Categories: Picasa for Windows :

Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ?

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Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Gerald.Couper 9/11/11 5:28 AM

I copy my photos from the camera memory card to disk and back them up before I import them to Picasa.  Then when I import to Picasa, I tell Picasa to import from a folder.   I would like each photo to be filed into a folder whose name corresponds to the date that photo was taken.


This is not working for me.  I have Picasa 3.6.0 (build 105.67, 0)  


--- Here is what seems to be happening.

When I import, the new photos are spread into many previously existing dated folders.  The folders where the photos land do not correspond to the date each photo was taken.


The properties of each photo still has the correct “date taken”.  So I must manually search through all my folders looking for the new photos (whose “date taken” does not match the folder where they are located, and move them to the proper dated folder.  This is time-consuming.


The user interface of Picasa seems to suggest that this feature should work.  But it is not working for me.  

There are several other questions on this topic.  One says this feature is working for them in Picasa 3.6.  I have Picasa 3.6.  This feature is not working for me.  Am I doing something wrong?

I have two Cannon PowerShot cameras: A540 and the S3 IS .  These cameras may be writing data that is confusing to Picasa.

If development contacts me, I will provide examples of photos and videos that import to the wrong directory.  This way they can see the data in the files, and debug why Picasa is misfiling these photos.


Thank you

Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? FintoFile 9/11/11 9:09 AM
For what it's worth, I'm having a very similar problem.  I downloaded Picasa 3.8 about a week ago and have been using it to import photos to my computer hard drive from numerous memory cards that have accumulated from various trips.  I'm using a memory card reader, not connecting the camera to the computer.  I chose the option to import the photos into "date taken" folders that should reflect when the photo was taken.  Now I've noticed that in many cases it's importing the photos into folders that don't reflect when the photo was actually taken.
For example, it created a 2008-10-11 folder and put into it only one photo, which was taken on August 16, 2008.  The correct date is clearly obvious if you mouse over the photo, or right click on the photo and click "Properties."  In another case, the 2008-08-14 folder has photos from August 13th, 14th and 15th.  Many more examples.  My pix were also taken with a Canon PowerShot.  I'm running a pretty updated version of Vista on my laptop.
I posted a queston about this a couple of days ago and haven't gotten a reply.  Hoping someone can help us out.  Very frustrating...
Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Don Lind 9/11/11 9:11 AM
You're actually making duplicate copies of the photos on your disk when you tell Picasa to import photos from a folder on your disk.   Import is generally used to import photos from a memory card (or camera).  That tells Picasa to copy the photos from the input area and to create a new folder on your disk that contains new copies of the photos. 

USUALLY, if the photos are already on your disk, you would just tell Picasa to find them - i.e., make sure the folder is set to "Scan Always" in the Tools -> "Folder Manager..." dialog in Picasa.

Picasa 3.6 is pretty old.  You might want to install the current Picasa 3.8.  Download and install from

That "YYYY-MM-DD" setting in the folder is supposed to have Picasa automatically put the photos into the "right" date folder.   I looked at the "date" stuff in the EXIF - and I was VERY surprised to see that the date is in there as character data... I was expecting an internal form of some sort, like "number of seconds since Jan 1, 1970".  I say that only to say that it seems funny that Picasa wouldn't get the photos in the right folder.

I've seen a few other posts that say it's not working.   I rarely use that feature.   I almost ALWAYS shoot photos and then immediately import them into a folder and I give the folder a meaningful name.  I don't really like date-named folders.  The folder has a date attribute already... why waste the name?    ANYWAY... I did use that import feature just yesterday and it worked fine for me. 

I'd suggest you try moving up to Picasa 3.8.  Whatever you're seeing may be fixed there.   And any future fixes will definitely be "on top" of the latest release - which is Picasa 3.8 at this point...
Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Don Lind 9/11/11 9:16 AM
@FintoFile - yeah... I saw your post the other day...  I didn't have any real ideas as to why it wouldn't be working...
I'll make sure the Picasa guys see this info...
Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? FintoFile 9/11/11 9:22 AM
Even though this isn't my thread, I posted a similar question about the same problem, so I hope it's okay for me to chime in.
I downloaded what I assume is the very latest version of 3.8, since it was just about a week ago, and I can vouch that it's not fixed--I'm having the exact same problem, importing directly from memory cards, not from a folder on the hard drive.
Don, two questions:  Do you think there's some way for us, the users, to fix this problem on our end?  Is there an issue either in our machines, in Vista, or in our installation of Picasa that can we can correct to make this problem go away?
Also, if we were to avoid using the date options when importing thru Picasa, do you think the import will work correctly in other ways?  For example, putting all the photos into the target folder, and not distributing them among other pre-existing folders?
I'm asking these questions as a newbie, not sure if I should stick with Picasa or explore some other program for importing purposes.  Thanks for any info you can provide.
Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Don Lind 9/11/11 12:56 PM
Sure!  Chiming in is always good... discussion is good.   This is a forum  :-)   To tell you the truth, often, we make responses to the forums here and we get no feedback.   We often don't even know if the original person asking the question even saw our response.

I think the problem is not simply that importing into YYYY-MM-DD folders doesn't work.   It does work, at least in general, for many of us.

I suspect that there's something different about your computer... Or something different about your "environment."   Maybe something to do with some of the YYYY-MM-DD folders already existing, as a guess.   I mean, that shouldn't matter... but it might...  

It sounds to me like there's a real bug in Picasa... and that, you and I can't fix.  But you may find a workaround... just a way to avoid the problem until a real fix gets released.

The last bug fix release was about 4 months ago, so you definitely got the latest, current version of Picasa when you installed recently.

You might be able to narrow down the problem so as to get a reproducible test... That makes it MUCH easier for the developers to see what's going on.    That's generally the first step... first we gotta show the dev team that it doesn't work.

Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? FintoFile 9/12/11 7:33 AM
Hi Don-
Thanks for your insight on this issue.
It seems as if the importing into "date taken" folders function works for most people most of the time, or there would be many more complaints on this forum about it.
But there are enough complaints to show that it is not only me and Gerald (the originator of this thread) who are having this problem.  I've seen several postings about it.
So if there is something unusual about my computer and/or environment that is contributing to the problem, it is something that exists in many other people's computers as well.  Perhaps something in Vista?  I don't know whether or not anyone with Windows 7 is having the issue.
You mentioned that perhaps it's "Maybe something to do with some of the YYYY-MM-DD folders already existing, as a guess."  But that can't be it--I don't have any previously-existing folders with that format, only the ones Picasa created since last week.
It's frustrating not being able to narrow down the problem--I'd say about 80-90% of my photos are in the right folders, and I don't see a difference between those that are and those that are not.
I'm going to experiment with importing into folders that are event-named instead of date-named, and see if that works any more consistently in Picasa.  I might also invest in a copy of Photoshop Essentials and see if that imports any more reliably than Picasa.
Thanks for any more info or thoughts you might have on this problem.
Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Gerald.Couper 9/12/11 5:15 PM
I used the feature to "check for updates" in Picasa.  Funny it never told me there was a new version 3.8.  Maybe that one will work better for me.

As for my environment I am running Window XP Professional Service Pack 3.
I keep the security updates and virus definitions up to date.
There is nothing fancy here. No Vista, No Windows 7.

The previously existing folders I was referring to, were those created by Picasa on previous imports.

I am aware that importing photos from a folder creates duplicates on my computer.
I want to have a copy of each original, ever since I became aware that Picasa edits to this photo files internally.   The photo captions and the Geotags go into to the photo .JPG file. 

Don't get me wrong.  I like the editing features of Picasa.  I just want to assure that I can have the original photo back, if I want it.

Re: Can Picasa sort pictures into folders by date when importing ? Gerald.Couper 9/12/11 5:17 PM
P.S.  My offer to provide development with photos and movies that import to the wrong folder is still open.