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How to break up with your gf without hurting her?

Try to make it work. Talking from experience here; when I wanted to break up with my gf 3 years ago (and tried to do so) I realized while talking to her all issues I had with our relationship were fixable. They did require effort from both of us, but we managed to work them out and are still together now. Honesty resolves a lot, and simply explaining what bothers you can get you a long way.

Even if you decide to break up, still address the issues. It's important for her to know what went wrong in your relation so she can prevent similar problems in the future. And never break up over the phone / pc (except when she lives far away of course, in that case video chat).

TLDR; treat her like a human being and give her the feeling that you, at the very least, try to make it work
communication goes a loooooong way towards improving a relationship, yes! try that out a bit

but the other very important thing is that when it's time to break up, it's time to break up
like you need to just go for it and present everything as frankly as possible to prevent hurting her any worse than necessary
i definitely didn't do that and hurt my ex way too much, and we recently saw each other in passing
it was the saddest thing to not even say hi to her and treat her like every other stranger out there