Copy Picasa Web Photo Albums onto my Computer?
I heard from a friend that Google's going to be shutting down Picasa because of Google Plus and I'm kind of freaking out: I have hundreds of photos on the site and no idea how to save them from vanishing when they pull the plug. Help!
Deep breath. No-one's shutting down Picasa! In fact, your friend's got it wrong: the rise of Google Plus has actually been the best thing that's ever happened to Picasa because it's what powers the photo side of G+. You can tell because all the photos you upload to Google Plus magically also end up in your Picasa account and if you poke around on Picasa, you'll certainly find those "+1" buttons (just as you see above this paragraph. Click on it!)
Having said that, it is slightly worrying to grow to rely on a cloud data storage service like Picasa or the Yahoo competitor, Flickr, without ever considering what would happen if it ever shut down and everything was lost. Some sites let you save on a per-image basis, of course, but if you have hundreds of photos, that's just going to be an incredibly tedious task to save them all.
Fortunately on the Picasa side there's a team inside Google amusingly called the Data Liberation Front that's working on ways to help us export data from various Google Services. Go team! Picasa's already an option, so let's look at how to make a local backup...
First step is to go to a new service called Google Takeout, which lists all the Google services that currently have a data profile feature:
We're working with Picasa, so click on "Choose Service" along the top, then find and select "Picasa Web Albums"...
Looks like I have 267 images on PIcasa. Most of those, I'd guess, are actually images I've uploaded via Google Plus, where I'm quite an active user (find me here: Dave Taylor on Google Plus).
Click on "Configure", though in this instance there's not much to do:
Below the list of services that support Google Takeout there's an orange "Create Archive" button. Click on it and...
Give it a second or two and you'll see a progress bar:
Once that's done (and if it's a huge archive notice you can have Takeout email you that it's ready to download) you'll finally see the following, and have a download button:
That's all there is to it. Now you've got an archival copy of everything you had on Picasa.
Want to open it and explore it? Just double-click on the .ZIP file (Mac or PC).
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