GIMP Color Picker not working properly

Am a basic level GIMP user on PC (Windows 10) and noticed that the color picker isn’t getting the right color. And that the color tends to be a lighter shade.

I am a long time user of GIMP. Try using the color picker in the toolbox and it will select the color correctly for you. Good luck Gimp is a great program BTW. Darktable is a great program for RAW files.

Possibly be due to color management… the image color profile would be applied to raw RGB values sampled on the screen.

Yes, that was my ‘alternative’ to bypassing this problem as well. However, if I needed to get the colors to recreate a gradient? The original problem persists.

I just tested the eyedropper that you have pointed out in the Change Foreground Color option and it selected the color perfectly for me. I wonder if the issue is what Ofnuts suggests. Maybe the user manual might have some suggestions about color management GNU Image Manipulation Program

I hope someone is able to resolve your problem through this forum. Good luck.

Hi @TK429, and welcome,

There might be another reason for your problem.
What is it that you are sampling? A printed surface? A photo?

In The Gimp, enlarge an area to 3200%. You will probably notice
that the area is not uniform at all, meaning that the colour picker
will report different values depending on which exact spot you
happen to place it on.


Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Most probably as Ofnuts mentioned. The colour picker tool only ‘picks’ inside the Gimp image. The FG/BG colour picker ‘picks’ from anywhere on the computer display. It might be the same image but if a colour profile is enforced you might get different values. This the same image in Gimp and displayed in a web browser.

Hi Claes,

It’s an image I’m working on and I did try that and ‘sampled’ different spots (just to see if the colour changed) and it’s still coming up with a different one.

Thanks for your suggestion.


If using the color picker tool from the toolbox you have the ability to set the size of the area being sampled and this could help reduce the inconsistency of the tool. Also, I might being missing an understanding of how the tools work, but what is the advantage of using the color picker in the change foreground color over the color picker? Don’t they achieve the same end result of changing the foreground color?