Trouble downloading or installing Picasa

Setting up Picasa involves three steps:

  1. Download the file
  2. Install Picasa
  3. Run Picasa

Choose which step you need help with:

Downloading the file

Step 1: Download the latest installer file at http://picasa.google.com/

This is the most recent version of Picasa. For the most recent updates and improvements, it's important to download from this site.

Step 2: Clear your browser's cache

To learn how to clear the cache, follow the instructions provided by your browser:

Now try downloading the latest installer file at http://picasa.google.com/ again.

Step 3: Temporarily disable your Internet security software

Your security software may be preventing a successful download. After you've disabled your Internet security software, such as proxies and firewalls, please re-download the latest installer file at http://picasa.google.com/.

Note: Remember to re-enable your security software following the download.

Step 4: Use a different browser.

The issue may be related to your browser settings. Download the installer using a different browser, like Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari.

Installing the program

Once the download is complete, double-click the installer to begin the installation process. If you're seeing an error, try these steps.

Are you seeing one of these errors?

  • 'Kernell.dll' error
    If you attempt to install the most recent version of Picasa on an unsupported version of Windows (Windows 98, Windows ME or earlier), you'll receive a 'kernell.dll' error. To successfully install Picasa, your computer needs to meet the system requirements.
  • 'Not a valid Win32 application' error
    If the Picasa installer file was damaged during the download process, you'll see this error message when you attempt to run it. To resolve this problem, please delete the installer file, and re-download the file from http://picasa.google.com/. You may also try toggling between saving and running the file when you're prompted to make a choice. If these difficulties persist, please try downloading the file using a different browser.

Nothing happens when I double-click the Picasa installer file

This may be caused by a Picasa3.exe file running in the background on of your computer.

  1. Delete your current installer file.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Download the latest installer file at http://picasa.google.com/
  4. Double-click the file to run it.
Running Picasa for the first time

When you click the Finish button to complete the installation, Picasa runs for the first time. As Picasa scans your computer for photos to display, a few issues may occur. If you're experiencing an error, please follow the troubleshooting steps below. Following the instructions exactly will help ensure the best results.

Initial Picasa scan is freezing or crashing

The initial Picasa scan may freeze or crash if it comes across a problem file on your computer. Problem files generally fall into two categories: a corrupt file or a non-jpeg file, like TIFF or GIF, created by other programs. To remedy this issue, you need to isolate and remove this problem file from the Picasa scan. Please use these steps:

Step 1: Use the Picasa notifier to locate the problem file.

As Picasa scans your photos, a small notifier in the lower-right of your screen will quickly shuffle through the photos and folders found. When Picasa freezes or crashes, this notifier will generally pause on the file/folder in question. If you can identify which file/folder is causing the problem, follow these steps:

  1. Following the crash, re-launch Picasa.
  2. Immediately upon launch, use the Folder Manager (Click the Tools menu > Folder Manager) to remove the folder in question from Picasa. It's important that you do this before Picasa encounters the problem file during the scan. Without this problem file, Picasa should run normally.

If you're unable to identify the problem file using the Picasa notifier, move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Remove files listed in PicasaBadFile.txt.

When Picasa crashes after scanning a problem photo or video, it may create a record of the problem file. Try excluding that file from Picasa:

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop.
  2. Double-click your Local Disk (C:) drive.
  3. Double-click Program Files.
  4. Double-click the Google folder.
  5. Double-click the Picasa3 folder.
  6. If Picasa was able to identify the corrupt file, you'll see a file named 'PicasaBadFile.txt' (or just 'PicasaBadFile'). Right-click the file.
  7. Select Open With and choose Notepad.

The locations of any bad picture or video files will be in the Notepad document. Similar to Step 1, you can then use the Folder Manager to remove the file from the Picasa scan immediately upon startup.

If you can't locate 'PicasaBadFile.txt', please move on to the next step.

Step 3: Identify the file type that is causing the problem

If you've haven't yet located the problem file, you need to determine which file type is causing the problem. If you have a file type that you suspect may be the cause, remove it from Picasa. This could be a new RAW file, a non-standard TIFF or GIF file, or some other type of uncommon file type. Otherwise, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Picasa.
  2. Immediately remove all file types (except jpeg) from Picasa. It's important that you do this before Picasa encounters the problem file during the scan.
  3. Add one file type back, GIF for example. Allow Picasa to completely scan for GIF files. If there are no problems, add back another file type and allow Picasa to scan completely.
  4. Repeat the process for all file types, ending with Movies and Quicktime Movies.

Eventually, you'll add the file type of the file that is causing Picasa to crash. By excluding this file type, Picasa should run normally. If you'd like to further narrow the search or if you experience the problem while scanning a corrupt jpeg file, please move on to Step 4.

Step 4: Isolate the folder which contains the problem file.

To locate the folder that contains the problem file, follow these steps:

  1. Open Picasa. If you're running Picasa for the first time following installation, choose 'Only scan My Documents, My Pictures, and the Desktop' and click the Continue button.
  2. Immediately click the Tools menu.
  3. Select Folder Manager.
  4. In the Folder Manager, set all folders to 'Remove from Picasa' (the red x). It's important that you do this before Picasa encounters the problem file during the scan. Picasa should then launch without any photos.
  5. You now have a blank slate from which you can locate the corrupt file. Use the Folder Manager to re-add your folders one at a time. If you already know which file type is causing the problem (from Step 3), you should have a better idea of which folders may contain the file in question. Allow Picasa to completely scan each folder before adding the next.

Eventually, you'll add a folder that contains the corrupt file that crashes Picasa. Once you've identified the corrupted file, you can either use the Folder Manager to remove that folder from Picasa or you can delete the file from your computer.

Duplicate copies of your folders or photos in Picasa, after the initial scan, can be caused by two things: 1) multiple copies of the photo files on your computer or 2) a corrupted photo database.

Multiple copies

To find out if you have multiple copies of your folders or photos, you'll need to verify their hard drive location. For each folder in Picasa, click the folder icon next to the folder name. This brings up Windows Explorer which displays the folder's hard drive location. If the two duplicate folders have different locations, then you have multiple copies of the same folder saved on your computer. Use the Folder Manager to exclude one of the folders from displaying in Picasa.

If both folders have the same location, then try rebuilding your database to resolve this issue.

Corrupted photo database

A corrupted database can create oddities in the appearance and placement of your photos in Picasa. Rebuilding your database can correct these issues while preserving your edits and custom album organizations.

Nothing worked?

Sorry you're experiencing difficulties installing Picasa. Please visit our help forum to get additional support for your issue. You can post a question or find answers from Google guides and our most knowledgeable users.