Migrate/Move Albums of Picasa Desktop Application

by Weijie JIN on


I have a new computer and I want to move the Picasa(It’s the desktop application, not online album) album from my old computer to the new computer. The photos are the same, but the root folder is different. In this case, the old location is on the desktop, and the new location will be c:\my_new_albums . The album name for demo is Test Album.

The album on the old computer looks like:



1. Menu Tools –> Back Up Pictures…


2. In the dialog, in the first section,  click New Set. Then in the popup, give a name of your backup, then choose Disk-to-disk backup(for external and network drives). Click Create.

In the second section, click Select None. This is important because we just want to move the structure of the album.

Click Burn.


3. You can find your backup files under C:\Picasa Backup\ . The album information is stored in C:\Picasa Backup\$Application Data\Google\Picasa2Albums\(hash code)\(hash code).pal . Open it using your favorite text editor.


4. Replace the old path(on the old computer) with new path(on the new computer). In my case, I replace the $Desktop with [C]\my_new_albums .


5. Copy the Picasa Backup folder(which is exported in Step 2) to the new computer. And make sure your photos already exist in the new location.


6. In the Picasa Backup folder, run the PicasaRestore.exe. Choose Original locations. Click Next.


7. Click Restore.


8. You’ve done. Open your Picasa and check if the album restored. Make sure your photos already exist in Picasa.


That’s it, hope it helps.Smile

  • http://www.jinweijie.com/picasa/migrate-move-albums-of-picasa-desktop-application/ ken pope

    Couple of problems with the example at this web site:

    1) When I choose Select None in the above, it actually unchecks the album I am trying to backup and then proceeds to backup nothing. You need a step that says after choosing Select None, you must recheck the Album you are wanting to backup. Or, you could remove the step that says Select None since the album was already selected for me and then simply select Burn in your example above. That is another descriptancy because, my dialog box says Backup, not Burn when I choose disk-to-disk.

    2) Another bigger discrepancy is that when you look in the created backup, under $ApplicationData\Google there is only one folder with Picasa2 folder and no folder as I would expect for Picasa2Albums.

    So needless to say when I tried to backup and restore this to a new computer, it didn’t work. I am running 3.9 .0 build 135.93.0 on Window 7.

    I would appreciate a response, as the time I have spent on this is enormous. This Album represents a 4 month motorcycle trip in SouthEast Europe and Turkey with my son. I need to get this to work on the new computer, but dang I am stuck and without some help could loose all this work I put into creating this album with annotations and labels and videos, etc, etc. Please help.

    Ken Pope

  • http://jinweijie.myopenid.com/ jinweijie

    Hi Ken,

    My post maybe only apply to Picasa 2.

    For Picasa 3, you can try this(I use this method to backup my library):

    1. Copy “c:\users\[your name]\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2″ (yes, the folder name is Picasa2) to your new machine.
    2. On your new machine, open Picasa 3, click the menu “Tools -> Experimental -> Choose database location”, select the folder which is copied.
    3. Restart Picase to see if it works.



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