Picasa Photo Sync on Multiple Computers

Update: this is an old post, describing an obsolete solution. Please read How to Use Picasa on Multiple Computers – The Updated Definitive Guide instead.

A while ago I wrote about Google’s otherwise excellent Picasa photo management program,  complaining that all your editing, labeling, captioning information gets lost when you move / copy your photos to another computer.

That’s because Picasa does not store such information in the photo files itself, rather uses a set of system files.  This is actually a good concept, you can experiment and safely revert back to the original –  as long as you view / process pics only within Picasa.   However, with thousands of photos, who would not want a backup?   That’s when the nightmare starts .. which files / directories should be copied?  Yes, I know … I should be on Flickr.. call me old-fashioned, I prefer to have a local copy of my images.

Well, unbelievably, Microsoft comes to help with this Google application:-)  Since they recently acquired Foldershare, it is now a freely dowloadable application.   Install it, then set up the following directories to be auto-synchronized between your computers:

  • My Pictures (or wherever the Picasa photos are) with all subdirectories.
  • C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Picasa2
  • C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Picasa2Abums

This will synchronize not only your photos, but all the edit / label ..etc information between any number of computers, over a local network or the Internet.  Btw, the program can be used to sync. any filetypes, not just your photos.