Picasa used to be a popular application for storing photos and videos on Android, hence users needed data recovery often. Since it was one of the well-known Google products, its storage capacity was vast. More importantly, it didn’t force users to remain active to prevent time-sensitive removal of data, such as the common 30 days to 6 months. However, its existence came to an end back in 2016 across all platforms. Luckily, Google did not leave its massive user base hanging. Instead, they merely transferred data to a different platform still in use at the time of writing—Google Photos. That should give you an idea of how to recover photos from Picasa.
Where did Picasa images go after 2016?
As mentioned in the introduction, Picasa was a photo and video storage, organization, and viewer software available between 2002 and March 2016 (when the Picasa desktop applications were shut down) and May 2016 (the time Web Albums went offline). Google explained its decision by stating it wanted to put all its focus on Google Photos, a cloud-based, cross-platform service that became its successor. Therein lies the key to the question, “How can I recover images I uploaded to Picasa?” The answer is simple—Picasa Web Albums.
Because Google automatically transferred all its data to a new service the aforementioned time, by proxy, you can mostly find them in Google Photos. Now we must clarify that only applies to images uploaded to this Web Album. Since it’s been so long, images you kept on local storage for Windows, macOS, or Linux, and used within desktop software are permanently gone. Well, unless you did one of the two:
- Connected your desktop software to Picasa Web Albums by using your Google (or Google+, now defunct) account, at which point they were likely synced
- Stopped using the computer in question at or near the time Picasa was discontinued. If that’s the case, method 2 may produce results
1. Can I recover photos from Picasa Web Albums years later?
The answer is yes, you can retrieve images from Picasa Web Albums long after it was discontinued. The explanation above may seem long, but it is crucial if users are to get an idea of the options they have at their disposal. Thankfully, unlike many discontinued products, you have 3 ways to find recover Picasa photos years after the platform went down:
Google Photos is the obvious choice, hence we mention it first. Simply open it in your browser or download a mobile application from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Then, sign in with the same Google account you used for Picasa. You can then switch to the Photos tab in the top left corner on the web version, or browse through Explore or Albums. Google didn’t put an expiration date, as we pointed out, hence all images should be there, even if you filled out the storage capacity.
The problem with the place above is that Google Photos storage won’t contain:
- Images you uploaded via Blogger
- Pictures you added through Google Hangouts
- Images you added via your Google+ account
- Data from Picasa Web Albums, such as captions, tags, comments, and so on
The reason is simple—Google never repositioned that type of data. However, they did not let it go to waste. Instead, you can see it all in your Google Album Archive that, once again, has no end date. Since its use case is narrow, you’ll immediately see all images and videos on the home page. Google also lets you connect with other Google accounts and permit them to view and consequently download these pictures.
3. Outdated Picasa software
We need to clarify that this is a desperate remedy—only employ this method if you don’t meet the requirements we listed above or don’t trust the developers of data restoration software. Google never wiped all records of Picasa. They only froze development and stopped all future updates in October 2015. Therefore, you can still find a working version of Picasa on third-party software sharing platforms and sign in. Use this at your discretion and be prepared to find nothing. However, the software may find remnants of old photos on your computer or your Google account.
2. Using third-party data recovery software or an old backup to restore Picasa photos (Last resort)
Did you read condition #2 that gives this method a chance to work and found that to be your case? There’s hope yet, though you must put trust into data rescue software for Windows or software for data retrieval on Mac and Linux. We went over the procedure numerous times, and pretty extensively in our guide on how to restore recently deleted photos. We’re referring to methods under the headline “Recovering Deleted Photos With a Data Recovery Software”. As explained there, Disk Drill is only one of many companies whose software we used for demonstration, so feel free to give another one a try.
On the off chance that you remember creating a backup back in 2015, use this opportunity wisely. Give instructions under “Recovering Photos From Backup Files”, “Recovering Deleted Photos From a Time Machine Backup” or “Restoring Deleted Photos From an iTunes Backup” an attempt while you’re at it. The technique will depend on your operating system and the backup feature you employed.