4 Common Reasons Why GIMP Keep Crashing

It can be frustrating when you fire up your GIMP computer program and it starts crashing or freezing up. If you’re using GIMP for professional projects, these obstacles can throw your entire schedule out of whack. 

Below you’ll find the most common reasons why GIMP keeps crashing during operation, along with some solutions to help troubleshoot the problem. By going through the potential causes and attempting these fixes, you can get going on GIMP again much more quickly. 

1. GIMP Crashes From Excessively Large Files 

One of the most common reasons why GIMP crashes is due to excessively large image files being used by the system. 

The reason that this crashes GIMP is that large files can cause the program to use over half of the computer’s virtual memory to process them. If you run into an issue with GIMP where the program works unless you access a large media file, this problem is the most likely cause.

The easiest way to solve GIMP crashing from excessively large files is to scale the files down to a smaller size. Here’s the process you should use in GIMP to scale down large files crashing the system (Source: University of Michigan): 

  • Open the GIMP program. Select File > Open and choose the image you’d like to scale down. 
  • Navigate to Image > Scale Image. This will bring up the Scale Image dialog box. 
  • In the Scale Image dialog box, choose new Size and Resolution values lower than the image’s current values. 
  • Select Interpolation
  • Select Scale to accept the smaller file values. 

When downloading images into GIMP, be aware of the file’s size and resolution. The larger the image file you’re trying to select, the more likely you are to crash the program by accident. 

2. GIMP Crashes From Too Many Brushes and Fonts

Another common reason why GIMP may crash at random is because the program has to load too many brushes and fonts. Like excessively large images, adding too many additional fonts and brushes can bog down the computer’s virtual memory  in the GIMP program and cause it to crash to desktop. 

Being able to download additional brushes and fonts is a useful part of the GIMP program, but if you start loading in more than fifty, chances are you’re going to start having problems with the system. 

A sign that you have too many fonts and brushes on GIMP is that the program will take forever to boot up, if it’s able to boot up without crashing at all. The solution to this problem is to remove some of the fonts and brushes from the program. 

Here are some tips for removing fonts and brushes from GIMP (Source: GIMPChat): 

  • If you installed additional GIMP fonts and brushes to Windows, they will be available in other applications as well as GIMP. Access the computer’s Control Panel, then select Fonts. Any secondary fonts and brushes you have downloaded to the computer should be stored there and can be deleted individually.
  • If you put your additional fonts and brushes in the GIMP fonts folder, they’ll only be available in the GIMP program. In Windows Explorer, select the GIMP User folder. Any additional fonts and brushes you have added should be stored there and can be deleted from that folder. 

The number of fonts and brushes you can have without bogging down the GIMP system will vary from computer to computer depending on how much working memory your system has. If you are having difficulties getting GIMP to launch correctly, deleting some of your fonts and brushes may help accelerate the program and cause it to run more effectively. 

3. GIMP Crashes From Outdated Software

Keeping your software for GIMP updated regularly can help prevent a common reason why GIMP keeps crashing. If GIMP is crashing at start-up or soon after start-up, outdated software can be a potential cause of the problem. 

This is also a cause to consider if your GIMP program has worked fine for weeks, then starts to act up sporadically. This can be a sign that the program’s software has an incompatibility due to a missed software update. 

The solution for outdated GIMP software is to update your program. Here’s how to check for the newest version of GIMP on your computer (Source: The GIMP Tutorials): 

  • Select Help from GIMP’s main menu. 
  • In the Help menu, select About GIMP. This should tell you the current version of GIMP that you’re using. If your version of GIMP is outdated, this page should take you directly to GIMP’s main website for a link to the latest downloadable version of the program.
  • Go to the GIMP main website and download the latest version. 

Since this issue can cause GIMP crashes and is easy to solve, it should be one of the first potential problems you troubleshoot when you have issues with GIMP crashing. Checking for the latest software updates can often solve operating problems with software.  

4. GIMP Crashes From Bugged Software

Finally, your GIMP program might start to crash sporadically during operation with no obvious cause, rather than showing any issues right when you boot it up. This crashing issue can be particularly troublesome because it may cause you to periodically lose progress on your projects if the system crashes before you can save your work. 

In some cases, GIMP may crash due to some glitch in the software. The best solution for fixing this problem in GIMP is to uninstall and re-download the GIMP program. Like turning an electronic device off and then turning it on again, this can flush out any bad code that is causing the program to dump to desktop. 

Here’s how to uninstall and reinstall GIMP if you’re dealing with bugged software (Source: Uninstall Helps): 

  • Click Start in the Windows main menu.
  • In the search engine, type in, “uninstall a program” and select Uninstall a Program in the Control Panel results.
  • In the Programs list, select GIMP and highlight it.
  • Select Uninstall to initiate removal of the GIMP program.

Once you’ve removed GIMP from your computer system, you can return to GIMP’s main website and download the program again. This should give you a fresh, glitch-free version of the program to work with. If you’ve been troubleshooting a crashing GIMP program and no other solutions have worked, uninstalling and reinstalling the program can often fix the problem. 

GIMP Crashes Can Be Simple to Fix

Even though a crashing GIMP program can be a serious hassle if you’re in the middle of trying to use it, the solutions for fixing the issue can be relatively easy. Hopefully by using the troubleshooting guide above, you should be able to get your GIMP program up and running normally again in no time.