Is GIMP Insecure Some Comments and Tips

Unfortunately, computer programs sometimes crash unexpectedly or react strangely. This can happen with any freeware running on Windows. Since GIMP is GNU software, there are no guarantees.

In earlier versions of GIMP, I've experienced some bugs, but from version 2.0 onward GIMP has become very stable. In the event that something doesn't work, it is typically due to incompatibility with other installed software or a specific hardware problem.

GIMP's current version, 2.6.10, runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7, therefore there shouldn't be any problems with the installation. However, it may still happen that Window stalls during the loading process. Don't worry. It takes a few minutes for GIMP to get started, especially if you're running it on Windows and many fonts are installed.

The stability of GIMP depends on the technical condition of the computer, the drivers, and other installed software. GIMP is more stable when used by a computer running newer versions of Windows than older versions such as Windows 98/98 SE/Me.

Also, your computer's RAM plays a key role in GIMP's performance. In general, more memory equals more stability. The minimum memory requirements for GIMP are 256 MB RAM for Windows XP and 1,024 MB RAM for Windows Vista or Windows 7. For GIMP to work efficiently, you should double these values. These values can be applied for any kind of digital image processing.

If you have Adobe Photoshop installed on your computer in addition to GIMP, GIMP may inform you about a missing file called Plug-ins.dll that the program will not start without. In this case, look for the file of the same name (Plug-ins.dll) in the Adobe Photoshop installation folder. Simply copy it and paste the Plug-ins.dll into the folder system32 of your Windows installation.

You will find support at, another community website for GIMP with a bulletin board of discussions, help topics, tutorials, and downloads (in English). Mac users can find help in the Wilber-Loves-Apple forum, also on and gimponosx/forums. Additional mailing lists with information about GIMP are available at




The Worst Case and a Fresh Start

In the unlikely event that the program crashes or gets stuck each time you start it up, you should uninstall both the GIMP and GTK (on Windows, choose Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features: Uninstall a program). You should also delete all the GIMP and GTK program files from your computer. Please note that there is no need to delete image files created in GIMP before reinstalling!

If you installed the GIMP using the default suggestions, you can find the program files at C:\Program Files\Gimp-2.X or at C:\Users\[your username]\. Delete all related folders and their contents. In critical cases, you can search Windows by choosing Start > Find > Files or Folders and typing the name of the file you're looking for (i.e., search terms gimp and gtk).

Once you have removed all relevant files, reinstall GIMP from scratch.

Many consider GIMP a great tool. Despite not being able to compete with Adobe Photoshop's professional pre-press applications, and despite its curious name, GIMP is unbeatable in terms of its value for the money. Photoshop has many possibilities for editing images that GIMP has yet to offer. Still, the program has a lot to offer for people who want to do professional photo editing or design web pages. The new GIMP 2.6 has created a new milestone on its way to becoming a professional tool.

I would like to point out that GIMP's user interface opens with many windows. This may appear unusual for users of Windows programs. GIMP 2.6 has adapted somewhat to the Windows esthetic; the menu has been attached to the picture frame and is now established as the background window. If you set up GIMP accordingly, the disadvantage that every program window gets its own tab in the Windows taskbar is dropped.

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