Can’t get your SQL History or Snippets panel to open? Before version 4.0, we would frequently advise users to close SQL Developer, go into their user settings folder and delete the’windowinglayout.xml’ file and then restart SQL Developer.

This would force SQL Developer to re-create the desktop view and bring everything back to the defaults.

That’s annoying and it should be easier.

So in version v4.0, you can simply ask SQL Developer to re-sort itself.

This will reset all of the panels and docking positions.
This will reset all of the panels and docking positions.

I realize this is a very short post, and I feel that I’ve cheated you a bit, so here’s a bonus, if completely unrelated tip:

Bonus Tip: Find DB Object Search Results Easier to Read

Based on some feedback, we added a little tweak for the newly designed Find DB Object in version 4.0. In the next EA drop, you’ll be able to quickly expand and collapse the schemas and object type tree nodes. So if you’re searching across 20 schemas, you can quickly see which ones have ‘hits’ and dive into exactly what you want to inspect.

Just right-click on either a schema or object type node and choose the collapse or expand option.

Yes, right-click to the rescue, again.
Yes, right-click to the rescue, again.

Yes, I’m talking about things you don’t have access to yet. Yes, we’re working on another EA update for version 4.0. No, I can’t tell you when it will be out. Soon.


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. thx for this post. I have a similar question to Mahfooj: i always have to click “Reset windows to factory settings”, every time i open the application. How can i make the windows permanently reset to factory settings?


    • why do you have to keep resetting your desktop? we need to fix that vs making it so you can auto-reset your desktop

  2. Hi there. I was highlighting 2 or more table definitions from my Connections to the Worksheet, which enabled me to build up a SELECT statement with a join. There was an option to stop SQL Developer prompting me for the choice of either having a Join or single SQL statements. I thought, I’d been using Joins so let SQL Developer just stop prompting. Now, all it does is creating single statements, in a row. Is there any way to reset this to factory settings, so that again it will prompt me to either have a Join statement or single ones, please. I hope that somebody can and wants to help me.

    Kind regards,

    V. Bax
    Leiderdorp, the Netherlands

    • of COURSE there is someone that can and wants to help you

      Drag and Drop

      set accordingly

  3. Thanks, that helped, was going crazy over it for the past 5 mins!

  4. Mary McWilliams Reply

    Whenever I open a text file from sql developer, it opens into a source window, and not into a sql worksheet.
    How can I get sql developer to open text files in a sql worksheet window?

  5. Cyrus Bharda Reply

    GDay Jeff,

    I was using and was fiddling with a heap of different settings in preferences, and then found my instance became unresponsive, so closed it down and restarted SQL Developer, but it seems all I can do is resize the window, maximise or minimise. So I am unable to actually use this feature to reset the preferences 🙂 Is there any other way?


    • You can blow away the application data directory – it’s in your $HOME/.sqldeveloper directory (*NIX/OSX) or in your Application Data/Roaming Profiles/sqldeveloper directory

    • Cyrus Bharda

      Thanks for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it! I actually found just the preferences file (product-preferences.xml) , and lucky for me I backup, backup, backup! So restored the one file from my backup and it seems to have done the trick!

      Of course it was exactly where you said it would be, for me it was:
      C:\Users\\AppData\Local\SQL Developer\system4.\o.sqldeveloper.

      Thanks again for sparing me your time Jeff! Have a great day!

  6. I downloaded a newer version (4.0.1 )
    How can I make it open the same windows I had open in my older version ?
    It said restoring windows when I started it, but it didn’t open any.
    Even tried copying the new version over the old one but that didn’t work either.

    • >>ven tried copying the new version over the old one but that didn’t work either.
      Yeah, don’t EVER do this – it can corrupt your ‘install’ and cause SQLDev to either break or act unpredictably.

      So I opened a file. Closed SQL Developer, w/o closing the file. Started SQL Developer back up, the file is re-opened for me.

      Are you seeing something differently?

    • Yeah, That part works fine. but….
      What I wanted it was to re-open the same files AFTER I installed a new version of SQL developer…..

  7. Jeff,
    Once again, useful stuff. I somehow initiated a secret key/mouse-click combo accidently resizing/grouping/shuffling my windows. The quick windows reset worked like a charm.

    • You had me at “worked like a charm” 🙂

      Thanks Tony for coming back and sharing your feedback!

  8. Nigel Richmond Reply

    Jeff – Thanks again for another insightful tip. Question on the Find DB Object functionality. I have need to search for a column name which is extremely common in my schema overall. If I do a search it has too many results for Find DB Object to handle.Is there a way to search for a column name within a subset of the tables in the schema..e.g. all tables starting with ‘b2b’…I’m thinking if there was a way to tie this into the ‘Apply Filter’ functionality in the Connections pane that would be ideal.

    • So your column search is bringing back more than 500 hits? There’s no way to combine searches at this time.

    • Jeff

      I hadn’t thought of that…but that’s a great suggestion. I just tried it out and it worked for what I was looking for. Thank you!

    • Jeff,

      Would you consider combine search functionality in the near future?


      P.S is been present for a while in other tools.

    • Like have search results appended to previous searches?

      I’m guessing you want like a big report at the end of the day?

  9. Mahfooj Khan Reply

    Hi Jeff,
    Could you please tell me how to reset the preferences of SQL Developer 4.0?
    Thanks in advance.


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