Lucky You: No Deleting of Projects in NetBeans IDE 4.1

One cool thing about is that I can see exactly what someone typed in a search engine to get to my blog. So, what happens is, someone types in a query in a search engine (mostly Google, but many others too), a long list of links is returned, one of which is the one to my blog. When someone then clicks on the link to my blog, the query that they typed in is recorded somewhere in the settings pages of my blog. Cool, huh? (Check out Roumen's blog entry today, about Javadoc Support in NetBeans, which he wrote because several people found his blog after querying "javadoc NetBeans".)

Over the last few days I've been collecting the queries randomly, every once in a while, and here they are, just to show what kind of things people seem to be looking for:

  • how do i create a menu item for an ant target in netbeans 4.1
  • jboss JSP IDE example
  • add a new menu to netbeans 4.1 that is an ant target
  • netbeans start tomcat 5.5.7
  • netbeans can't start 5.5.7
  • netbeans problems with tomcat 5.5.7
  • stop jboss from netbeans 4.0
  • jstl jboss ide
  • netbeans 4 jboss
  • deleting a netbeans project
  • Tomcat monitor
  • jsp editor
  • netbeans ide 4.1 and jboss
  • build web application in jboss
  • migrating ant from one server to another
  • client.urlPart=
  • difference tomcat4 tomcat 5.5
  • netbeans 4.1 + jboss integration
  • netbeans 4.1 + jboss
  • JBoss 4.0 +Tomcat 5.5 +Connect
  • monitor jboss
  • jasper and ant script
  • start jboss from ant
  • jboss relative file read
  • netbeans deploy war server.xml
  • building and deploying a sample application on jrun using ant?
  • remote debugging jboss 4
  • exclude port on web connector with jrun4

One interesting thing is that every other day or so, there are people out there typing variations on "How do I delete a NetBeans IDE project?" (The capitalization of the "NETBEANS DELETE A PROJECT" in the list above is probably a reflection of the querier's frustration at not being able to work out how to delete a project in the IDE!) Well, you can't delete a project in the IDE (you can close it, however). As far as I'm aware, the reason for that is that a user might think that by deleting a project, they're only deleting it from the IDE (i.e., they might think they're just closing the project). Imagine the scene: After months and months of work your project is pretty much complete and you think to yourself: "Hmmm. I don't need this in my IDE anymore." So, you right-click the project and choose "Delete Project". You get a warning that says "Are you sure you want to do this?" and you think: "Yeah, sure. I don't need this in the IDE anymore." So you click OK and you've deleted your project from the file system! Lucky you -- this scenario will never happen in NetBeans IDE 4.1. If you want to delete your project, you'll have to do it in the file system. And you won't be able to blame NetBeans IDE when you do so accidentally...


Which is all well and good, but how do you close a project and still have it appear in the IDE? One nice feature of Eclipse is the ability to close a project and have that project still showup in the IDE. This means that if you need to open a project all you have to do is right click on it and select open. You don't have to go hunting around the filesystem to try and find it. Whereas if you delete a project you delete it from the IDE, not the filesystem. I have always found it strange that when you close a project in NetBeans the project simply disappears.

Posted by Chris Johnston on April 25, 2005 at 11:50 PM PDT #

Sounds to me more like Enabling/Disabling than Opening/Closing. But I can see how useful it could be (and how confusing it must be to have the project disappear when you choose Close and expect it to simply disable). Feel free to enter an Enhancement request in Issuezilla.

Posted by Geertjan on April 27, 2005 at 04:42 AM PDT #

That's also what "Open Recent Project" is for.

Posted by Rich Unger on May 19, 2005 at 05:23 AM PDT #

Good point! I hadn't seen that menu item before. :-) You can just close a project and then it'll "disappear", as Chris says, but you can very easily re-open it (thanks Rich) with the File > Open Recent Project menu item. I'm assuming a project is classified as a "recent project" during the current session of the IDE. This means that this responds exactly to Chris' question.

Posted by Geertjan on May 20, 2005 at 03:00 AM PDT #

Unfortunately, the "Delete project" functionality was merged to trunk recently. Nothing will save our projects now :-)

Posted by Roman Strobl on August 04, 2005 at 01:22 AM PDT #


Posted by Geertjan on August 04, 2005 at 01:31 AM PDT #

Is this "feature" available in the daily builds (Sep 1) ?

Posted by guest on September 04, 2005 at 01:42 PM PDT #

Yes. (Also other project-level actions -- 'Move', 'Rename', 'Copy'.)

Posted by Geertjan on September 04, 2005 at 03:07 PM PDT #

Here's why i need a delete project feature. I attempted to create a project which was aborted after giving the project folder. Somehow a Project named ??? got created. Now when i try to create a project again with the files in the same folder, it says 'Project folder already owned by Netbeans Project ???'. I opened ??? from open recent projects and closed it. But that did not help. Now what can i do to get project '???' to relinquish ownership of tht folder ........ Thnx

Posted by Arun on September 21, 2005 at 09:12 PM PDT #

Delete the project folder. The project folder is called 'nbproject'.

Posted by Geertjan on September 21, 2005 at 09:15 PM PDT #

I can't believe that you can't delete projects in netbeans 4.1. I finally thought, fuck this, let's throw away 3.6 forever and get with the new system. God damn it sucks.

Posted by hahnchen on December 01, 2005 at 12:48 AM PST #


Posted by guest on February 21, 2006 at 11:04 PM PST #

Netbeans 5.0 is indeed much better than all the previous versions. I would even say that it's far better than eclipse for web development. Anyway, I disgress... "Recent Projects" is better than nothing but using it from a dialog menu causes issues: 1. Number of recent projects saved is limited 2. It only lists the project names - what if I have more than 1 project with the same name? 3. In Eclipse, I can get the project's properties, see the path, etc., there is no way to do that in netbeans At any one time, I have about 20 projects, but usually keep only one open... It's a big hassle having to go around looking for them on the file system. I suggest keeping them in 'disabled' mode as well :)

Posted by David on March 05, 2006 at 02:13 PM PST #

The nbproject folder contains the .xml files, deleteing them cleans it out.

Posted by Ajit Kallingal on October 18, 2007 at 03:01 AM PDT #

Any one know how to remove a project from Recent List in Netbean. Please visit

Posted by ITGalary on November 25, 2007 at 06:32 PM PST #

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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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