Picasa Is Going Away: 5 Reasons You Should Be Disappointed

Dann Albright 14-03-2016

In case you haven’t heard the news, Picasa is going away. In mid-February, Google announced that it would be discontinuing Picasa and focusing its efforts on Google Photos Get Free Unlimited Photo Storage & More with Google Photos If you aren't using these hidden Google Photos features, you're really missing out. (Hint: There's free and unlimited photo storage!) Read More , the online photo management system that syncs photos across your computer, laptop, and mobile devices. Some people are happy about the change, or just don’t care, but there are good reasons to be disappointed that Picasa’s long run is ending.


Offline Editing

More and more things are going to the cloud, from photo sharing to eBook reading Read eBooks From Anywhere You Want With Kindle Cloud Reader The Cloud Reader lets you access your entire Kindle library and read any of those books, or any new books you may want to download, from the convenience of any computer or device in the... Read More . Picasa was nice in that it was a desktop app that didn’t require an Internet connection — you could edit your vacation photos on the plane ride home without paying exorbitant fees for in-flight Wi-Fi. Uploading photos from an SD card How to Pick & Buy the Best SD Card for Your Needs What kind of SD card is right for you? Not all of them are the same, after all. Here are the minimum specs you should aim for depending any given activity or need. Read More to your computer took place in a snap. And if you didn’t feel comfortable sharing all of your photos with Google, you didn’t have to.


Now that’s all changed. You need to be online to use the browser app, because everything’s in the cloud, though you can presumably use the mobile apps offline. Photos are uploaded to Google’s servers, which could take a long time if you’ve taken hundreds or thousands of pictures since your last upload (or if you just have a slow Internet connection 9 Things That Might Be Slowing Down Your Home Wi-Fi Network Tired of slow or spotty internet? Check these things that could be slowing down your home Wi-Fi network. Read More ).

And, if you use the new service, Google has all of your photos in their possession. Which may or may not be an issue, depending on how you feel about your information being out on the Internet.

Easy Organization

One word that people have used about Picasa’s photo management capabilities Picasa - Still The Best & Most Versatile Photo Manager Available How many photos would you say you have? More than a hundred? Six hundred? A thousand? Pictures are a big part of all of our lives, but there is else something which is equally important... Read More is “intuitive,” which is something that Google Photos is not. Picasa’s sidebar full of folders and albums is easy to navigate and make changes to. The Collections explorer in Google Photos takes some getting used to, and does away with the distinction of folders and albums. Tags were good for keep track of specific types of photos or projects that you were working on, but those are gone, too.



Picasa made it easy to scan through thousands of photos by letting you scale the thumbnails down so you could see a bunch of them at a time. Scanning through large albums on Google Photos is not nearly as easy, as the photos are huge. And Google Photos lacks the ability to click and drag photos into new locations. It’s possible that the new service will get better in this department, but it’s far behind Picasa at the moment.

Versatile Editing

In addition to Picasa’s easy organizational tools, it also offered a number of photo editing options 10 Free Photo Editor Tools To Make The Most Of Your Shots Whatever happened to all the snapshots you've taken in the past? If you've got plans and ideas, here are some great Windows and some cross platform tools to process them with. Read More that you could access right from the photo view; fill light, highlight and shadow adjustments, red eye removal, color temperature adjustment, neutral color picker, and a number of fun effects like film grain, cinemascope, inverted colors, pencil sketch, and polaroid were a click away.



Google Photos instead gives you three editing tools and 14 filters. If you want a very specific look for your photos, you’ll have to look elsewhere for more editing power, because Google Photos just doesn’t give you much. There’s not even a histogram. It’s possible that Google will add more in the future, but Picasa’s dead simple and very fast editing tools set it apart from many of the other photo management software programs out there, and what was arguably its best feature is now gone.

Unlimited Photo Size

Picasa, because it worked with photos stored on your computer’s drive, would let you save and edit photos of any size and in any image format JPEG, GIF, or PNG? Image Filetypes Explained and Tested Do you know the differences between JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs, and other image filetypes? Do you know when you should use one instead of the other? Fear not, MakeUseOf explains everything! Read More . And Google Photos lets you do the same thing… up to a point. If you upload photos at their original size and resolution, they count against your Google Drive storage. When you sign up for Google Drive, you get 15 GB for free, and that’s used for files stored in Drive, your Gmail account, and your photos. It doesn’t take long to get to 15 GB of photos (though you’re free to pay for more).


Google Photos offers free “unlimited” storage, but only if you allow the service to scale your photos down for you. The Settings panel doesn’t say how much they’re scaled, only that they have “great visual quality at reduced file size.”


Of course, Google is banking on the fact that so many people use their phones as their primary cameras and will be automatically uploading all of their photos directly from the Google Photos mobile app to their servers. If that’s the case, the automatic photo compression might not bother you, but if you use a DSLR or are trying to improve your photography 5 Simple Ways to Improve your Photography While there are plenty of ways to improve your photos, the best way is to improve the process by which you take them. Here are some awesome tips from one of MakeUseOf's professional photographers. Read More , this could be an issue.

A Hands-Off Approach

Picasa, like most desktop software, just did what you told it to do. It didn’t try to hold your hand (at least not very much; few Google products are totally hands-off). You could use whatever kind of crazy organizational systems and make whatever edits you wanted, because you were just messing around with files on your hard drive. Google Photos changes that.


With its automatic categorization of photos, a heavy reliance on “Auto” editing, and the new Assistant — which makes collages out of your photos 3 Tips to Help You Create Photo Collages the Easy Way Creating collages can be a bit time-consuming if you do it yourself in MS Paint or Photoshop. If you don’t feel exactly creative, your work may not even bring you the results you want. I... Read More and shows them to you — Google is taking a much heavier-handed approach to the management of your photos. Where they’re stored, how they’re organized, and even what they look like is now much more strongly directed by Google. Again, this may change. But it doesn’t seem likely.


Time to Look for a Replacement

Picasa (and Picasa Web Albums) is going away on March 15, and I’d recommend finding a replacement as soon as you can. Google Photos is a decent idea, but it just isn’t a sufficient replacement for the perennial organization and editing favorite that it’s replacing.

Unfortunately, good replacements aren’t easy to come by — Picasa had a hold on the market for a reason. It might finally be time to start using a dedicated photo editing app like Pixelmator or GIMP The 8 Best Free and Paid Image Editors for Mac Here are the best free and paid Mac image editors, whether you're a professional professional or amateur shutterbug. Read More and another cloud-based service like Flickr, which has a bunch of other cool uses More Than Photo Sharing: 5 Unique Uses for Flickr Flickr is best known as one of the easiest ways to share and store your photos online. We've come up with a few unique ways you can get more out of Flickr that go beyond... Read More , for organizational and sharing purposes.

Let us know in the comments how you’ll be replacing Picasa; I’d love to hear your recommendations, as I’ll be looking for a Picasa replacement soon myself!

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  1. Diane Greenwell
    January 29, 2019 at 6:22 am

    I have not found a collage app that comes close to Picasa. I loved how you could do a collage from hundreds of photos. I did this with each of my family members then framed them as gifts. Everyone loved seeing their changes over time. Now we only get 9 photos in squares! Please bring back Picasa Collage the old way!

  2. Big Daddy Dave
    April 9, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Loved Picassa! Most of my photos are taken with my camera and downloaded via a chip. I post to my blog site 3 times a week. With Picassa it was easy to organize and enhance my the photos but Google is all over the place. My wife takes screen shots on her phone of something and they're mingled with my blog photos. Google is making a fun hobby a total pain! I may just give it up. Photos I can't enhance, some I can't find, confusing filing, etc. What a waste! FYI, I'm trying to make corrections above but I can't go back. What's with that!

    • Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
      August 27, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      I'm with you on that. Google screwed up royally in taking away a perfectly good and user friendly app that i love, and FORCING me to swallow their half-baked alternative, Google photos, which has shown how supposedly "smart" apps can become totally stupid. My photos online are now a total mess of disorganization and replication, with some photos appearing 3 or 4 times. I'm disgusted with Google and will at some point choose different options.

  3. Pete
    December 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    It's been several months since this has shut down. Google Photos is nowhere near a replacement -nor do I think was ever intended to be. I sense this is all being driven by the popularity of mobile vs. desktop and the needs of a younger generation, whose own desires may not align with yours and mine. We are already we are seeing Ads that suggest the demise of "PC"s as a popular tool over phones and tablets. In a few short years, you'll be pricing docking stations, monitors and keyboards at the phone store. That will be your new "PC". I'm not saying this is bad, it's just progress.

    I'm using Google Photos only because it's the embedded default on my new phone. However, it's nothing more than a simple cloud storage with a few options. It's nice to have the storage and I'm using it now in that regards.

    However, what is and has always remained true was to never trust putting all your eggs into one basket. That is, even if you find a decent alternative, whose to say it'll be gone next year?

    Therefore, nothing beats a few extra USB hard drives in a drawer for storage, while printing out valuable keepsakes into protective binders. I've been doing this for decades and see no reason to change.

  4. Lee
    November 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    I spent most of the spring and summer in and out of the hospital, so totally missed any information about the end of Picasa. In August my ancient laptop gave out. I was able to transfer documents to an external hard drive. But now I have a new computer without Picasa, can't download Picasa onto it, and have a ton of photos that I never put into albums. Since most of the photos were records of my business projects, I am now, as best I can tell, completely screwed. I went to Google Photos on the new computer, but only have a tiny fraction of the photos I had on Picasa. HELP!!! Can anyone tell me if there's a way to get my photos back?

    • Moira Baker
      November 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      To make matters worse, I have tried to send my Picasa pics and some people can't open them so I am wondering if you will be able to get all your pics back when you use a new format... just saying......

  5. Michael Cooke
    October 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Loved Picasa. Going to try ACDC (sp?) For desktop, recommended by a friend. Any comments on that app?

  6. John
    May 31, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Just discovered my photos are all gone from Picasa. They were just there a week ago. I have no idea where they went. I spent 100's of hours of editing them on Picasa. They are all color slides that I spent nearly a week transferring to SD cards and then downloading to the hard drive. I still have the SD cards and the original slides. All that time and effort was wasted and I have no idea where the photos went. Does anyone have an idea where they went?

  7. Marcy
    May 27, 2017 at 3:57 am

    I am lost as to what to do with the loss of Picassa. All of my photo's have disappeared and google photo's does not work well. I have no idea how to transfer photo's to my external harddrive. If anyone can help me, I would appreciate it very much.

    • Catherine J
      May 28, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      I wish I could help you , but I am in the same boat! I shall follow your post and hope a computer guru comes to our rescue! ;)

    • Dann Albright
      May 29, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Well, if your photos have disappeared, there won't be anything to move to an external drive. I assume that you can still find them on your computer, though . . . so all you need to do is plug in the hard drive and drag the files from your computer to the hard drive in your file explorer. That's usually all that needs to be done, but it depends on your computer and the drive.

  8. David R Mountjoy
    May 20, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I really really miss picassa!

    • Dann Albright
      May 22, 2017 at 4:52 pm

      Me too! My wife still has a copy on her computer, so that helps . . . but I know it's not going to last forever.

  9. Luigi Tomasi
    May 5, 2017 at 2:36 am

    I am not sure how I have 1,000 photos on Picasa that I also had in my own private album. I transferred my own album content to the laptop but I still see this Picasa folder that I am unable to get rid of.
    Any idea how I could get rid of it?
    Regarding a replacement for Picasa why would I replace something that I do not recall I deberately chose in the first place?

    • Dann Albright
      May 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      I'm not really sure how to answer your question; if Picasa was previously installed on your computer, I'm fairly certain someone had to install it . . . unless maybe you're on a Chromebook, in which case it's possible that Picasa came pre-installed?

  10. Em
    May 3, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I found out just by chance about this whole Picasa fiasco. My elderly mother was hospitalized for quite some time, so I had very little time or desire to do much with my photos. For Mom's obituary I went in to my program to find and edit a photo of her and I was shocked and angry to find that I was being forced to move my photos to google and that they were shutting down this programs. I did the switch because I didn't want to loose the couple of albums that I had there or all the photos, and there were numerous. I hate google photo and I refuse to use it. Nor do I have any idea what to use for a program in the future. The ease and simplicity of Picasa can not be beat. I have had several editions of photo elements but have always gone back to Picasa. My other issue is that I came across information that Picasa would still be usable but on my mac it opens and then shuts down. Then a couple of weeks ago it was back up and running. To say that I was thrilled is an understatement. But to my dismay it didn't last and now I am back where I started from. Am unsure if I want to try the other programs that you suggested. If Picasa would just continue to be able to run on my mac that would be sufficient for me. Do you have any idea as to why it won't run?


    • Dann Albright
      May 13, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      I haven't heard of anyone else's copy firing up and then shutting down right away again; my wife is still using hers successfully. You might try finding an archived copy somewhere online; I haven't gone looking, but I bet you can download a new copy somewhere. That might help (though be wary of downloading other stuff with it).

  11. Richard
    April 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    It doesn't look like anything will replace Picasa....all the offerings are either too basic or too complicated....or they cost a lot of money....purchase or monthly subscription....Google Photos stinks...cropping only works proportionally, you can't alphabetize the albums, so it's impossible to find the one you want (and I've got dozens of albums), you can't put any text in the photo to ID people, places or things, if you share a pic it comes through as a google photos doc and can't be saved they now own the photo....if you put photos into an album, they are still in the original location, so I can't tell what I've "moved" and what I haven''s awful! we need to lobby Google to bring Picasa back! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    • Dann Albright
      April 22, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Yeah, Picasa occupied a perfect middle ground between simple and advanced. I still haven't come across anything that fills that gap, but I'm hopeful that someone will see an opportunity and build something that works well.

    • Deborah Trout
      August 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      I feel your pain. I have been using picasa for years. I failed to learn it was going away until it did. I am lost.

  12. Ann Lorraine Johnson
    April 20, 2017 at 2:29 am

    I'll be pulling my hair out trying to find a set of photos that now seem to be scattered everywhere on Google photos. What were they thinking. How I miss Picasa.

    • Dann Albright
      April 22, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      You're certainly not the only one! Have you tried playing around with search in Google Photos? I've heard it's pretty good, though haven't tried it myself.

  13. Dave
    January 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Has anyone found a suitable replacement that also offers face recognition? That was one of my favorite features with a family photos going back 14 years. Sure made putting together photo books or calendars easier when searching for someone's photos. Thanks,

    • Dann Albright
      January 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm

      As far as I'm aware, the best option for that is Photoshop Elements. I believe both Apple's Photos app and the Windows 10 photo manager have that capability as well. I'm not sure how any of these compare to Picasa, but at least it's something!

  14. Joanne Rees
    December 31, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I've just bought a new pc and am in despair. I've been using Picasa for around 15 years and have so many folders on there, but hardly any are uploaded to web albums, so unless I now do that, I can't view them on Google photos. Even more frustrating is the fact that my photos have imported onto my new pc with the date of modification rather than the date they were taken. The photos within each folder have the correct dates on them, but not the folders. Consequently they have been organised alphabetically, rather than by date order. I've tried numerous ways to restore the date to the folder but can't figure it out!

    • Dann Albright
      December 31, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      That's a tough one, and without actually having the computers in front of me, I can't offer a whole lot of suggestions (especially if it's a PC, and not a Mac). Really sorry to hear that you've run up against this issue! I hope you find a good way to manage your photos post-Picasa.

  15. joel
    December 10, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    what i miss is here is a
    1. free
    2. image ORGANIZATION software that knows to
    3. recognize ppl
    4. recognize places, dates etc.
    basically all this what picasa did..

    • Dann Albright
      December 14, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      Yeah, Picasa was good at all of that. Alas...

  16. RaymonidinAK
    October 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    I'm going to continue using Picassa 3 as long as I can. I just re-installed in on a Windows 10 machine form an install file I downloaded from google while it was still being offered.
    It looks like other sites are continuing to offer the install for download.

    • Dann Albright
      October 21, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Yeah, it shouldn't be too hard to find for most systems for quite a while, I would think. People love it, and if they have useful files to share, they'll find a way!

  17. tomtom
    August 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    my picasa photos are moved to rubbish google photo web interface ....

    • Dann Albright
      August 31, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Yep, that's what's been happening!

  18. Paulo
    August 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    This is very dumb from Google. That they replace Picasa web albums for Google Photos is not a concern. Shutting down the desktop application, which is the best photo organiser and most friendly editing tool available for the PC is trully a bad move. Wouldn't it be more intelligent to rename Picasa Desktop to "Google Photos Desktop" and link it to Google Photos?

    • Dann Albright
      August 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

      You'd think so! I'm sure they did a lot of research and thinking about their different options, and somehow this aligned with their priorities, but it's really hard to imagine them thinking that it would better serve users. Very frustrating.

  19. Mary Schreiber
    May 1, 2016 at 3:09 am

    Dann - Thank you for your article and for moderating this discussion. I'm just sick about Picasa going away. I love the Picasa folder organization and editing capabilities. I'm looking for an alternative program because I want to continue to do my editing on my desktop. I especially like how easy it is to transfer photos from one album/folder to another. My biggest concern about switching to another program is how all of my edits and captions would transfer. Apparently Picasa keeps the edits in a separate folder? I've spent hundreds of hours editing, and don't want to have to start over. Has anyone had any luck switching to another program? Thanks!

    • Dann Albright
      May 3, 2016 at 1:40 pm

      That's a really tough one. On my Mac, Picasa updates the files with the changes you've made, but archives a copy of the original in a hidden folder, so you should be able to import the edited versions of the photos into any other program. I'm not sure about captions, though, as I don't tend to caption my photos. Though some older captions did get uploaded to Flickr when I uploaded my pictures, so it's possible that they're encoded in the image file. In that case, they should go right over to any other app when you import them.

  20. alzuga
    April 27, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Totally agree with you. I have no idea how to replace Picasa. Had exactly all the concerns documented in your article. For the moment... I´ll keep using it and will try your suggestions. I just don´t want all my pics in the cloud... would like easy but more editing features and really loved the way I organized my pics with Picasa.

    • Dann Albright
      May 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Have you come up with any better solutions yet? I'm using Flickr for sharing, and Pixelmator for heavy-duty editing, but haven't committed to an app for lighter editing or organizing yet.

  21. Nathan Jones
    April 7, 2016 at 8:49 am

    So, Google... any chance for a Windows app? Preferably of the UWP model? Because web apps don't work to open pictures on your desktop....

  22. Coenraad
    April 3, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Google rode software freedom to where they are, help us nudge them to give this back to the community so we can grow it by signing out petition:

    • Dann Albright
      May 3, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Thanks for sharing this petition! I hope it comes to something.

    • Stella Lee
      February 14, 2017 at 4:09 am

      Signed and shared - I knew someone had to be organising this!

  23. Janice Haynes
    March 23, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    I picked up my phone the other day to take a picture and was told I couldn't as my phone was full. Strange as I had only taken about 10 pictures with my phone. Somehow, without my permission, knowledge or notification, all my photos from Picasa were uploaded to my phone. I'm a genealogist and I have many pictures of documents, census pages, and actual photos from the past many years. I don't want them on my phone, but nowhere can I find out if I can delete them from my phone while still keeping them on my computer.

    • Dann Albright
      March 25, 2016 at 2:11 am

      Did you have any Picasa web albums? That might cause the transfer. If not, I'm not really sure why that would happen, but I'm not all that surprised. That's pretty irritating, though. Have you found a solution for getting rid of them on your phone without deleting them from your computer?

  24. Jonathan Perry
    March 23, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Well, I've used Picasa for years few things match the power, speed and simplicity. It still works I've not check if the web upload is still functional. Doubt I'll look for something new. I'm all "innovatived" out its even worse with playstore apps that are constantly updatong and forcing updates ive stopped using apps because they broke something, bloated something or i dislike the updated program. I stuck with Office 2k3 becaus we I dont have time to relearn a n updated program. Google is a bit better about not breaking apps and forcing updates. Life's to short to relearn an ipdated program every couple months.

    • Dann Albright
      March 25, 2016 at 2:10 am

      I know what you mean; sometimes it just feels ridiculous how often developers change up their apps. As far as I can tell, Google Photos is meant to be a very easy transition from Picasa. The interface is actually really nice, even if it's missing some important tools. But yes, Picasa should work for quite a while, so you shouldn't have any problems continuing to use it.

      • Jonathan Perry
        March 25, 2016 at 5:47 pm

        I'm not to worried unless Win10 or newer OS doesn't support Picasa then there's a Virtual box but thats a pain. But for those that are intrested in Google Nik which one commenter shared it is no longer $150 package Google not offering it free and refund for those that spent $150-500 previously on the package. But for now Ive used Picasa as well as the former plugon Hello since 2003-04 and I've yet to see a comparably powerful or lightwieht photo image database, image editor/manipulation program that is intuitive and simple to use. Granted its not PS or Gimp, but I'm not a graphics designer or artist, but it also doesn't come with the same learning curve and time investment either. Picasa offers more features than I use on a regular basis.

  25. GKotzias
    March 23, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    I have been using FastStone Image Viewer 5.5, by FastStone (Non-Commercial Freeware) for years as my main image management application as well as Picassa. It is full featured and easy to use.

  26. Chaarlie
    March 22, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Although I forget who Google acquired it from I do remember Picasa being (approx) a 40USD program. And then it was free, which was when I'd first downloaded/installed it, which was a long while ago because I became frustrated with it growing in size with every addition of images I'd tweak. Yeah, I know I could have disabled that feature but I didn't; I prefer my own convoluted filing system.

    I also prefer pushing pixels from a locally-installed app, as opposed to doing it online, but then I don't mind paying for a program I like, have confidence in and am familiar with.

    Back in 2012 Google gobbled up Nik, a reputable and noteworthy cachet image editing outfit. Nik never did have a $40 app/plugin/filter. To this day Nik's offerings through Google are not as pricey as they used to be but are far from being free and are (AFAIK) available for purchase only in bundle.

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Another commenter also downloaded Picasa back before the Google days, and they said it wasn't a great app then. I'd never heard of Nik—it looks really interesting! Do you use it now?

      • Charlie
        March 22, 2016 at 11:34 pm

        Oh, I liked Picasa by Google. Aside from its' alluring price of free I found it to be feature-packed and intuitive.

        As for Nik, you can discover more about their current bundle here: [Broken Link Removed]

        Before being swallowed by the big G they enjoyed a reputation near the pinnacle of a small group of plugin providers like Topaz, Alien Skin Software, onOne, Auto FX and Digital Anarchy. As of late (for Mac OS X users) a recent company on the move has been Macphun.

        • Dann Albright
          March 25, 2016 at 2:08 am

          I just looked at Macphun, and that looks like some awesome software! A little out of my price range, but I might have to give the free trial a go and see if it might be worth it to invest. Looks like a cool set of tools.

          Thanks for the tip!

        • Charlie
          March 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

          I've got at least four, maybe five Macphun image apps loaded on my Macbook Pro. They were purchased one by one over a period of years, mostly at half off their regular price, usually through promos from Macupdate. As a previous purchaser I'm still on their mailing list but at this point it makes little economic sense for me to buy the one or maybe two remaining apps, much less go for their all-in-one Creative kit. Though I will say that they do still offer superb "deals" from time to time.

          An update here on Nik (mentioned as a later post here) is that their parent company (Google) recently announced that the entire Nik collection, which last week was selling for 150USD, is now free. They're not stand-alone plugins but require an already existing program to run them, like PS, PSE, Lightroom or even Irfanview (that last one admittedly no help at all to OS X Mac users).

        • Dann Albright
          March 29, 2016 at 6:27 pm

          So the Nik collection is a collection of plugins? That's interesting; I've never heard of selling a product like that before (or giving one away, I suppose, as is the case now). I might have to give that a shot; I wonder if they work with Pixelmator.

          The Macphun apps do look like a pretty good deal, especially if you can get them when they're significantly reduced in price. Thanks for sharing info on both of these groups of software!

  27. Mary McGuire
    March 21, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    I'm on a crash course for Lightroom. I'm concerned about uploading my photos that I sell on another website to an open cloud server. Hate this. Picassa is so easy to l arm and use. My Lightroom Manuel is 1 1/2 " thick.

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Oof. That's a big manual. Lightroom does have the advantage of being really powerful and a great piece of software, but it certainly comes with a cost. Hope the learning process is going well!

  28. Darryl
    March 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    Hands up everyone that spent way too much time tagging their photos in Picasa (with the face recognition feature)? Isn't it just spiffy that Google has negated all that work? How happy are you that you basically just wasted all that time?

    Thanks Google!

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Yeah, that's pretty annoying. I actually, by a stroke of luck, haven't spent much time doing that. There's a comment on this article that explains a way to transfer some of that into Photoshop Elements, if you're interested in using that as an alternative.

  29. Darryl
    March 21, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    From a photo library management perspective, this is sad, because there are only two decent (free) photo library management packages out there: Picasa and Windows Live Photo Gallery, and the latter is also basically being dropped (unofficially). Microsoft has not announced that WLPG is being dropped, but don't expect it to work especially well in Windows 10.

    With both of these going away, can anyone suggest alternates for managing a photo library? Without having to drop a huge pile of cash?

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      I actually posted a follow-up article in which I recommend a few. You can check it out here: // I'm going to be using Flickr to do most of my sharing and some of my organization, and OS X Finder to do the rest of the organizing and storage. Probably Pixelmator for edits, even though it's a little heavier than it needs to be for the minor ones. It's the best system I've come up with so far.

      What are you thinking you'll use?

  30. Trevor Dallas
    March 17, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Speaking mobile...Disappointed?? I'm elated with the fact that it sucks. It's another one of the many 'shoved down your throat' unistallable crapware they proudly build and believe we enjoy. It honestly just added more settings that i had to manage vigorously to ensure they don't suprisingly revert back to their preferred default settings which would then auto crop...and auto post to the world pictures of ( ).?

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:23 pm

      You're elated that . . . Google Photos sucks? Sorry, I'm not totally sure what you're saying here. And if it's uninstallable, that's a good thing, right?

  31. Kenneth
    March 15, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Anyone surprised? Not the first time they let down their users. Most of google services are only available for a limited time. I am surprised gmail still works.

    • Dann Albright
      March 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Yeah, actually, now that you say that, I'm a bit worried about Gmail. :-) Better start looking for an alternative...

  32. Anonymous
    March 15, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Windows users are forever putting down Linux with "What's Linux got that Windows doesn't?" In this case Linux has DigiCam which is just as good as Picassa.

    • Dann Albright
      March 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Is that the same as DigiKam? I just ran across that in doing some research for another article.

      • Anonymous
        March 16, 2016 at 9:53 pm

        Yes, it is.
        When I wrote the comment, I let my fingers do the walking. :-)

    • Bertel King
      March 17, 2016 at 1:20 am

      I agree. The selection of photo management applications on Linux is great. DigiKam. gThumb. Shotwell. GNOME Photos. Each has its own strengths.

      • Dann Albright
        March 22, 2016 at 7:22 pm

        Well that's great! I'm glad there are good options . . . without a Linux machine, I can't really explore them, but it's good to know that Linux isn't falling behind on photo management.

  33. Anonymous
    March 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Well, at least I can still download the Picasa app as of today. So I'll go ahead and download the latest build number and use it forever. So what if it isn't developed or supported anymore? There's lots of old software that people still use that is unsupported. It would be nice to see what viable alternatives there are for offline photo organization. I have a ton of photos stored offline on my NAS, most of which are not backed up to Google Photos. I only use Google Photos for backing up the photos taken on my phone. Everything stored in RAW from my DSLR is not on there. That's what Picasa is for. Full resolution photo management.

    • Dann Albright
      March 16, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Yeah, as long as it still works, it's a viable option. I assume it'll keep working for a long time, but it's hard to know, especially as OSes get updated. But I'm sure you're not alone in choosing that strategy!

  34. intnvs
    March 15, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    i do prefer PiICASA since it is very easy to create a video and post it to youtube. I am sure no other photo blogging service could never offer such service like this. if there is any pl let me know.

    • Dann Albright
      March 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Not that I'm aware of, but I'll keep an eye out!

  35. Brian S. Wilson
    March 15, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I bought a copy of this garbage software several years ago. At no point could I find any way to use it at all. Beyond being able to load a file, the manual was incomprehensible, there were no illustrations of how to find the controls needed, and the software itself seemed designed to be obtuse, obscure, and indecipherable. Despite being with the initial thirty days of my purchase the company refused to refund my purchase price or provide any support for the product.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish IMNSHO. This is a long deserved end to a useless product.
    Brian S. Wilson —— 2016-03-15 13:56:00

    Are we talking about the same piece of software? Picasa has a reputation for being one of the easiest-to-use and most intuitive photo apps out there. And it's been free since at least 2004, I believe, so if you "bought" it, you probably got ripped off (or you're thinking about a different piece of software). Are you sure you're thinking of Picasa?

    Yes, same stupid color wheel logo on the manual's front cover. I also note that my earlier comment on this steaming pile of ... was removed. Nice way to cover up for a products horrendous defects.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      I didn't see a previous comment from you; are you sure you posted it? The one that you posted just a moment ago is up . . . is there another one that you're referring to?

      Also, where did you buy the software from? I've never seen a printed manual for it, and the fact that you got one -- and paid for it -- makes me think that something else is going on here. As I said, I think it's been free since 2004, but you could have paid for it before then, when it wasn't a Google product. That's the only thing I can think of. Do you remember who sold it to you?

      • Brian S. Wilson
        March 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        I copied my original post into a second post and after I posted a second time I was able to see both the original and the secondary messages. I wouldn't worry about that issue it was probably just a matter of caching and timing.

        I don't remember where I bought my copy of Picasa (I believe it was from an online vendor) and I did buy it before 2004 (when Google acquired the product).

        I kept the manual so I would remember never to waste my money on such a terrible product again (as it had all kinds of glowing reports from users back then as well). As I remember it, I paid almost $50.00 for the software and a printed soft cover manual (at a time when I was still trying to pay off college classes this was a lot of money to me). In the end I found Gimp and and a couple of other products that did what I needed, dropped the original Picasa disks into my recycle bin, and vowed never to spend money on this waste of bits again.

        • Dann Albright
          March 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm

          Ah yes, if you bought it before Google owned it, then you could have a totally difference piece of software. That would explain it. That was a long time ago, and Picasa has come a very long way (and it's free). I'd recommend giving it another shot as an organization tool, as it's awesome. What are you using for organization now? GIMP and Paint.NET for editing, but what about keeping track of everything?

  36. Brian S. Wilson
    March 15, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I bought a copy of this garbage software several years ago. At no point could I find any way to use it at all. Beyond being able to load a file, the manual was incomprehensible, there were no illustrations of how to find the controls needed, and the software itself seemed designed to be obtuse, obscure, and indecipherable. Despite being with the initial thirty days of my purchase the company refused to refund my purchase price or provide any support for the product.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish IMNSHO. This is a long deserved end to a useless product.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Are we talking about the same piece of software? Picasa has a reputation for being one of the easiest-to-use and most intuitive photo apps out there. And it's been free since at least 2004, I believe, so if you "bought" it, you probably got ripped off (or you're thinking about a different piece of software). Are you sure you're thinking of Picasa?

      • Brian S. Wilson
        March 15, 2016 at 2:11 pm

        Yes, same stupid color wheel logo on the manual’s front cover. I'm very sure this is the same product. I also note that my earlier comment on this steaming pile of … was removed (now it seems to be back).

  37. Ben
    March 15, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Google has made it a company policy to bring out or buy a good program, develop it into a great program over time, Then either kill it off or wreck it in some way after people get used to using it. I am making a personal effort to NOT use Google programs no matter how good they seem just because of the massive disappointment from having some favorite killed AGAIN!!!

    Google Photos is a massive step backwards in usability and quality. The ONLY advantage I see is it can store your cell phone pics in their proprietary cloud in their proprietary low resolution format. I was already doing that with Dropbox, and without the reduction in quality. And, instead of every crap cell phone pic getting automatically stored, I got to decide which ones were worth moving to Picassa while I deleted the junk.

    I have thousands of photos stored in Picassa, many are scanned old family photos. Moving and re-cataloging them just to have them stored in a lower resolution format for Google's convenience would be a major undertaking. Please Google - PLEASE quit killing things that just work only because your geeks want to change things every couple of weeks.

    What ever happened to the "Don't be evil" motto? I think it got kicked to the curb in the mindless pursuit of MORE MONEY!!!! at any cost.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      That does seem to be their policy, doesn't it? I'm still a little pissed that Google Reader isn't around anymore (though Feedly is awesome). And I don't understand the step backwards in quality, either—that just doesn't make sense. I have to imagine that they plan on improving Google Photos in the very near future, or they're going to lose a lot of users. I also store photos on Dropbox without a drop in quality; it's super easy, and I'd rather do that than sacrifice quality. I just don't get it.

      But I think you hit the nail on the head with the search for more money. It has to be that, doesn't it? I just can't imagine another motive here.

  38. Doru
    March 15, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I'm using XnView MP and its working pretty well for me. Is not as good as Picasa but I'm fine :)

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      I've never heard of that . . . what's it like? And where does it fall short of Picasa?

      • Doru Iulian
        March 15, 2016 at 3:27 pm

        It's look good, can do some basics adjustments, have tha ability to tag the pics etc. I had some dificulties to print on 10x15 photo, didn't manage yet, the viewer is not as fast as picasa, can not make movie from pics like picasa as far I know and I think I will find more in time. This comercial strategy from google become annoying :(

        • Dann Albright
          March 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm

          Yes, it's really annoying, isn't it? Picasa was really fast, that was one of the great things about it. I tried XnView, and it seemed okay, but not great. Good for organization, not so good for editing, but still a viable choice as a replacement.

  39. Joy
    March 15, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Picasa is a great photo program !!!! If Google is going to take it away , they have to make it as good or better than Picassa !!!! Why in the world go back in time instead of forward ! This is crazy . What was Google thinking.... ????????????????
    I will NOT USE IT. It also didn't say how the pics will be saved to the PC Or Laptop.
    Time to back out of Google and go to Internet Microsoft Edge !!!!!

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Yeah, I'm not sure why they think switching to Google Photos and offer less functionality is a good idea. I have to assume that they plan on making big changes to Google Photos so that it's a viable alternative to Picasa, and fast, or they could be losing a huge amount of customers. While switching to Edge won't do anything for your photo management, I certainly understand the sentiment!

    • Anonymous
      March 15, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      " If Google is going to take it away , they have to make it as good or better than Picassa !!!! "
      Says who?!

      It seems Google has been infected with the Microsoft disease of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish." They buy a product like Picassa, they make a lot of improvements to it and then, when they have many users hooked, they kill it and try to force the users to use the inferior Google product. Picassa is not the first product that was treated this way by Google.

      • Dann Albright
        March 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

        While there's nothing requiring them to improve upon the product, I'd say that most people would agree with Joy on this one. As a service to customers, you shouldn't force them to downgrade to something that's worse than what you previously provided.

        I mean, I understand why Google would want to get everyone into the cloud, but I think it's reasonable to expect that a company would only make improvements to software, and not big steps backwards.

  40. Robert
    March 15, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Can we get a followup article with a summery/review of the alternatives that people are choosing? I agree with one comment; Google should release the source codes. If they don't want it, give it away. Don't be evil. Also, don't be greedy.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      That's a definite possibility, and I would love to write a comparison piece on alternatives. I'll look into it!

  41. Paul West
    March 15, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Way to put a positive spin on a big warm gooey pile called Google Photos. SNAFU for sure, I tried it and it looks like it's just for new pictures and kids that don't organize, well, anything.

    Just got Photoshop Elements 14 and love it. Except the face recognition which Picasa nailed. I figured out a work around to import the face tags:

    One problem is you have to do it BEFORE you import your photos. If you have already imported them you have to "Delete from catalog"
    Simply open Picasa and click on "People" select one person (you will have to do this for each person) and right click and choose "Select All"
    Then (assuming the Tags panel is open) put there name in the "Type in a tag to add:" box and hit enter or click on the + button.
    Now simply import your pics and PE14 (Photoshop Elements 14) imports the all the tags.
    Then you can create a tag under "People Tags" and use the imported tag from Picasa to bring up all their pics and then Select All and "drag" the new People Tag over to them.

    I even added a tag in Picasa after I had imported and PE14 picked up on it so maybe you can do it after your photos have been imported. I had tried but I have 5000 photos and think maybe I just hadn't waited long enough for PE14 to "see" the new tags. To figure all this out I just used one year with 150 pics and at first just one name tag (did everything I said above) and then added one more which PE14 discovered
    I hope this makes sense to everybody.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks for that tip—that's awesome! At $80, PE14 isn't going to appeal to a lot of people, but it does look like a good option if you're willing to pay for it. You're right about Picasa being good with face recognition; I was always amazed at how accurate it was (and found hilarious how many times it tagged someone in a photo frame behind my subject, or one of the people in a stained-glass window).

      Good work figuring out that tag/face import system, and thanks for sharing it here. That's super useful!

    • Photo Dude
      March 20, 2016 at 1:09 pm


      nice workaround for the tags, but keep in mind that it is not the same as the people tags added by Picasa. While you can determine which people appear in a photo, you lose the information about _where_ those people appear in the photo. Which is particularly useful in group-photo's or school-photo's.

  42. Robert
    March 15, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I will not go to Google Photos. I will continue with Picasa. Maybe someone will buy it and sell licenses. I would gladly pay for it if that meant someone would be investing in making improvements. They say if its not broke don't fix it. Googles model seems to be "If its really great. Shut it down!"

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      I think it would be great if someone bought it, but I doubt it's for sale. Google just doesn't need to sell off products like that. I totally agree with your estimation of their business model. I think I'll try to stay away from Google products that I don't absolutely need to use from now on, as it seems like there's a really good chance they'll get shut down! I would love for someone to license and update Picasa, though. While it seems unlikely, we can hope!

  43. Layor
    March 15, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Try the free Faststone Image viewer or - both brilliant.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      I've heard that is great, but I've never heard of Faststone. Do you think it's as good as Picasa for management? I'll have to give it a shot.

  44. EmWolb
    March 15, 2016 at 1:15 am

    The Cloud, Google, and MS can kiss my ...
    I switched over to Linux and couldn't be happier. Gimp is the open source Photoshop equivalent. It has all the photo editing tools I came to rely on in PS. I never delved into Picasa but its sad to see it go and be replaced with the Cloud crap. Your data is not longer "yours".

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Do you use anything to organize your photos? Or do you just use a file explorer and keep them on your hard drive? Organization was my favorite use of Picasa; it made it really easy to keep track of your photos and find them again when you need them. And GIMP is great, but it's just too much for a lot of basic edits. That's what I find, anyway.

  45. redhed17
    March 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Picasa was brilliant program for beginners. I could show anyone how it worked in 2 hours.

    I haven't seen a program that can straighten images as easily. It was great for making Collages, nothing else even comes close. It had Face Recognition way before Lightroom. Great for finding pictures of Friends and Family for events.

    Pretty poor them just axing it with nothing to replace it. It is not as if they spent loads of times keeping it up to date or had many upgrades, so not sure why they dump it with no alternative. :-(

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      I have to assume that they're planning on adding functionality to Google Photos, as it really doesn't offer much right now. I hope that's the plan, anyway, as Google Photos just isn't that impressive right now. You're right about straightening—it made a lot of simple tasks like that very easy and intuitive, whereas other programs are more involved. Here's hoping Google Photos gets a lot better really fast!

  46. Anonymous
    March 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    Would be nice if they released the source for the products they regularly kill.

    Then maybe we could have a infrastructure-agnostic Picasa where you could mix & match, e.g. Outlook contacts + Flickr destination, and still have Face Matching, etc.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Yeah, that would be really nice! Though with the strong push to get everyone on Google Photos, it seems awfully unlikely. Google seems to have made a habit of doing this, which is really annoying. Love your idea, and I wish we could make it happen!

  47. Anonymous
    March 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    I will not go to Google Photos. Picasa still works for now, except that in-Picasa option to email my photos via Gmail has stopped working. Am still able to import, store, edit, and export to disk my photos. I then can email small amounts of photos as attachments. It's an extra step, but adequate for my needs.
    If Picasa completely goes away, I have my old Photoshop Elements version 6. As someone above mentioned, there is GIMP. There's also Irfanview and Photoscape, which are both free.
    Windows 10 has Photos & a few free photo editing apps from Microsoft Store

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Yeah, there are definitely a few options. I don't know about Elements, but GIMP is just too much for most of the photo editing that people do . . . but if don't want to go to Google Photos or Flickr, that's probably your best bet. I don't know anything about the Windows 10 photos app—is it any good?

  48. Sharon Harper
    March 14, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I have been using flickr but not relied on it, as I have with Picasa, I will migrate everything into there and make that my go to for pics now, thanks for the informative article.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      I'm glad you found it useful! I think a lot of people will be going to Flickr, although with the auto-uploader going to a premium-only feature, it's possible that a lot of Flickr users will be going to Google Photos, too. Not really sure what the landscape will look like in a couple months!

  49. Todd
    March 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Hmmmm I dont think Picasa will suddenly disappear off my hd tomorrow, so I plan to carry on using it.

  50. Todd
    March 14, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Hmmmm I dont think Picasa will suddenly disappear off my hd tomorrow so I plan to carry on using it.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Yeah, I assume most people will keep using it, as it'll probably be viable for a long time. But as soon as it stops getting updates, it becomes a little less secure, and eventually it'll stop working with the newer OSes, which can be a pain. But yes, it should continue working without a problem! (The desktop version, that is.)

  51. Brian
    March 14, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    One of the best features of Picasa was the quick view when you opened an image... The picture opens and the background goes dark. So quick and easy!

    RIP Picasa :(

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Yes, the quick view was great. Picasa was a perfect app for things like that. Oh well . . . on to the search for the next great photo app!

  52. Susan
    March 14, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I use Picasa as a desktop app quite a lot, to edit. It is quick, easy to use and sorts pictures the way I want. Lots of editing options, one of my faves is the Create A Collage option. You can make a picture pile or a grid or whatever. Haven't seen anything I like better and am sorry it's falling by the wayside.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Yeah, the collage option is nice. It looks like Google Photos has that functionality now (I think; I don't remember exactly, but I know that the assistant will make collages for you), so hopefully you'll still be able to use that. Not sure how many options there are, though.

  53. kammak743
    March 14, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I knew this was going to happen eventually. They have not touched picasa for years but they are constantly pushing google photos in your face.
    I used both the picasa desktop application and the web storage. I always have found it much better than flickr.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Good point; there were definitely signs that this was going to happen, and it shouldn't be a huge surprise. Especially with everything going to the cloud and Google trying to house/own all of our data from everywhere. Alas. Think you'll try Flickr as your go-to option now?

  54. Byothe
    March 14, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    I was using the desktop version of Picasa... the only equivalent (but much more complex) I found is LightRoom by Adobe...
    I wanted something to organize my pictures and I wanted it to have Face Recognition...

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      I was also using the desktop version, and although I haven't used it in a while, I liked it a lot. Adobe apps certainly are nice, but they can also be quite expensive for a lot of people. I can believe that Lightroom is a great alternative, though!

  55. Ken Borgfeldt
    March 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Try using FastStone for your editing, organizational, and moving from camera to computer. Simple and everything is still on your computer. Try using Google Photos as a backup only.

    • Dann Albright
      March 15, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      I've never heard of FastStone! I'll have to check it out. What do you like about it?

      • Anonymous
        March 15, 2016 at 6:45 pm

        Easy to use, free although you can contribute if you like, lots of editing tools for basic photo corrections,

        • Dann Albright
          March 16, 2016 at 9:43 pm

          I looked at it, and it's Windows-only, so I can't test it out. It does look like a good option, though!