Installing Picasa

What We'll Learn

  1. How to install Picasa and check if you have the latest version
  2. Telling Picasa where to look for pictures

Installing Picasa

There's a lot to explore in Picasa, but to get started for what we want to successfully install Picasa on our computer. Follow these instructions from the Picasa help site:
  1. Download Picasa for Windows from
  2. Once the download is complete, double-click the executable file 'Picasa3-setup.exe.'
  3. You'll be prompted to accept the terms of agreement. Click I Agree.
  4. The 'Picasa Setup' dialog should appear. Choose a location on your computer where you'd like to save the application and click Next.
  5. Click Finish to complete the installation.
  6. The Picasa setup will then launch and prompt you to specify the folders for the initial scan. Choose My Pictures or Pictures folder.  Picasa will display these photos without moving the files from their existing location.
  7. Last choose to use the Picasa Photo Viewer on your computer. The Picasa Photo Viewer is standalone photo viewer that lets you quickly preview photos on your computer. Learn more.

Check if You Need an Update

If you've already installed Picasa, periodically check to make sure you're running the latest version


  • Manually check for Picasa updates by clicking Help > Check for Updates.
The best option is to set Picasa to automatically update. Check or change your automatic update settings using these steps:
  1. In Picasa, click Tools > Options.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. In the 'Automatic Updates' drop-down menu, select  'Update Automatically'.  
  4. Click the OK button.

    How Picasa Manages Pictures

    Before you start using Picasa, it's helpful to know a few things about how Picasa handles pictures already on your computer.  In general, pictures are found in the My Pictures (Windows XP) or Pictures (Windows 7 / Vista) folder. The following tips are from the on-line Picasa Getting Started Guide

    Here are two things you should always remember:

    1. Picasa does not store the photos on your computer. When you open Picasa, it simply looks at the folders on your computer and displays the photos it finds. It displays the file types that you tell it to find, in the folders that you tell it to search.
    2. Your original photos are always preserved. When using editing tools in Picasa, your original files are never touched. The photo edits you make are only viewable in Picasa until you decide to save your changes. Even then, Picasa creates a new version of the photo with your edits applied, leaving the original file totally preserved.

    Once you've downloaded and installed Picasa, you have total control over the photos that Picasa displays. Picasa shows you the photo and video file types that you tell it to find, in the folders that you tell it to search.

    Control the folders that displayControl the file types that display
    Click Tools > Folder Manager to control which folders are displayed:Click Tools > Options to control which file types are displayed


    View pictures on your computer outside of Picasa:

    1. Click Start
    2. Click My Pictures or Pictures
    3. Try the various views in Windows Explorer
    4. Double-click a picture to open it in the viewer
    5. Try the options of the Picasa Viewer
    See which folders Picasa is monitoring:
    1. Open Picasa
    2. Click Tools > Folder Manager...
    3. Note which folders are set to Scan Once  or Scan Always
    4. Change them if they are incorrect