Oracle SQL Developer by default automatically opens the object editor when you click on an object in your connection tree or schema browser. For most folks this is very convenient. But if you are selecting objects to drag them to a model or to the worksheet, this can get annoying as the focus of the screen changes when you don’t want it to.

The other scenario this feature might disrupt more than delight is when you want to click around the database in the tree and every time you click on an object, the object editor automatically changes to the selected object.

You can disable this automatic browsing behavior in SQL Developer by modifying this preference:

Tools > Preferences > Database > ObjectViewer > Open Object on Single Click

Disable this if you don’t want an object to open when you click on it

OK, I do realize my description of the problem may have confused the heck out of you just now. So instead of more words, how about a couple of animations of the object-click behavior with the option ON and OFF?

Preference Disabled

Click, no open. Double click, open.

Preference Enabled (Default)

As you click on objects, they are automatically opened

I'm a Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. My mission is to help you and your company be more efficient with our database tools.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this – that behaviour has been irritating me for ages…


  2. hi,

    Is there similar functionality for the reports?
    A tad bit frustrating when you want to click on a report to edit it and SQL Developer attempts to run it.


    • No, but just train yourself to right-click instead.

      I’ll log a bug on the open on single-click…I think it’s a good idea.

    • Thanks again. Some things are just too hard to describe with words, so taking 30 seconds to record some screencasts for a GIF seemed like a no-brainer. If you are having problems with anything else, and feel that a video or blog post might help, please let me know!

  3. Are there more settings to configure these behaviors? What seems intuitive to me (at least for tables and views) is for the +/- (on PC) or >/V (on Mac) to expand/collapse the information in the Connections pane *without* changing what’s being displayed in the ‘main’ pane. Clicking a table or view should (in my intuition) open something in the main pane. Data is the tab *I* use most commonly, so I would prefer that be the default (rather than Columns or whichever-tab-was-most-recently-used).
    Is this possible using existing options? Do other people work similarly?

    • Expanding the object => Open object. I agree, that’s not the intuitive behavior. There’s no option to control that, but I’d be happy to log an enhancement request for you.

      MRU is controlling the default panel you see when browsing a table or view. That does seem intuitive to me though.

    • All of my screenshots are done with @techsmith – either SnagIt or Camtasia Studio. I record the screen, then produce the edited video as a .GIF. Takes only a few minutes once you get used to the editing booth.

    • Can you give a demo please how did you create these beautiful screenshots? Thanks

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