How To Install GIMP for Mac

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GIMP is fast becoming the go-to app for replacing Photoshop. GIMP shares many of the same tools and features of other editing software, including Adobe’s flagship app.

It’s nice not to have to pay a monthly fee, isn’t it? In this step-by-step tutorial, I’ll show you how to install GIMP on a Mac and open it for the first time!

If you’re ready, let’s do it!

Table of Contents

Step 1: Download GIMP


Let’s head on over to to download the latest version and the application needed for your operating system. Once you reach the download page, you have a lot of choices!

Unlike Photoshop, GIMP developers only earn an income via donations. This results in situations where GIMP may not work with the latest version of OS X (Mac software).

This is why, at the top, it states: “Current Stable Version,” and it lists the numbered version (and date of release). For peace of mind, this is the version you should download and install.

If you’re a little more adventurous and don’t mind more bugs, you can try a more recent version. At the time of this writing, there are two newer versions for Mac users.

This includes a beta version of GIMP 3.0 (2.99.4)! I’d only recommend this for advanced users. The other newer version was updated before Christmas (2.10.22). However, there’s a warning that there are known performance issues with Mac’s Big Sur operating system.

For this tutorial, we’ll download the stable version. Although the steps for installing the other two are practically the same.

So, hit that big orange button to download!

Step 2: Add GIMP To Your Applications Folder


By default, the GIMP installation file was downloaded in your “Download” folder. Locate it and double click it.

Now click on the GIMP 2.10 icon and drag it to the “Applications” folder.

Step 3: Open GIMP

opening gimp

Now the fun begins! But first, drag the GIMP app icon to your Dock to add a shortcut. Now, click on it to open GIMP!

Now what? First, check out the bonus step (below) and then discover over 3 hours of free video tutorials showing how to use GIMP and edit your photos… in the last section.

BONUS STEP: Upgrading GIMP To the Latest Version

For the last couple of years, the GIMP developers have been cranking out new versions a few times a year. That wasn’t always the case. It took around 6-7 years to go from GIMP 2.8 to GIMP 2.10.

We’ve had 2.10 for a couple of years, and GIMP 3.0 is right around the corner. That being said, you’ll want to check their site every couple of months to see if there’s a new version.

Or, better yetsubscribe to my Youtube channel for the latest updates.

So, now that you have the stable version of GIMP installed, would you like to try a newer version? Or maybe you have an older version and would like to install the most recent?

Either way, the process for updating GIMP to the latest version involves the same steps we did previously. Except for one essential step.

When you add another GIMP file package to your Applications folder, you’ll get a message that says: “An older item named GIMP already exists in this location. Do you want to replace it with the newer one you’re moving?”

keep both versions

Which of the three options should you choose? My recommendation and is to “Keep Both.”

Why keep both? As mentioned previously, newer versions sometimes have new bugs and will not work with your operating system. This way, you can try out the latest version and keep your old one intact. If it doesn’t work, delete the app and continue using the stable version for your Mac.

Step 4: How To Uninstall GIMP On Your Mac

Having trouble getting any version of GIMP to work or decide it’s not for you? If so, uninstalling GIMP on your Mac is easy. Go to the Applications folder and search for the GIMP icon.

Right-click on it and select “Move to Trash.” Now, empty your trash. Voila! GIMP has been uninstalled.

Now That You Have GIMP Installed, Now What?

I’ve put together the ultimate tutorial for GIMP beginners. It’s jam-packed with over two hours of FREE content. Check out everything you need to know as a GIMP beginner.

Here’s another 1 hour free tutorial with tips for editing your photos!

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