Neo4j Desktop User Interface Guide
This article demonstrates how to use Neo4j Desktop for managing instances of Neo4j locally for development.
It helps if you have read the section on graph databases.
If you haven’t already, download Neo4j. Instructions for setting up the application will be shown after you click the download.
Using the provided instructions, follow Step 1 to install and start the Neo4j Desktop application. Step 2 on the download page instructions shows you how to set up your first project and database and how to open the Neo4j in the browser, but we want to cover this step in more detail.
If you are opening Neo4j Desktop for the first time, it should ask you to register the software with an activation key. This activation key is generated when you first download Neo4j Desktop and will be displayed on the download confirmation page. While we can copy it to the clipboard and paste it into the provided input in Neo4j Desktop, we also recommend copying it to a safe place as a backup (local file, password vault, or another method).
Copy this activation key into the Software registration form and click Activate to continue.
As a new user to Neo4j Desktop, you will be greeted with a new sample database containing Movies and Actors.
Clicking the Browser Guide link for the Sample database will open up the Neo4j Browser with a Browser Guide that will guide you through your first queries on this Neo4j database.
The sample database is created using a randomly generated password, which is stored within Neo4j Desktop and used by Neo4j Browser to authenticate against the database. You can reset this password in the Administration tab on the Manage screen.
The menu along the left side of Neo4j Desktop shows high-level icons for projects, graph applications, settings, activation keys, and Neo4j info. At the top, the folder with a bookmark () shows the list of projects you have created.
To create a new project, simply click
+ New at the right of the
The app will add a row in the menu for a project named
You can change the name by clicking on the pencil icon that appears when you hover on the project name in the right pane.
To remove the project, hover over the
Project row in the projects menu and click the trash bin icon that appears on the right side ().
Application settings can be modified or viewed by clicking the gear towards the bottom of the left-side menu in Neo4j Desktop (). You can modify any of these settings at any time.
The first block is for privacy settings where you can adjust what data is sent back to Neo4j for assistance and future improvements. The next two sections are where you can configure a proxy or run Neo4j Desktop in offline mode.
Neo4j Distributions section of the settings, it shows which versions of the database are used in your projects (if any) and lists the currently set up projects and databases.
The last section on
Developer Tools is to add and integrate graph apps with Neo4j.
The certificate icon () shows the licenses that are attached to this installation in Neo4j Desktop, which includes activation of Desktop itself along with any graph app licenses.
The bottom icon () is information about Neo4j itself and includes links to the main company website, as well as release and license information.
From the Projects icon on the left-side menu, choose (or create) a project. A panel will display on the right to show the databases in your project and the plugins available or installed.
To create a database, click in the dotted square that says
Then click the Create a Local Graph button.
Next, you will type in a name for your database set a password.
You can also choose a specific version of Neo4j (the default is latest version).
A small icon next to each version number in the dropdown menu will show which versions have been downloaded already.
Once the info is filled in, then click Create.
It may take a few minutes to download the version and actually create the database.
You have now created your own graph database! Now we will walk through some tools to interact with the database and data.
The Start button in the bottom right hand corner of each database card will Start the database. Once started, there will be a button in the bottom right hand corner to Stop the database.
To manage a database, click the three-dots icon in the top right hand of the card and click Manage.
At the top of the screen, you will see the database name and an icon to signify its status. Directly underneath are three buttons to Start, Stop, or Restart the database.
The Open Folder button will open up the root folder for this database. The arrow icon to the right of this button will allow you to open up additional folders related to this database, for example the Plugins or Logs folders.
The Open Terminal button will open up a new terminal window in the root folder of the database.
Below these buttons are several tabs for information and settings.
Details tab shows the description, version, and the status of your database along with some statistics for the database.
When the database is running, it will also show port numbers and addresses needed to interact with the database (screenshot below).
Logs tab will show all of the streaming log output from the database.
Settings tab displays the configuration values for the database.
These can be changed, if needed.
Once changes are made, you can apply them, and Desktop will offer to restart the database (necessary for changes to take effect).
Plugins tab, you can see what plugins are available (or you have installed) to use with Neo4j.
Currently, Neo4j Desktop has plugins for APOC, GraphQL, and Graph Algorithms.
Short descriptions of each are shown in the Neo4j Desktop pane.
To add these functionalities, simply click Install and Restart for the plugin.
Upgrade tab shows the list of all Neo4j versions, as well as the version this instance is currently running.
To change the version, choose one from the list and click Upgrade to this version in the right pane.
The last tab is
This tab just allows you to set a new password for your database.
If you have feedback or questions on how to use Neo4j Desktop, feel free to reach out to us. You can submit messages to us through the Neo4j Desktop category on the Neo4j Community website. If you have spot any bugs, please create an issue in the Neo4j Desktop Github Responsitory
Now that we covered the basics of Neo4j Desktop, you can start working with data using our query language, Cypher. You can also get a feel for interacting with Neo4j through Neo4j Browser. The Neo4j Sandbox walks you through demos of popular use cases in Neo4j and helps you get more familiar with the interfaces and Cypher. If you’re ready to dive in, feel free to check out how to import your data to Neo4j. Our Language Guides section shows you how to create an application in your preferred programming language to interact with data in Neo4j.
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