I originally wrote this article in 2007, but I updated it for 2014 because a lot of things have changed in seven years. Firstly, Picasa Web Albums no longer exist. Since the release of Google+, all photo storage takes place in Google+ Photos. However, you can still use Picasa on both Mac and PC to upload your photos to Google+ Photos.
I am a big fan of Picasa because of the ease of use and organization of all my photos. The fact that I can store my photos locally the way I want them, organize them in Picasa using albums and then upload them directly to Google+ Photos. I don't like Flickr because it's so hard to upload photos and they don't have a desktop program to organize all my thousands of photos. So if you're trying to decide the best program for managing your photos, I'll go with Picasa!
Ok, so here you go, how to set up Google+ Photos with Picasa (and turn Picasa in turn), STEP!
Step 1) Download the Picasa program. Go http://picasa.google.com/ and click the Download Picasa link. A dialog box will pop up requesting to save the file or run it. You can simply click Run, so after downloading, it will automatically start the installation. As mentioned earlier, it's available for both Mac and Windows, which is really good.
Step 2) Next, before you start Picasa, you can move all your photos into the My Pictures folder in My Documents. That is where Picasa saves the first image for your image. Now if you have a lot of pictures and it will take too much time to move them or you just want to don, then go ahead and open Picasa and you can ask it to look in other folders for your picture.
Step 3) Go ahead and launch Picasa. Once downloaded, a dialog box appears asking to scan your entire computer or just My Photos, My Documents, and the desktop. I usually choose the second option (My Pics, My Docs, Desktop) because otherwise, when scanning the entire computer, it will get lots of junk images you may not want (Office icon, etc.). So, even if your photos are not in those folders, just select it and I will show you how to add the following folders.
Step 4) Take some time to find all the images and you will see the download folders on the left. When you click one of the folders, all images will upload on the right as thumbnails. By default, it's smart enough to sort all images by year, month and so on.
Quick tip: If the date set by Picasa is incorrect, simply right-click the folder and select Edit Description. Here you can change the date and also add a location if you want.
Step 5) Everything has been downloaded, you can click on any folder in the left pane and it will highlight that folder and display the image for that folder. Then just right click on the folder and there is an option called Upload to Google+ Photos. When you click on it, it will ask you for your login information, so you need to create a Google account if you don't have a Google account. There is an option to register, so click that if you don't have a Google account.
Step 6) When you do that, it will bring up another dialog box asking for the title of the album and some other information. Most of them are self-discovering, but leave the settings for the default Download Upload setting as Best for Sharing. You can choose Original If you want to create a backup of all your images at the highest resolution.
Now that Google+ Photos is your new Picasa Web Album, you have the option to share it with your Google+ circles. If you don't add anyone, it will be a private album. Now click Upload and you have successfully uploaded your first album to Google+ Photos from Picasa.
Step 7) To view your photos on Google+, visit the following link: https://plus.google.com/photos.
Since 2014, the hosting plan has changed. Now you get 15 GB of free storage for Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. Google+ Photos also has a great feature whereby you don't get charged for storage if the photos you upload have resolutions below 2048 × 2048. So if you choose the Best option to share, in theory You can upload unlimited photos for free.
You can purchase additional shared storage on Drive, Gmail and Photos starting at $ 2 a month for 100 GB, $ 10 a month for 1 TB, etc. Here is a link about Google's new hosting packages:
For this article, I just focused on using Picasa to organize your photos and upload to Google+ Photos without mentioning all the other interesting features of the program and Google+ Photos. I will save it for another post, but Picasa is a great photo editing tool if you want to edit your photos before uploading.
Overall, it is an impressive piece of software and is the best option for those who already have a Google account and are heavily invested in another service like Flickr. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments. Enjoy!
Update: Google Picasa has been closed since May 1, 2016, transfer user data to Google Photos, so this article is currently for reference only and no longer valid for use,
Thank you readers!