How to Install GIMP

install gimp

Installing GIMP is Easier than You Might Think

You’ve decided to come join the fun in GIMP land, and we’re excited to have you! Now the question is, how do you get GIMP up and running on your computer?

It’s really easy to Install GIMP

Here’s the basic idea…

  1. First, you’ll need to know just a little information about your computer. Basically, you’ll need to know what operating system you’re running, and if GIMP is compatible with it. You may need a free software update or add on if you have an older operating system. We’ll go over that in more detail below.
  2. Then, you’ll download the correct version of GIMP for your operating system, and run the installer.

Now, let’s go over these steps in more detail. If you’re on a computer with Windows, the instructions for installing GIMP are below. If you’re on a Mac, scroll down to see your GIMP install instructions.

How to Install GIMP For Windows:

Make Sure You Meet GIMP’s Requirements

  • If you use Windows, and you don’t know what operating system you’re using (ie Windows 7, Windows XP, etc.) follow these instructions to find out. You’ll need Windows XP or newer to run the latest stable version of GIMP.
  • Don’t know if your operating system came before, or after Windows XP? Here’s a timeline of Windows versions to help you out.
  • To run the latest version of GIMP with Windows XP, you should make sure you have installed the Windows Service Pack III update. It’s a free update for Windows. You can read more about it, as well as download and install it by clicking here. Newer versions of Windows, and Windows XP 64 Bit don’t require this update.

Install the Correct Version of GIMP

  • Now, go to This Page and click the Download link at the top of the page to download GIMP. This version of GIMP will work with any version of Windows, as long as it’s Windows XP or newer.
  • When the download is complete, open up the package, and run the installer. Follow any instructions on the windows that appear.
  • That’s it! You’re finished installing GIMP! The first time you start GIMP, it may take a few minutes to get going, because there’s a lot of new stuff to load. Just be patient, it will start eventually.

 

How to Install GIMP For Mac:

Make Sure You Meet GIMP’s Requirements

  • To install GIMP you’ll need Mac OS X, either 10.4.11 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion).
  • Tiger and Leopard users can install GIMP 2.6, and Snow Leopard and above can use the latest version of GIMP (right now, that’s GIMP 2.8.4).

  • Not sure which version of Mac OS you’re using? Follow these instructions to find out.
  • If you have Tiger, you’ll need your original OS instillation disk so you can install an extra utility called X11. There are great instructions on how to install X11 here. Tiger users can use GIMP 2.6.11.
  • If you’ve got Leopard, you don’t need to install X11 because it comes pre-installed on your computer. You’ll only be able to use GIMP 2.6.11. For about $20 though, you can purchase the installation disk for Snow Leopard at the online Apple Store. Once you’ve got Snow Leopard installed, you’ll be able to use GIMP 2.8.2 and above.
  • If you’ve got Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard, you can install the latest version of GIMP (as of the time of this writing that’s GIMP 2.8.4) and it does not require any extra programs to run properly on your Mac.

Install the Correct Version of GIMP

  • Once you confirm your version of OS, and you make sure you have X11 if you need it, choose the correct version of GIMP from this download page, and click its link to download GIMP to your computer.
  • When the files are finished downloading, open up the Zip file, then open the installer to begin installing GIMP. Follow any directions you’re given in the windows that pop up.
  • GIMP will now be installed on your computer! The first time you start GIMP, it may take a few minutes to get going, because there’s a lot of new stuff to load. Just be patient, it will start eventually.

 

Now that GIMP is installed, you’re ready to get started editing! You can use GIMP to open and edit any image file that’s on your computer.

More GIMP Help

Now that you’ve got GIMP installed, what do you do with it?

There are a lot of ways to learn GIMP. Some are faster than others. If you’re learning GIMP on your own, you should expect a fairly steep learning curve. GIMP is much more powerful than typical free photo editing programs, and that also means its professional tools can be less than intuitive.

There are lots of free GIMP tutorials on YouTube, GIMP.org, and here at HowToGIMP.com. That’s not all. Do a web search for GIMP tutorials and you’ll get results from the four corners of the internet. Unfortunately, while there are some really excellent tutorials out there, many of those free tutorials are out-dated, or difficult to understand.

I think the best way to learn GIMP is to work through a GIMP book. A book that walks you through the program step-by-step, tool-by-tool, is a much faster way to learn how to use GIMP than learning bit-by-bit on your own. There are lots of GIMP books listed on GIMP.org/books but I’m partial to my own GIMP book “How to GIMP“. It covers GIMP 2.6 and GIMP 2.8 and walks you through how to use GIMP from the very first time you open up the program.

Find out more about How to GIMP here.