Google is Shutting Down Picasa

Google_iconGoogle’s Picasa has been one of my favorite photo editing tools for several years. Now there is bad news and good news about the free service.

Bad news: Google will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates.

Good news: Google is replacing Picasa with Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. In fact, Google Photos is a better app than Picasa although I am sure it will take some time for Picasa users to get used to the change. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location.

I just checked and found all of my photos from Picasa and from an Android cell phone are already waiting for me at https://photos.google.com/. For an Android user, Google Photos is an excellent automatic backup service for all photos taken with the Android device’s camera.

Google-photos

Google Photo is a more powerful, mobile-focused service than Picasa ever was. It lets users backup an unlimited number of photos and videos to the cloud for free, and also comes with a search function that leverages artificial intelligence technology. For example, you can search for smiles and the app will show photos that include people smiling.

Google apparently wants to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products.

You can learn more about Google Photos at https://www.google.com/photos/about/.

29 Comments

I am concerned that my Picasa tags and captions won’t be picked up by Google photos.

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Sounds familiar. Google=Ancestry, Picasa=FTM

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I have thousand of photos identified and described in Picasa and only three show up in Google photos. That’s a problem! And am also concerned about the transfer of all the data that I’ve input and I won’t do it again. Sometimes it seems that there is too much ADD in Google folks, Great ideas, but poor stick-to-it-ness. Does this only work as an app or can you access it otherwise? I hate Windows 8 and 10 and am resisting switching.
Generally, I’m happy to try new things, but am getting annoyed with computer folks at their
constantly manipulating us into constant change for more money.

Liked by 1 person

    Apart from the fact that Google Photos doesn’t appear to have the same functionality as Picasa, Google Photos is not much use for those of us with slow broadband connections. As you say, Google has “poor stick-to-it-ness” – not a phrase I’ve heard before but it sums the situation up wonderfully! Picasa is superb – why fix something that’s not broken.

    Liked by 1 person

My Picasa photos are NOT in Google Photos (and I did check to see if I was logged in.) I probably joined Picasa in the dark ages before google drive, and my have used a different email, but both emails are now linked to google, so wondering what happened…

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I took your advice and starting downloading my photos to Google Photos. Little did I know it appears it will take weeks! It has been downloading all afternoon, and only 700 photos are done, out of what is says I have of 30,390. I had no idea I had that many. Can I pause or stop the download and pick it up later? Or do I just have to let it run for I have no idea how many days?

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I tried it but couldn’t find a way to add text to my photos? Why?? I think I liked it though! Going to try again now. -Thanks!

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Google Photo is a more powerful, mobile-focused service than Picasa ever was

C’mon Dick! No way is that true. Try geo-tagging a photo in Google Photo or creating different types of collages Both are a breeze in Picasa but I can’t see how to geo-tag and I can only create one type of collage.

As lkessler notes above, this is very similar to the FTM story where a software vendor is driving desktop software users to the Cloud by stopping support, but having an inferior Cloud-based service. I ams sure that the hybrid model is the right one where the software remains on the desktop/mobile platform but data can be stored in the cloud. Adobe and Microsoft seemed to be using this model and it works well.

I migrated to Lightroom last year and have been very happy with it but there are plenty of users, like my wife, who are happy with Picasa and don’t have the time or inclination to learn different software.

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I will decide where to move my photo’s. Going to miss Picasa, but that’s the way it goes in the computer world.

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Unfortunately the direction of all Apps means cloud / internet based. Does anyone every consider users, in this case of Picaso, who are located in country areas and do NOT have Internet access – i.e. small historical societies who scan their collections and they reside on their desktop, together with the software. Well, that’s what used to happen!

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Picasa supports my blogs …. will the photos still show up after the Picasa evaporates?

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How do I get the new Photo app on my Windows 7 machine? The Google App Store seems to expect you to have a mobile device.

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Hi Dick – unfortunately that link is to the utility that automatically uploads all of your photos to Google Photos – that just adds to the problem for people with slow or limited internet access. 😦

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    True, but that serves as the “app” for Windows users. Anyone with slow or limited internet access will have the same problem whether they use a dedicated app, a web-based interface, FTP, or any other method of transferring files.

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    Hi Dick, The Historical Society I’m thinking about don’t want to upload and use Google Photos – they have been using Picasa on their desktop for the society’s photo collection – scanning and documenting thousands of photos. They have a limited dial-up connection and back up their photos to a removable hard-drive – certainly not a candidate for Google Photos. I think they’ll just have to stay on the latest version of Windows they have and hope that Picasa keeps working – at least for as long as the volunteers there are alive!

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    Thanks Dick.  I tried the link you recommend and it appears to just be for an uploader app.  I don’t want to upload my pictures to the cloud, I just want to edit one on my PC.   I tried uploading a single jpeg to the cloud and it received it, but there didn’t seem to be any editing tools on the screen.   Picasa was easy to understand and use.  I’m thinking they haven’t quite thought this through for folks with laptops.

    Liked by 1 person

If anyone needs to re-install Picasa after Google stops it being downloaded, it might be possible to install it from this website which keeps historic copies of popular software – http://www.oldversion.com/windows/picasa/. The download in about 15 Mb and I’m assuming that it is the full installation package and that it doesn’t need to go to Google servers to download anything else. I’ve not tested that out.

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I’ve been hearing this buzz and was a little nervous. I have a picasa account that stores photos from my blogspot blogs as well as some other photos I’ve uploaded. I opened google photos and saw some of the photos I uploaded but not the photos from my blogs. Any idea where those photos go?

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This is why I keep all my documents on my computer, running programs on my computer. Relying on anyone else to care about your data is guaranteed to disappoint.

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Is there a program out there for Mac users?

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Dick, this statement is misleading, “Google is replacing Picasa with Google Photos.” Picasa3 the desktop program is not being replaced by Google Photos and in no way can the two be compared. One is a desktop editor and organizer; the other is cloud storage, editing, and sharing. The desktop program is being retired (meaning no updates) but it can still be used. “Picasa Web Albums” website will no longer work after May 1 but will be archived somewhere so that links to photos still work – it is this product that is being replaced by Google Photos. Unfortunately, many cool features from PWA have not made it to GP yet. Google Photos albums already have been displaying Picasa Web Albums since last year, but not all of them. For instance albums for Blogger, Hangouts, and Photos by posts (in G+) currently are not displayed in GP. Keep updated on the latest news about Picasa and Picasa Web Albums here: https://sites.google.com/site/picasaresources/Home/Picasa-FAQ
Feel free to ask questions at the Picasa Help forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/picasa
and at the Google Photos help forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!categories/photos/picasa

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The problem with google photo’s is that it (1) assumes fast broadband (1Mbps++ upload) and (2) unlimited data plans.

I have 5000Gb of photos, but being in Australia my costs to upload this would be in the $100’s of dollars. And the uploads would take days (this is Oz after all)

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Aaron Richardson IV May 16, 2016 at 7:25 pm

Google Photos may have some features that are better than Picasa, but if you have a large number of albums in Picasa moving to Google Photos will not be fun. I have over 2,000 albums in Picasa, and I do add to those albums on a regular basis. This is very easy in Picasa. I’m able to open the ablum, and click on the add photo option. In Google Photos you have to upload the photos to your account, then select the photos you want to move to an existing album, and then you have to choose the existing album from a list of albums. This is horrible!!! Not only are some of the albums not on the list, but the albums are not listed in alphabetical order. So for someone like myself it is going to be nearly impossible to move folders to existing albums in Google Photos. Looks like it’s time to move away from Google for storing photos. 😦 I miss Picasa!!!

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If Google is closing the photo storage in August 2019 since the hacker got 500,000 accounts in July, where are we supposed to put our albums from Google photos? I have at least 2000+ on Google Photos and Google is shutting it down and Google hangouts, not sure what all is going, but Google photos is. Where do we store them and how?? I also have many in Picasa, is it going also??!!!??

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    —> where are we supposed to put our albums from Google photos?

    The quick answer is: “On any other online service or in your own hard drive(s).”

    That sounds like facetious answer but I am very serious.

    If you have been reading my past articles about making backup copies of important files, documents, pictures, and videos, you will note that I have written many times to never, ever depend upon any one copy of your important files as your only copy. Things happen: businesses go bankrupt and offline, businesses sometimes get bought out and the new owners may not continue to have the same business objectives as the previous owners, hard drives fail, tornadoes destroy computers and disk drives, burst water pipes sometimes destroy family archives, and what is probably the most common cause of disappearing files of all: human errors.

    If your files (documents, images, videos, whatever) are important to you, always have AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT COPIES, STORED IN TWO DIFFERENT PLACES.

    Having three copies of everything stored in three different places is even better. Having four copies is better still and there is nothing wrong with having five or more copies of your important things, all stored in different places.

    That’s cheap insurance. If any one copy disappears for any reason, it will be a mild inconvenience, not a disaster.

    Also, keep the copies on different media. Keep one copy of everything in a cloud-based file storage service, another copy in a hard drive in your home, still another copy on flash drives or CD-ROM disks in your bank’s safe deposit box, and maybe additional copies in a desk drawer at the office. If you have both a desktop and a laptop computer, keep copies on each. If it is genealogy-related information, give copies to a relative who also has an interest and ask him or her to keep at least one copy for you or maybe even make additional copies and store them in different locations of his or her choosing.

    I didn’t invent this term but I have adopted it as my mantra: L.O.C.K.S.S. – Lots Of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe.

    NOW is the time to download your images from Google Photos and copy them to other storage media, stored in other places.

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    OnionZwiebel (Google Photos PE) October 29, 2018 at 1:51 am

    Linda,
    Google Photos is NOT shutting down. If you have photos at Google Photos, you can find them at https://photos.google.com/
    Google Photos albums are here: https://photos.google.com/albums
    Picasa Web Albums retired in 2016, but any albums you had uploaded there were moved by Google to “Album Archive”: https://get.google.com/albumarchive
    At the same time, any photos you had at Picasa Web Albums were automatically moved to Google Photos. Google Photos and Album Archive are not shutting down.
    However, Google+ for consumers is shutting down in August 2019. They will let you know how you can download or migrate your data at Google+
    https://plus.google.com/communities/115758385206378551362
    You can also download your Google+ data at any time by using Google Takeout as described here:
    https://blog.thatagency.com/how-to-use-google-takeout-download-your-google-data
    You wrote, “I also have many in Picasa, is it going also??!!!??” – see my comment above about Picasa Web Albums. If you mean the Picasa3 program that is installed on your computer, you can use that program forever (or as long as it still works on Windows 10). Google discontinued support for Picasa3 in 2016 but it still works fine on computers. The Picasa3 program isn’t actually storing photos – it only displays photos and videos that are stored on your computer so that you can organize and edit photos. If you no longer wish to use Picasa3 and uninstall it, your photos will still exist on your computer.
    Please make backups as Dick Eastman described.

    Like

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