Troubleshooting Guide: Resolving Intellij Cannot Find Declaration to Go To Issue

IntelliJ IDEA is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) for Java developers. Occasionally, users may experience a common issue where the IDE is unable to find the declaration of a class, method, or variable when using the "Go to Declaration" (Ctrl+B or Command+B) feature. This can be frustrating and hinder productivity. This guide will help you troubleshoot and resolve the "Cannot Find Declaration to Go To" issue in IntelliJ IDEA.

Table of Contents

  1. Check for Syntax Errors
  2. Reimport Maven or Gradle Project
  3. Invalidate Caches and Restart
  4. Update IntelliJ IDEA
  5. FAQ

Check for Syntax Errors

Sometimes, the "Cannot Find Declaration to Go To" issue occurs due to syntax errors in your code. Before proceeding with other solutions, ensure that your project is free of syntax errors.

  1. Open your project in IntelliJ IDEA.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+H (Windows/Linux) or Command+Shift+Alt+H (Mac) to open the "Problems" tool window.
  3. Review the list of errors and warnings and fix any syntax issues in your code.

Source: Problems Tool Window - JetBrains

Reimport Maven or Gradle Project

If your project is a Maven or Gradle project, reimporting it can resolve the "Cannot Find Declaration to Go To" issue.

For Maven projects

  1. In the Project tool window, right-click on the pom.xml file.
  2. Choose Maven > Reimport.

For Gradle projects

  1. In the Gradle tool window, click on the "Refresh" button (or press Ctrl+Shift+O on Windows/Linux or Command+Shift+O on Mac).

Source: Maven Support in IntelliJ IDEA - JetBrains
Source: Gradle Support in IntelliJ IDEA - JetBrains

Invalidate Caches and Restart

IntelliJ IDEA maintains an internal cache to improve performance. However, this cache can occasionally become corrupted, leading to issues like "Cannot Find Declaration to Go To." Invalidating the cache and restarting IntelliJ IDEA can resolve this issue.

  1. Go to File > Invalidate Caches / Restart...
  2. Click on Invalidate and Restart.

Source: Cleaning System Cache - JetBrains

Update IntelliJ IDEA

If the issue persists, updating IntelliJ IDEA to the latest version might resolve the problem.

  1. Go to Help > Check for Updates... (Windows/Linux) or IntelliJ IDEA > Check for Updates... (Mac).
  2. Follow the prompts to download and install the latest update.

Source: Installation Guide - JetBrains


1. How can I navigate to a declaration without using the mouse?

Press Ctrl+B (Windows/Linux) or Command+B (Mac) when your cursor is on the class, method, or variable name.

2. Can I navigate to the declaration in a different file?

Yes, the "Go to Declaration" feature works across multiple files in your project.

3. Can I navigate to a declaration in a library or framework?

Yes, IntelliJ IDEA allows you to navigate to declarations in libraries and frameworks that are part of your project dependencies.

4. What other navigation shortcuts are available in IntelliJ IDEA?

IntelliJ IDEA offers several navigation shortcuts, such as "Go to Definition" (Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B) and "Go to Type Declaration" (Ctrl+Shift+H or Command+Shift+H). Check out the Navigating Through the Source Code documentation for more shortcuts.

5. Can I customize the keyboard shortcut for "Go to Declaration"?

Yes, you can customize the keyboard shortcut by going to Settings > Keymap and searching for "Go to Declaration" in the search box.

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