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Google Picasa

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Stable release3.9 (Build 135.80) / December 15, 2010; 10 years ago (2010-12-15)
Operating systemWindows, Linux, Mac OS X
TypeDigital photo organizer

Picasa is a software application for organizing and editing photos. It was first created by Idealab but is now owned by Google. "Picasa" is a blend of the name of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, the phrase mi casa for "my house", and "pic" for pictures. In July 2004, Google bought Picasa and began offering Picasa for free download.

There is a version for Windows XP and Windows Vista, as well as a version for Linux. For Windows 98 and Windows Me, only an older version is available. There is also an iPhoto plugin or program for uploading photos available for Mac OS X 10.4 and later.

Other Picasa applications

Picasa Web Albums

Picasa Web Albums (PWA) is a photo-sharing web application from Google, similar to websites like Flickr and Zooomr.

It lets users with accounts at Google to store and share 1 GB of photos for free. Users can purchase more storage space, which is shared with other Google services, to a total of:

Plans: no. of Gigabytes Cost per Year in US$ Cost of 1GB per Year in US$
10 20 2.00
40 75 1.875
150 250 1.667
400 500 1.25

Users may upload pictures by using either a web interface, through Picasa 2.5.0 or later[1] on Microsoft Windows, using the Exporter for iPhoto, the Aperture to Picasa Web Albums plug-in, or Uploader on Mac OS X,[2] or F-Spot on Linux.

No ads are shown on Picasa Web Albums, in either free or paid accounts. The Terms of Service[3] let Google to use the uploaded photos to display on the website or via RSS feeds, and also for promoting Google services without needing to pay the users.

Picasa Web Albums was first announced on June 6, 2006.[4] When introduced, it came with 250 MB free space. On March 7, 2007, it was upgraded to 1 GB.

On February 12, 2016, Google announced [5] that the Picasa desktop application would be discontinued on March 15, 2016. Google stated that the primary reason for retiring Picasa was that it wanted to focus its efforts "entirely on a single photos service" the cross-platform, web-based Google Photos.[5]

Version history


There are no versions of Picasa for Windows 95 or NT. The latest version offered for Windows 98/ME is 2.0.0 (build 18.84).[6][7] Newer versions are for Windows 2000/XP/Vista only.

  • 1.618 (build 5.35) July 2004 – free download version offered since Google's acquisition of Picasa.
  • 2.0.0 (build 18.77) January 18, 2005 – many features including improved search functions, an automated photo collage maker, massively enhanced photo editing functions and further integration with Picasa's Hello and Google's Blogger services.
  • 2.0.0 (build 18.84) June 8, 2005 – bug fix release, latest release for Windows 98/ME. This version does not suffer from the "picasa2\runtime\hlpsys.dll is not a valid windows image. Check installation disk." error, which some users have experienced.
  • 2.1.0 (build 27.60) September 19, 2005 – new features including international language support, one-click photo blogging, CD cover printing, improved RAW handling and improved support for external drives.
  • 2.2.0 (build 28.20) January 30, 2006 – 25 additional languages are supported, new network drive support, and bug fixes for IE7 support and CD Burning.
  • 2.5.0 (builds 32.01) June 12 2006 onwards – beta versions including Picasa Web Albums support – last version (build 32.97) started rollout on November 14 2006.
  • 2.6 (build 35.94.0) December 7, 2006 – new autoupdate behavior for Windows Vista support, new CD/DVD-burning engine, improved upload reliability to Picasa Web Albums, and added support for 18 new languages.
  • 2.7 (build 36.37.0) April 24, 2007 – new RAW processing engine, new color engine for "tuning" fixes, added support for Google Photos Screensaver, and improved BlogThis! reliability.
    • 2.7 Build 36.40 May 3, 2007 – support for more cameras, updated version number for international installs.
    • 2.7 Build 36.60 26 June 2007 – added support for geotag, supposedly fixed problems with showing up some video files.
    • 2.7 Build 37.23 21 August 2007 – support for more languages, fixes several bugs.
    • 2.7 Build 37.29 13 September 2007 – Added support for RAW pictures from the Canon 40D, fixes several bugs.
    • 2.7 Build 37.32 2 October 2007 – Fixed a case where corrupted AVI files could cause a crash. Fixed a case that would result in a "This account is not enabled for Picasa Web Albums" error.
    • 2.7 Build 37.36 30 October 2007 – Added support for 11 additional languages: Bulgarian, Catalan, Filipino, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Thai, Vietnamese.
    • 2.7 Build 37.49 7 March 2008 - Improved performance for new Intel chips. Translation fixes for Hungarian and Chinese. Fixed a case that would result in an error when capturing images from webcams.
    • 2.7 Build 37.64 21 August 2008 -

See also the release notes.[8] and the latest updates page[9]


  • As from about early June 2006, Linux versions (2.2.2820-5) became available as free downloads for most distributions of the Linux operating system. It is not a native Linux program but an adapted Windows version that uses the Wine libraries.[10]
  • A Release Candidate of Picasa for Linux 2.7 (Build 37.3607,0) was released on 21 November 2007.[11]
  • Google added Picasa for Linux 2.7 (Build 37.3615, 0) to its Linux repository on 16 April 2008.

Mac OS X

Picasa for Mac is under development and will be launched later in 2008.[12] A plugin is available for iPhoto to upload to the Picasa Web Albums hosting service. There is also a standalone Picasa Web Albums uploading tools for OS X 10.4 or later. Using Darwine or similar compatibility layers, however, Picasa can run on Mac OS X.

Notes and references

Other websites