Initial situation

You may have already been using IntelliJ IDEA for a while, done some Java development and do not want to install Android Studio additionally, as all of its features are already available in IntelliJ. Note also that IntelliJ IDEA Ultimate features are not available in Android Studio. Lastly, you have already installed homebrew and XCode command line tools. Oh, and you’re a user of macOS.


Use homebrew to install the Android dev tools. Check if homebrew and the formulae are up to date by running

  $ brew update

in your terminal.

Then, execute the commands

  $ brew install ant
  $ brew install maven
  $ brew install gradle
  $ brew cask install android-sdk
  $ brew cask install android-ndk

At this point you can add the Android SDK to your platform settings in IntelliJ. Before that, you need to create the “Platforms” folder, otherwise IntelliJ can’t detect the Android SDK and will throw “The selected directory is not a valid home for Android SDK” error message.

Check the availability of the platforms;android-<VERSION> package

  $ sdkmanager --list

and install it by running

  $ sdkmanager "platforms;android-<VERSION>"

where <VERSION> is the version that you wish to install.

In the IntelliJ Welcome Screen, go to Configure > Project Defaults > Project Structure > Platform Settings > SDKs. Click + to add a new SDK. A file chooser dialog should pop up. Use Cmd + Shift + . to reveal all hidden folders. You will need to do that even if you have already enabled showing all files for Finder. This step is necessary in order to navigate into the hidden /usr/ directory where your Android SDK is located.

Lastly, navigate to the /usr/local/Caskroom/android-sdk/<VERSION> directory and choose it. In this case, <VERSION> references the version that was installed by Homebrew-Cask,

Apply changes and then you’re good to go :thumbsup:.