GIMP Keyboard Shortcuts Not Working? [How to Fix It]

GIMP is one of the most convenient image editing software available because it’s free and loaded with features. Still, like with any software things can go wrong from time to time. What exactly do you do when GIMP’s keyboard shortcuts suddenly stop working? Is the problem with GIMP itself or is it a larger issue?

If the keyboard shortcuts for GIMP aren’t working, chances are they have either been changed in the preferences or the software itself needs to be updated. If the problem is in the preferences, you will need to enable keyboard shortcuts in order to get them working again. Otherwise just update. 

If you’re having trouble getting keyboard shortcuts to work in GIMP, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In our guide below, we will break down the main reasons why keyboard shortcuts stop working as well as step-by-step instructions on how to get them back up and running. So come along and let’s see if we can’t get you back to editing in no time!

Why Aren’t Keyboard Shortcuts Working in GIMP?

Before we dive into how to fix your keyboard shortcuts, let’s first survey where the problem might be coming from. So, why exactly would keyboard shortcuts not work in GIMP? Especially since they seemed to have been working fine before. 

Below we’ve broken down the two biggest causes of keyboard shortcuts failing in GIMP so you can get an idea of what might have gone wrong: 

  • GIMP needs to be updated: If you’re having trouble using Shortcuts in GIMP, there’s a good chance that your software simply needs to be updated. This is a common bug that has come up in the past with older versions of GIMP. 
  • Keyboard shortcuts have been changed in preferences: You can actually create whatever shortcuts you want within GIMP if you go into your preferences. Some of these preferences may have been accidentally changed, leading to shortcuts no longer functioning properly. Either way it’s good to double check. 

More than likely one of these issues is behind why your keyboard shortcuts aren’t working in GIMP. In the next two sections, we’ll break down what you can do about these issues so you can get back to your amazing graphic design project. 

How Do I Enable Keyboard Shortcuts in GIMP?

One of the first things to check when keyboard shortcuts stop working, is if they are set up right to begin with. To do this you will need to know how to enable and change keyboard shortcuts within the program. 

Follow the steps below to check and change the keyboard shortcuts settings in GIMP: 

  1. Open GIMP:  First things first you simply need to open GIMP normally and allow it to fully boot up.
  2. Go into preferences: You can get to preferences by clicking “edit” at the top of the screen. 
  3. Select “interface” and configure your keyboard shortcuts: There will be a list of options presented to you when you go into preferences. Look for “interface.” Once you click it, select the option “configure keyboard shortcuts.” 
  4. Ensure shortcuts are as they should be: From here you can look at your current keyboard shortcuts, add new ones or change them to something else.  

It’s important to note you can use these settings to add shortcuts of your own. Therefore, you can not only potentially fix your problem, but you can use this to optimize as well. 

How Do I Update GIMP? 

If all of your keyboard shortcuts seem to be set right, chances are, your problem is just that the software needs to be updated. Updating GIMP can be a tricky task in that you can’t update it within the program itself. Instead you need to download the latest version and install it. 

Follow the steps below to update GIMP and hopefully resolve your issue with keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Open GIMP: While you can’t directly update from within GIMP itself, you can still use it to get a link to the latest version. 
  2. Go to “About GIMP” under “help”: Click help near the top right of the screen and select “About GIMP.”
  3. Follow the link and download the latest version: Just follow the link under “About GIMP” and you should be able to download and install the latest version. 

Once that you’ve downloaded the latest version, reboot the software and see if your problem is resolved. Because this is the most common cause of this issue, it will likely fix your issue. 

So Really, How Do You Fix Keyboard Shortcuts in GIMP?

If you’re having trouble with shortcuts in GIMP, chances are your software just needs to be updated. Older versions often have bugs that cause problems like unresponsive keyboard shortcuts. 

Alternatively, you can go into your preferences and both check and change the keyboard shortcuts for GIMP. You can even use that menu to optimize performance and add new keyboard shortcuts!