using the bundled JetBrains Runtime by default.
  • If you override IDE JDK version (via the Choose Runtime plug-in), its path is stored in **.jdk** file located in the [config folder](https://intellij-support.jetbrains.com/hc/en-us/articles/206544519) (**idea.jdk** for IntelliJ IDEA, pycharm.jdk for PyCharm, etc). Delete this file or change the path inside the file manually in case IDE no longer starts and you can't change it via the menu.
  • If IDE doesn’t start and this file doesn’t exist, create it manually and specify Java path to use (Java home location), for example: /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk-11.jdk/Contents/Home

If still failed to start, you can do as follows:

you can follow this link to find the configuration file path idea.config.path of IDEA 2020.3 under macOS is ~/Library/Application Support/JetBrains/IntelliJIdea2020.3, open the directory , you can find the idea.jdk file. Delete the idea.jdk file, reopen IDEA, and the problem is solved.

3. Summary

In this post, I demonstrated how to solve the Cannot start under Java 1.8.0: Java 11 or later is required. error when trying to start intellij idea after modifying its runtime, the keypoint to fix this problem is to switch back to the default runtime. That’s it, thanks for your reading.