Home » Java » IntelliJ – Convert a Java project/module into a Maven project/module

IntelliJ – Convert a Java project/module into a Maven project/module

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment


I have a project on Bitbucket. Only the sources are committed. To retrieve the project onto a new machine, I used Version Control > Checkout from Version Control from within IntelliJ.

It then asks whether I would like to create a new project from this source, to which I reply Yes. So far, so good. It creates a nice little Java project for me, consisting of a single module.

However, my goal in pulling this project into IntelliJ was to turn it into a Maven project. I cannot find any option anywhere that will let me do this!

Is there a way to have IntelliJ just generate a basic empty pom.xml for me, with a name and an artifactId and a repository? Or, is there a way to import the project as a Maven project in the first place? (Whenever I try to create a project from existing source, it only gives me the option of a Java project.)


Right-click on the module, select “Add framework support…”, and check the “Maven” technology.

(This also creates a pom.xml for you to modify.)

If you mean adding source repository elements, I think you need to do that manually–not sure.

Pre-IntelliJ 13 this won’t convert the project to the Maven Standard Directory Layout, 13+ it will.

  1. Open ‘Maven projects’ (tab on the right side).
  2. Use ‘Add Maven Projects’
  3. Find your pom.xml

A visual for those that benefit from it.

enter image description here

After right-clicking the project name (“test” in this example), select “Add framework support” and check the “Maven” option.


I want to add the important hint that converting a project like this can have side effects which are noticeable when you have a larger project. This is due the fact that Intellij Idea (2017) takes some important settings only from the pom.xml then which can lead to some confusion, following sections are affected at least:

  1. Annotation settings are changed for the modules
  2. Compiler output path is changed for the modules
  3. Resources settings are ignored totally and only taken from pom.xml
  4. Module dependencies are messed up and have to checked
  5. Language/Encoding settings are changed for the modules

All these points need review and adjusting but after this it works like charm.

Further more unfortunately there is no sufficient pom.xml template created, I have added an example which might help to solve most problems.

<project xmlns="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
     xsi:schemaLocation="http://maven.apache.org/POM/4.0.0 http://maven.apache.org/xsd/maven-4.0.0.xsd">
    <!-- Generic properties -->
    <!--All dependencies to put here, including module dependencies-->


This fixed it for me: Open maven projects tab on the right. Add the pom if not yet present, then click refresh on the top left of the tab.