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How To Move Google Picasa to a New Computer

I’ve always been a big fan of Google’s photo management software, . It’s simple to use, packed with features and oh yeah – it’s free! This week I upgraded my main box to Windows 8 and because I’ve spent HUNDREDS of hours organizing my photos, albums and Facial Tags, there was no-way I wanted to rebuild everything from scratch. Good news, you don’t have to!

Moving your Google Picasa to a new computer is simple as long as you first copy of all your photos and, Picasa is installed under the same user paths as your old system. For example, when I moved over my Picasa install to my new computer, my user profile was located at c:\users\skrause\ on both systems so both my photos and Google database / config files will be located in the same place.


Keep this in mind when creating your user account on your new Windows PC.

With that said, let’s jump right into it.

How To Move Picasa to a New Computer

Step 1 – Download and install Google Picasa on your new Computer but do not to launch it after install.

Step 2 – On your OLD computer or install of Picasa, goto c:\users\skrause\appdata\local\google and copy the two subfolders Picasa2Albums and Picasa2 into the same location on your new computer.

It’s OK to copy these folders to a USB drive in order to get them to your new computer. Just be sure to copy them into the exact same folder c:\users\skrause\appdata\local\google\ on your new computer.

Note: Don’t forget to replace my users name skrause with your username. :)


Once you copy over your photos and the two folders above, launch Picasa and you will be golden!


15 Responses to How To Move Google Picasa to a New Computer

  1. Bogdan Bele September 28, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Useful one, especially since a lot of people will be making the transition pretty soon.

  2. Mark Liflander March 15, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Steve, what if I’m doing the editing for someone else on my computer, then want to transfer the database and pics to that person’s computer? And what if I’m Win7 and they’re Mac?
    Thanks, Mark

    • Steve Krause August 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      Windows 7 Vs. Windows 8 — the process is identical. You just need to find where those two folders I mentioned are stored (should be the same place).

      Now… in regards to Windows Vs. MAC, sorry you’re on your own on that one. I have a MAC and love my MAC but, my photos are all on my Windows Desktop. My guess is it probably won’t work between the two PC’s unless of course the database files are compatible between the two platforms but I find that will probably be a stretch.

  3. Dave Hoffman August 11, 2013 at 9:20 am #


    My wife’s Windows 7 laptop died yesterday, thankfully not the hard drive, and she had never done a proper backup of her Picasa work (the photos were saved elsewhere, but not the Picasa editing).

    Thanks to this article (and a SATA-to-USB cable), I was able to put all of her photos, with the Picasa albums and editing intact, on a new Windows 8 laptop with no loss of data.

    In other words, you’re my hero!

    • Steve Krause August 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      AWESOME DAVE! Thanks for the comment and the story.

      I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. As I mentioned in my article, once Picasa becomes a port of your digital photo workflow, it can be a disaster if all that work is lost. I’m very happy to hear my article helped out you and your wife.

      Welcome to our gP community!

      • MB November 28, 2013 at 6:05 am #


        I am moving from a Win7 to a Win8 pc.

        My Win7 pc was partitioned in to a C and E drive and all my pictures were on the E drive.
        My Win8 hard drive is not partitioned and only has a C drive.

        When I copied the Picasa2 files to my new pc the name tags etc were lost.
        I imagine it has something to do with the drive letters being different in the 2 PCs.

        Is there a way I can trick the system to recognize my drive letter change short of partitioning my Win8 pc?

  4. HK September 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Is the destination/folder still Picasa2 if upgraded to Picasa version 3 on the new PC?

  5. Karen December 25, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Thank you, this worked straight away. My photos are stored on an external drive and this was a very quick way of transferring my Picasa albums and edits to a new computer.

  6. Ginger January 31, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    I have Picaso 3 on my laptop. I got a new computer. I have yet to attempt the switch… had a couple questions first.

    1. My old laptop belonged to my mother in law and her name is the user name. So, will I have to create that destination folder on my new laptop?

    2. My pics are stored in 3 destinations. Can I combine them into one location on my original laptop so they are in one place to transfer, or do I need to keep the 3 and create these destinations on my new computer?

  7. Gary February 17, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Thank you! This process worked great! There are all kinds of complicated processes posted on how to do this. I knew there had to be a simple way and this was it. My pictures were stored on network drives and this reconnected to them when I got a new computer.

    • Steve Krause February 17, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks for the feedback Gary. Yeah when I went threw it I couldn’t find a good source with accurate info. Glad it worked for ya (and welcome to groovyPost!)


  8. JohnH February 20, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    Worked great! But not to worry if you have run Picasa on your new computer already. This process merely takes Picasa to the state the old computer is at.

  9. Doc April 20, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Discovered a nice surprise in my move from XP to Win7. I used the Winows Easy Transfer tool to save my old documents and user info. I also followed your instructions above to save my album and tag info to an external drive. After installing Windows 7, I then started the Easy Transfer tool to restore user settings. After installing Picasa, I discovered that the tool had already restored the Picassa data folders to the new Uses folder. Cool.

  10. Ferenc January 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm #


    very good and usefull post, thanks for this. I store my pictures on a NAS, and attached as a drive letter into my PC (Win7). I’ve got a new one (Win8.1), and could migrate the entire database with this method very smoothly. Many thanks!

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