4 Common Reasons Why GIMP Won’t Open

GIMP is an increasingly popular free and open-source image editing software that artists and graphic designers will use as a cost-efficient alternative to other pricy software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Of course, because GIMP is free and easily accessible, it has its fair share of bugs and issues that users are used to troubleshooting. One of the more irritating of which is when the program won’t even open. Instead, it loads indefinitely or a pesky error notification with jumbles of code appear.

In this article, we will cover the top four most common reasons why your GIMP software won’t open. As you read, you’ll learn how to resolve and potentially prevent these issues so your GIMP open and runs smoothly from this point onward.

1. You’re Using An Old GIMP Download

As with any online software or application, newer versions of GIMP are released regularly that aim to improve the program and remove any noticeable bugs or significant issues users have been experiencing in the previous versions, one of which could be a failure to open properly.

One of the first things you should do if your GIMP software won’t open is determine which version you have downloaded. The newest GIMP download currently for Windows is 2.10.30 with GIMP 2.99.10 currently in development, so if you’re using older stable versions like 2.8.22 it’s time to update.

Since your GIMP won’t open, it can be tricky to determine which version you have. Usually, you would find this information by opening the “Help” menu and then choosing the “About GIMP” option where you’ll find a list of your GIMP’s specifications, including its version.

If you can’t access this page, try to think about the last time you downloaded a version of GIMP. This software does not allow you to update to a new version from the app, nor will it update automatically. Instead, you need to manually go to GIMP.org and download the new version manually, so if this isn’t something you’ve done recently, it’s probably time.

You can download the latest version of GIMP using this link. Remember that your device also needs the proper specification to power tasks within GIMP. If not, this might be another reason why the software won’t open.

2. Your GIMP Software or Your Device Needs to Update

Updates are essentially smaller improvement and patch packages companies will release instead of an entirely new version. Sometimes they contain new features, focus solely on fixing one small issue, improve software security, they all vary. But one thing that’s consistent about updates is that, when using GIMP, you want your software to be as up-to-date as possible.

In addition to an outdated version, one reason our GIMP software might not be opening is because it is missing one or several updates that has resolved this issue or are necessary for GIMP to function properly.

That being said, GIMP isn’t the only thing that needs to be up to date here, your device should be as well. Whether you’re using GIMP on a laptop, desktop, or tablet, it is crucial that your device has all of the latest updates installed to ensure it can function optimally and run GIMP.

In the event that you discover you need to update GIMP, your device, or both, it always helps to close out of GIMP completely and restart your device after the update is complete. This will help ensure all of the proper files are replaced from the update, a process that might not happen effectively, or at all, if other applications or the device, in general, is open and in use.

Of course, sometimes a classic restart or system shut down and reboot will resolve the issue of GIMP failing to open on its own.

3. The GIMP Software or Your Device Has an Inhibiting Virus or Bug

This is usually the common cause the concerns the most people because it essentially implies you have a much bigger issue on your hands than your GIMP not opening.

A harmful system or software virus could easily be the cause of GIMP failing to load, as it potentially damages GIMP along with other programs, deletes crucial files, or even reformats your hard drive. Alternatively, a bug (this is not a virus, but rather, a flaw in GIMP’s coding) could be to blame, which is another reason why it is so important to have the newest version and updates.

Whenever you notice a virus or some form of infected malware, your first step should be to try and remove them by cleaning your system.

The best way to do this is to download an antivirus software (some can be downloaded for free, but the best options often require a regular subscription fee). Once you have the antivirus software installed, you’ll want to disconnect from the internet and reboot your device in “Safe Mode” to limit the potential damage this virus or malware can do to your system.

Next, use your antivirus software to scan your system for viruses and other threats. If it finds any, follow the software’s recommended steps for either removing or quarantining the threat.

4. Some Aspect of GIMP Is Corrupt

As you can see, the most common causes for GIMP refusing to open go from bad to worse, and this is definitely the worst reason for this issue, by far.

While it is rare, and far from ideal, it is possible that GIMP refuses to open because something within the software, or the software itself, is corruption. Usually, the cause is a corrupt file that experienced an issue during the saving process.

Another cause for software or file corruption could be a virus or harmful malware, which is why we have listed this cause last, after you have hopefully determined that your software and device are clean.

A common corruption issue that GIMP users were experiencing was with the Libre Office font. For some reason, more than one user found that this particular font contained corrupted files, and once the font was deleted in its entirety, GIMP opened and operated without issue.

Sadly, if you find that GIMP truly is corrupt and there is no other cause you can find to resolve, then the next step would be to uninstall the software completely and then reinstall GIMP. This will almost always resolve the issue, and if you find GIMP still won’t open, your best option is probably to contact a professional for help.

Normally we would recommend you go to the website’s “Help” or “Customer Service” option first, but GIMP is maintained by a team of volunteers, and it is very hard to reach them for assistance on a single issue. Alternatively, you could use their “Submit a Bug” link and see if any other users have viable answers or you could post your issue and hope for a reply.