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Installing Models#

Checkpoint and Diffusers Models#

The model checkpoint files ('*.ckpt') are the Stable Diffusion "secret sauce". They are the product of training the AI on millions of captioned images gathered from multiple sources.

Originally there was only a single Stable Diffusion weights file, which many people named model.ckpt. Now there are dozens or more that have been fine tuned to provide particulary styles, genres, or other features. In addition, there are several new formats that improve on the original checkpoint format: a .safetensors format which prevents malware from masquerading as a model, and diffusers models, the most recent innovation.

InvokeAI supports all three formats but strongly prefers the diffusers format. These are distributed as directories containing multiple subfolders, each of which contains a different aspect of the model. The advantage of this is that the models load from disk really fast. Another advantage is that diffusers models are supported by a large and active set of open source developers working at and with HuggingFace organization, and improvements in both rendering quality and performance are being made at a rapid pace. Among other features is the ability to download and install a diffusers model just by providing its HuggingFace repository ID.

While InvokeAI will continue to support .ckpt and .safetensors models for the near future, these are deprecated and support will likely be withdrawn at some point in the not-too-distant future.

This manual will guide you through installing and configuring model weight files and converting legacy .ckpt and .safetensors files into performant diffusers models.

Base Models#

InvokeAI comes with support for a good set of starter models. You'll find them listed in the master models file configs/INITIAL_MODELS.yaml in the InvokeAI root directory. The subset that are currently installed are found in configs/models.yaml.

Note that these files are covered by an "Ethical AI" license which forbids certain uses. When you initially download them, you are asked to accept the license terms. In addition, some of these models carry additional license terms that limit their use in commercial applications or on public servers. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the model terms by visiting the URLs in the table above.

Community-Contributed Models#

HuggingFace is a great resource for diffusers models, and is also the home of a fast-growing repository of embedding (".bin") models that add subjects and/or styles to your images. The latter are automatically installed on the fly when you include the text <concept-name> in your prompt. See Concepts Library for more information.

Another popular site for community-contributed models is CIVITAI. This extensive site currently supports only .safetensors and .ckpt models, but they can be easily loaded into InvokeAI and/or converted into optimized diffusers models. Be aware that CIVITAI hosts many models that generate NSFW content.


There are two ways to install and manage models:

  1. The invokeai-model-install script which will download and install them for you. In addition to supporting main models, you can install ControlNet, LoRA and Textual Inversion models.

  2. The web interface (WebUI) has a GUI for importing and managing models.

  3. By placing models (or symbolic links to models) inside one of the InvokeAI root directory's autoimport folder.

Installation via invokeai-model-install#

From the invoke launcher, choose option [4] "Download and install models." This will launch the same script that prompted you to select models at install time. You can use this to add models that you skipped the first time around. It is all right to specify a model that was previously downloaded; the script will just confirm that the files are complete.

The installer has different panels for installing main models from HuggingFace, models from Civitai and other arbitrary web sites, ControlNet models, LoRA/LyCORIS models, and Textual Inversion embeddings. Each section has a text box in which you can enter a new model to install. You can refer to a model using its:

  1. Local path to the .ckpt, .safetensors or diffusers folder on your local machine
  2. A directory on your machine that contains multiple models
  3. A URL that points to a downloadable model
  4. A HuggingFace repo id

Previously-installed models are shown with checkboxes. Uncheck a box to unregister the model from InvokeAI. Models that are physically installed inside the InvokeAI root directory will be deleted and purged (after a confirmation warning). Models that are located outside the InvokeAI root directory will be unregistered but not deleted.

Note: The installer script uses a console-based text interface that requires significant amounts of horizontal and vertical space. If the display looks messed up, just enlarge the terminal window and/or relaunch the script.

If you wish you can script model addition and deletion, as well as listing installed models. Start the "developer's console" and give the command invokeai-model-install --help. This will give you a series of command-line parameters that will let you control model installation. Examples:

# (list all controlnet models)
invokeai-model-install --list controlnet

# (install the model at the indicated URL)
invokeai-model-install --add

# (delete the named model)
invokeai-model-install --delete sd-1/main/analog-diffusion

Installation via the Web GUI#

To install a new model using the Web GUI, do the following:

  1. Open the InvokeAI Model Manager (cube at the bottom of the left-hand panel) and navigate to Import Models

  2. In the field labeled Location type in the path to the model you wish to install. You may use a URL, HuggingFace repo id, or a path on your local disk.

  3. Alternatively, the Scan for Models button allows you to paste in the path to a folder somewhere on your machine. It will be scanned for importable models and prompt you to add the ones of your choice.

  4. Press Add Model and wait for confirmation that the model was added.

To delete a model, Select Model Manager to list all the currently installed models. Press the trash can icons to delete any models you wish to get rid of. Models whose weights are located inside the InvokeAI models directory will be purged from disk, while those located outside will be unregistered from InvokeAI, but not deleted.

You can see where model weights are located by clicking on the model name. This will bring up an editable info panel showing the model's characteristics, including the Model Location of its files.

Installation via the autoimport function#

In the InvokeAI root directory you will find a series of folders under autoimport, one each for main models, controlnets, embeddings and Loras. Any models that you add to these directories will be scanned at startup time and registered automatically.

You may create symbolic links from these folders to models located elsewhere on disk and they will be autoimported. You can also create subfolders and organize them as you wish.

The location of the autoimport directories are controlled by settings in invokeai.yaml. See Configuration.

Installing models that live in HuggingFace subfolders#

On rare occasions you may need to install a diffusers-style model that lives in a subfolder of a HuggingFace repo id. In this event, simply add ":subfolder-name" to the end of the repo id. For example, if the repo id is "monster-labs/control_v1p_sd15_qrcode_monster" and the model you wish to fetch lives in a subfolder named "v2", then the repo id to pass to the various model installers should be


Last update: October 17, 2023
Created: October 29, 2022