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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!

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33 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!

  11. bedefelts March 11, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Great help Steve…worked first time and you can’t always say that!

  12. WallyworldMN May 15, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Perfect instructions! Worked like a charm!

    I was rebuilding a computer and had a backup of my user files from the old computer. The photos all reside on network drives and the new installation immediately opened with all the photos and albums after following your instructions. This was a lifesaver!

    • Steve Krause May 15, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

      Awesome! Glad it worked out for you. Yeah, last thing I wanted to do was start from scratch with all my photos. Way…. way… too much work!

  13. TANYA June 6, 2015 at 5:30 pm #

    This is probably a dumb question but I don’t see on my c what you have typed at all. I tried to type in a search for it & it didn’t show up, so is there a step I am missing?

  14. Jeff June 7, 2015 at 12:28 am #

    Tanya, you probably need to turn on the ability to see “hidden files and folders”.

    From the Control Panel in Windows 7, choose the “Folder Options”. In the Folder Options dialog box, look for a tab labeled “View”. Select the “View” tab and one of the options is “Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives”. Click the radio button for this option and click OK. You can close and reopen Windows File Explorer and the AppData folder and everything below will be visible. Allowing Windows File Explorer to show these hidden items is a necessary step that probably should have been included in the explanation. There are numerous ways to get to the same menu to make the changes that I described and it doesn’t matter which way you do it.

    There are a bunch of videos on YouTube that show different ways to turn on the hidden files and folders. Here is a video that someone posted:

    Once you turn on the hidden files and folders, follow the instructions that Steve provided and it will work exactly as described!

  15. Harry August 10, 2015 at 10:12 am #

    How about transfer of Picasa pictures from windows 7 to a new computer with windows 10?

  16. mathew October 3, 2015 at 8:45 am #

    @Harry, had the same problem, eventually found that in Win10 the 2 folders should go here:
    C:Users\username\AppData\Local\Google, which you can reach in File explorer via ‘This PC’, if you have ‘view hidden files’ checked.

    HOWEVER, the above instructions do NOT work! Opened Picasa and absolutely nothing happened. ;(

    Basically, I’m giving up on Picasa. These problems have been reported for years and years, and Google doesn’t seem to care. Same with Google Drive – just stopped synching, for absolutely no reason.

    • Steve Krause October 3, 2015 at 8:01 pm #

      @Harry & @Matthew — Windows 10…. OK, I’ll have to give this another look. Worked great for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. Not sure why the same process won’t work with Windows 10. I did an “in place upgrade” and everything is still working with Picasa. For a new install…. Will have to test it.

      I’ll spin up another Win 10 VM and give it a shot and update the article.


  17. mathew October 4, 2015 at 3:34 am #

    Last night I realised the problem:
    – the photos are stored in an external HDD which my old PC had assigned to network drive letter “I”
    – but when I attached external HDD to my new PC, it assigned a different network drive

    As soon as I renamed the drive letter on my new PC to “I”, it works! 😉

    Of course, renaming the drive was its own challenge. The only help files I found ( were for Win 7, but doing a search of Control Panel to find “Computer Management” got me to where I needed to be.

    Hope this helps.
    – Mathew

  18. Martin October 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    Thank you for your excellent article on moving Picasa. I was able to move from Windows7 to Windows 10. I can add a few notes:

    The user name (skrause in original post) does not matter. My old user name was martin and my new user name is marti.

    I keep my pictures on a seperate mechanical hard drive (D:). I moved my Picasa2Albums folder to this drive, and created a Windows Symbolic Link to point to this folder, as follows:

    C:UsersmartiAppDataLocalGoogle>mklink /J picasa2 d:picspicasadb
    Junction created for picasa2 <> d:picspicasadb

    Volume in drive C has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 0A86-84D0

    Directory of C:UsersmartiAppDataLocalGoogle

    10/27/2015 05:18 PM .
    10/27/2015 05:18 PM ..
    10/27/2015 11:54 AM Chrome
    10/27/2015 12:37 PM Chrome Cleanup Tool
    10/27/2015 11:54 AM CrashReports
    10/27/2015 04:41 PM GBScreensaver
    10/27/2015 05:16 PM picasa2 [d:picspicasadb]
    10/27/2015 05:18 PM Picasa2Albums
    10/27/2015 04:47 PM Picasa2orig
    0 File(s) 0 bytes
    9 Dir(s) 447,827,410,944 bytes free


    This way, the Picasa2Albums folder follows my pictures around when I move them.

  19. BEAN December 17, 2015 at 6:14 am #

    I’ll throw a variation in just so others searching my find it useful. The last time I made the move a few years ago, I believe I used backups and then just plugged the drive into the new box for the move.

    This time the old machine isn’t bootable, so while I have access to the drive, I can’t create the backups. Hence the search that brought me here.

    Both drives are c:\, so I can’t rename like @mathew did, and this is a move from Win7 to Win10, so I made a note of the different locations of the Picasa DB and meta files.

    I don’t think I can do what @Martin did with a symlink, since I want to move everything and not just have it work as I move the same external drive.

  20. Mick June 6, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

    seems you cannot download the picassa program anymore ..
    will try and copy the program

    • Steve Krause June 6, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

      Yeah… unfortunately Google has discontinued Google Picasa in order to focus on Google Photos –

      Very sad day…. 🙁

      • Jeff June 6, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

        The Google Picasa site is still up in the UK and has version

      • Kaye June 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

        Steve, have you found a “replacement” for Picassa? I found it to be so user friendly and am now at a loss to know what or where to go … I really don’t like the new “Google Photos” format and it does not appear to be anywhere near Picassa.

    • Jeff June 6, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

      The installer is still available here:

      Get it while you can. Version This is almost the last version. I think that it went to with the last update.

      Google photos cannot do the things that Picasa did. Unfortunate but Google kills all of it’s useful utilities in favor of stuff that helps them tie into money making operations. There are too many examples and we are left with dumbed-down apps that just don’t compare to the original offerings.

      • Kat Thomas December 9, 2016 at 9:29 am #

        Just picking up my new pc and googled your read on how to transfer my Picasa to new PC. ALL sounded great till I got to this info at the bottom.
        Any new help?? It’s 12-9-16.
        I have hours of organization into separate family folders and topics to transfer…

    • Pauline June 27, 2016 at 2:49 am #

      How do you copy the program to move it to another?

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