Java – Error:java: invalid source release: 8 in Intellij. What does it mean

compilationintellij-13intellij-ideajavajavac

Im trying to compile some code in I'm using Intellij Ultimate 13.1.4, but I get the following error and I have no idea what it means:

Information:Using javac 1.7.0_55 to compile java sources
Information:java: Errors occurred while compiling module 'Example'
Information:Compilation completed with 1 error and 0 warnings in 3 sec
Information:1 error
Information:0 warnings
Error:java: invalid source release: 8

My guess is that its something related to Java 8 vs Java 7, but I have no idea what specifically. I've tried to Google around for this message, but they either talk about javac or target release, so it doesn't exactly seem to apply.

Best Answer

I had the same issue when "downgrading" a project from Java 8 to Java 6. The reason was that it was not changed at all places in IntelliJ.

In IntelliJ 13.1.4 I had to change Java and SDK version on the following places not to get this error:

  • File -> Project Structure -> Project Settings
  • File -> Project Structure -> Module Settings -> Tab: Sources: Language Level
  • File -> Project Structure -> Module Settings -> Tab: Dependencies: Module SDK
  • File -> Settings -> Compiler -> Java Compiler -> Target bytecode version

screen shot of File > Project Structure > Project

screen shot of File > Project Structure > Modules > Sources

screen shot of File > Project Structure > Modules > Dependencies

screen shot of File > Settings/Preferences > Compiler > Java Compiler

The last bullet was the one that was not updated in my case. Once I changed this, the error disappeared.

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