How to Use Photoshop Brushes in GIMP

It's just a matter of putting them in the correct folder

What to Know

  • Windows: C: drive > Users > name. View > Hidden items > App Data. In GIMP folder, open brushes > paste file.
  • Mac: Right-click GIMP app > Show Package Contents. Open Brushes folder > paste file.
  • Linux: Press Ctrl+h in your Home folder to see hidden files. Find Brushes folder > paste file.

This article explains how to copy Photoshop brushes into GIMP using a Windows, Mac, or Linux operating system. Additional information covers how to refresh the GIMP software to access your new brushes.

How to Copy Brushes to the Brushes Folder on Windows

  1. Open File Explorer, and copy the Photoshop brush file you want to import in to GIMP.

  2. Navigate to the root of your C: drive.

    A screenshot of Windows with the C: Drive highlighted
  3. Select Users followed by your username.

    A screenshot of the C: Drive in Windows with the Users window highlighted
  4. In your user's folder, select View at the top of the File Explorer. Then, check the Hidden items box to show hidden files and folders.View

    A screenshot of a User folder in Windows with the Hidden Items option under the View menu highlighted
  5. Now, choose AppData from your user folder.

    A screenshot of a user folder in Windows with the AppData item highlighted
  6. Select Roaming > GIMP > 2.10.

    A screenshot of the AppData folder in Windows with the GIMP folder highlighted
  7. In the GIMP folder, find and open brushes.

    A screenshot of the GIMP folder in Windows with the Brushes folder highlighted
  8. Paste your Photoshop brush file in the brushes folder.

    Windows 10 Photoshop brushes pasted GIMP

How to Copy Brushes to the Brushes Folder on Mac OS

  1. Right-click on GIMP within the Applications folder on OS X.

  2. Select Show Package Contents.

    A screenshot of the options menu in macOS Finder with the Show Package Contents option highlighted
  3. Navigate through Resources > Share > gimp > 2.0 on Mac to find the Brushes folder.

    A screenshot of macOS showing the path to GIMP's brushes folder

How to Copy Brushes to the Folder on Linux

  1. Select the brush files that you want to add to GIMP, and copy them.

  2. Press Ctrl+h in your Home folder to see hidden files.

    Linux show hidden folders
  3. Navigate to:


    Replace username with your actual username and 2.10 with the version of GIMP that you have.

    A screenshot of GIMP's brushes folder in Linux
  4. Paste your brushes in to the directory. Then, you can press Ctrl+h again to hide the hidden files again.

    GIMP brushes pasted

A huge variety of Photoshop brushes are available online, and many are free to download.

How to Refresh the Brushes

GIMP automatically loads brushes when it's launched, but only then. To see the list of brushes you've just installed, you must manually refresh:

  1. With GIMP open, go to WindowsDockable Dialogs > Brushes in the main menu.

    A screenshot of GIMP with the Brushes command under Dockable Dialogs highlighted
  2. Locate the refresh icon in the Brushes dialog. If should look like an arrow with a circular tail. Press it to refresh your brushes.

    A screenshot of GIMP with the Refresh Brushes button highlighted
  3. Open the brush tool, and look to see if your brushes are there. If you're having a problem, you can always try restarting GIMP.

    Photoshop brushes imported in GIMP

GIMP tends to lag behind Photoshop in some ways. The latest Photoshop brushes may not be supported in GIMP.

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