Missing photos troubleshooting

Although many of these troubleshooting steps may apply to Mac users, they're built out specific to Windows. Mac users, please visit the Picasa for Mac Help Forum for troubleshooting assistance. There you'll find help from Google Guides and our most knowledgable users.

If your photos or folders are missing in Picasa, please walk though the following troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Make sure your file type is being detected
  1. In Picasa, click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Click the File Types tab.
  4. Verify that you've selected the checkboxes for all the formats you'd like Picasa to display. See our list of supported file types.
  5. Click OK.
CMYK, unflattened, and transparent images don't display properly in Picasa.
Step 2: Ensure the folder is being watched

Check the Folder Manager, accessible from the Tools menu. An eye next to your folder means that Picasa is watching it for changes. If you see a red X, or a green checkmark, select the 'Scan Always' option to watch the folder.

Step 3: Look for hidden files or folders

Picasa won't show any files or folders that have been marked hidden in Windows. To see if a folder is hidden, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the folder in question on your computer.
  2. Right-click the folder or file.
  3. Select Properties. The 'Hidden' checkbox must be deselected in order for Picasa to access content in the folder or file.
  4. Repeat the above steps for every folder in the file path. For example, if your photo is stored at C:\Documents and Settings\fredflintstone\My Documents\My Pictures, you'll need to ensure that each of these folders (Documents and Settings, fredflintstone, My Documents, and My Pictures) is not hidden.

If your filenames appear in light gray in Windows Explorer, that means they're hidden.

Step 4: Make sure small pictures are enabled

Picasa filters out photos smaller than 250 x 250. Click the View menu and select Small Pictures if you'd like to include them in your Picasa Library.

Step 5: Check your network drive connection

If Picasa won't recognize photos you have stored on a network drive, please make sure that your connection is secure. If you continue to experience difficulties, you may want to consider storing your photos on your local hard drive instead.

Step 6: Check other collections in Picasa

Not everything will be automatically placed in your Folders collection. Folders containing items other than digital photos may be in the 'Other Stuff' collection. Likewise, your Folder List contains collections like 'Projects,' 'Downloaded Albums,' and 'Exported Pictures' which may also house your photos.

Step 7: Check for filtered folder or file names

Picasa will not scan folders that contain the following terms:

  • windows
  • winnt
  • temp
  • Program Files
  • Originals

Additionally, Picasa will not display folders or individual files that begin with a period. Consequently a folder like '.picasaoriginals' is filtered from displaying in Picasa.

If a normally visible photo is in a filtered folder, move it to another folder to let Picasa access it.

Step 8: Check your Recycle Bin

If you deleted your photos, the deleted images may be available for restoration in your Recycle Bin.

Step 9: Rebuild your database

Oddities in the placement and appearance of your photos can also be caused by a damaged photo database. Your Picasa database stores information about your file, including the location and organization. Rebuild your database to resolve many image viewing issues.