I have an image in my xcf file that is too dark at some region, then I change the brightness and contranst of that image.

But, after I done path, now I want to change the brightness and contrast really-really back to original or normal. How can I do that?

  • You probably can't. That's why you should keep your original unaltered image, either as the original document, or as a duplicated layer. GIMP's adjustments are destructive.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 1, 2022 at 9:46

2 Answers 2


If you did not use a specific non-destructive workflow, like using layers, the only way to do that is to open the backup, that is, the original file.

So, if you did not make any of these two actions, Back up the original files. Work in a non-destructive way using layers, you can only make your best shot trying to guess what the original file looked like, but at the expense of producing some banding here and there, especially if you worked on an 8bit file.


If you have not saved the XCF since the change, Edit > Undo until you hit the Brightness step, or, if the undo history doesn't go that far back (you have done many things) and you have not overwritten the initial image, File > Revert to reload the image.

Keep in mind that all general color operations (Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves) come with some color loss, so using the opposite operation to restore the image to its initial state will not get you the original image, since you will have lost colors twice.

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