This article offered by MiniTool support takes a full review of GIMP and discusses the topic "is GIMP safe". Read it through and find both the answer and reason, as well as learn how to download and use GIMP while keeping the computer safe.

What Is GIMP? (GIMP Definition)

GIMP, GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an open-source and free raster graphics editor. It is used for graphics manipulation/modification/editing, free-form drawing, transcoding between different image file formats, and more specialized tasks for graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, scientists, etc.

GIMP was initially released on February 15th, 1996, by Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis. It is released under the GPLv3+ (GNU General Public License) license. GIMP can be applied to Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems (OS). Many Linux distributions include GIMP as part of their desktop OS like Debian and Fedora.

How to Use GIMP? (GIMP Tutorials)

As for photo editing, you can make use of the tools on the toolbox, via menus and dialog boxes. There are brushes, transformation, selection, layer, filter, as well as masking tools.

GNU Image Manipulation Program

Photo Editing

GIMP provides a lot of tools for editing images including a paintbrush, airbrush, pencil, ink tools, and eraser. They are used to create new or blended pixels. The Blend tool can be used to fill a selection with a color gradient and the Bucket Fill tool can be used to fill a selection with a color or pattern, both small custom path selections and large regions are supported.

Selection Tools

GIMP provides Rectangle Select, Free Select, Fuzzy Select, Ellipse Select, Foreground Select, By Color Select, and Intelligent Scissors all seven selection tools and the former three can be directly accessed in the left panel by default.

GIMP Layers

A picture being edited in GIMP can consist of many layers in a stack. Each layer in an image is made up of several channels and has a layer mode that can be set to change the colors in the image. Text layers can be created using the text tool. Thus, a user can write on an image. 

GIMP Colors

You can select colors in GIMP in several ways: color choosers, palettes, and eyedropper tool to select a color on the canvas. The built-in color choosers include RGB/HSV selector or scales, water-color selector, CMYK selector, as well as a color-wheel selector.

GIMP Extensions

There are around 150 standard filters and effects in GIMP including Blur, Motion Blur, Drop Shadow, and Noise. GIMP operations can be automated with scripting languages. New features can be added to GIMP not only by changing program code (GIMP core) but also by creating plug-ins like MathMap.

There are still many other tools in GIMP, but I can’t list them all here. 

Also read: How to Resize an Image in GIMP? – 2 Methods!

GIMP Review

Case 1. GIMP Is Used to Create Pictures in Lucas the Game

Lucas the Game is an independent video game developed by Timothy Courtney. GIMP 2.6 was used to create almost all the images in Lucas the Game. Courtney describes GIMP as a powerful tool that is fully capable of large professional projects like video games.

Case 2. Single-Window GIMP Is Highly Approved

GIMP 2.8 introduced a single-window mode and it is popular. Michael Burns from Macworld described the single-window user interface (UI) as a “big improvement”. And, Ryan Paul from Ars Technica thought the program is more streamlined and less cluttered.

Case 3. GIMP Becomes a Worthy Alternative to Photoshop

On October 13, 2013, David Cardinal from ExtremeTech noted that GIMP was “no longer a crippled alternative to Photoshop”. The scripting of GIMP is one of its strengths.

GIMP vs Photoshop

Though be different in UI, GIMP functions similarly to Adobe Photoshop. It is usually compared to and suggested as an alternative for Photoshop. Is GIMP suitable for professional or even commercial usage? It is regularly reviewed.

“For those who have never experienced Photoshop, GIMP is simply a very powerful image manipulation program,” and “If you’re willing to invest some time learning it, it can be a very good graphics tool.” Reviewed LifeWire in March 2019.

Also read: GIMP vs Photoshop – Which Image Editing Software Is the Best?

Is GIMP Safe?

Now, let’s come to the main topic, the security of GIMP software.

Is GIMP Safe to Download on My Computer?

Is the GIMP safe to download? Different people have different opinions.

A person from Quora said that he is alarmed by the content on GIMP’s official website: “GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows, and more operating systems. It is free software, and you can change its source code and distribute your changes.”

He thinks that if GIMP’s source code is changeable for anyone, then the distributions can already be changed by others and even include viruses. If so, the distributed versions are dangerous. Also, he provides a website that displays the vulnerabilities of all versions of GIMP.

While many other users in the same post of Quora claim that GIMP is safe to download and use with their own experience for several years.

Also, on WindowsReport, it says that even for the GIMP versions that have been re-coded by others, they have to undergo security tests before upload. The GIMP download files are now hosted by the official development team’s FTP and GIMP is using its own distribution mirrors.

Tip: Many years ago, some third-party download sites for GIMP like SourceForge mislead users to download unwanted programs and even malware with their confusing green download button. Then, GIMP has abandoned those third-party partners.

Related article: GIMP for Android: What’s the Best GIMP Alternative for Android?

Is GIMP Safe to Use?

In a post on Reddit, all users think GIMP is safe to use. One of them is a teacher and his students all use GIMP. GIMIP is free and safe, so his students don’t have to pay for using the photo app and also won’t be infected with computer viruses due to install the cracked version of Photoshop.

Another guy thinks it’s the big companies’ tricks to spread misinformation and scare-tactics saying that freeware like GIMP is not safe. Their purpose is to persuade people to use their paid programs.

Is GIMP Org Safe?

Of course! is the official website of GIMP. You can feel free to download the GIMP photo editor there. Yet, you should be cautious about the websites that have similar site names to (,, etc.). Some malicious websites have site names that are just a character or two different than the genuine site, but claim that they are the official website of some software.

Generally, make your own judgment and compare more sources to finally find the real official website for the program you plan to download.

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How to Download and Use GIMP Safely?

Since there are still chances for you to encounter problems while downloading or using GIMP software, you are recommended to do as below to keep your computer safe.

Method 1. Always Download GIMP from Its Official Website.

The awareness of security should exist before you press the download button. Due to the precedent of the third-party download site issue, it is recommended to download GIMP from its official website, which has been provided in the above content.

Method 2. Keep Your Firewalls on While Downloading

Most genuine and safe programs will pass through Firewalls smoothly. So, if your download is secure, the firewall won’t block it or warn you about potential threats. I have successfully downloaded GIMP from its official page with my firewall on and without any issue.

Method 3. Scan Your Computer before Installing GIMP

After you have successfully downloaded the GIMP installation file on your machine, you should take a virus scan with your antivirus software. If nothing suspicious is found, you can start installing GIMP.

And, when it comes to the last step of the installation, uncheck the option for opening GIMP for the first time and close the installation window. Again, carry out a virus scan for your system. If there is still no threat, you can launch GIMP and enjoy your photo editing work.

Moreover, you are recommended to check your computer for viruses regularly in the future. Don’t be lazy and always keep your crucial data safe!

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Method 3. Back up Important Files on Schedule

The last but not the least way to keep your data safe is to create a backup of them regularly with schedules. Therefore, even if your computer is attacked by viruses, no matter how they get on your machine, you can recover your data nearly without loss.

Then, how to back up important files at a regular frequency? It is easy and you should rely on a professional and reliable program like MiniTool ShadowMaker. The program is completely safe and you are recommended to download it from its official server link below.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Then, just follow below guide to create a scheduled backup of your crucial files in case of future accidents.

Step 1. Install and launch MiniTool ShadowMaker on your computer. When it comes to the first purchase screen, just click Keep Trial in the upper right.

Step 2. Then, it will enter its main UI. Move to the second Backup tab.

Step 3. On the Backup screen, click the Source module on the left and select what files/folders you want to back up in the pop-up window. When all selections are done, click OK to save your selection.

Select Backup Source

Step 4. Click the Destination module on the right and choose a path to save your backup image. You are recommended to store the backup in an external device such as a USB flash drive.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5. You will be redirected to the backup main interface.

Backup Task Preview

Step 6. There, click the Schedule button in the lower left. In the pop-up window, switch on the backup schedule in the bottom left corner and set up your schedule settings.

Backup Schedule

Step 7. When all settings are done, click Back up Now in the lower right on the main backup screen to carry out an initial backup.

In the future, MiniTool ShadowMaker will regularly back up your selected items based on the schedule you have set. Everything is automatic and easy.

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That is all about the safety problem of GIMP. If you have any different ideas, please feel free to leave a comment below. Or, ff you encounter problems while using MiniTool ShadowMaker, just contact our support team at [email protected].


Is GIMP Safe to Download for Mac?
Yes, it is. You are recommended to download GIMP from its official website
How to Upgrade Gimp?
It is easy. Just download the latest version of GIMP from its official website.
Is GIMP Free?
Yes, it is a free and open-source program that can be edited by anyone.
What Are the GIMP Alternatives?
There are many alternatives for GIMP, including Krita (free and open-source), PhotoShop (paid), Inkscape,, Adobe Illustrator, Fotor, etc.
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