Categories: Picasa for Windows :

Move Picasa database to another location

Showing 1-45 of 45 messages
Move Picasa database to another location Taka 12/24/08 11:18 AM

I am using Picasa on Windows XP. The Picasa database is located in my Windows profile. I do not want it there. My Windows profile is not meant to have GBs of data just for a database of images. In fact I think it is a big mistake that Picasa never asked me where to put the database and I can not find a way to move it to another location.

So my question is how do I move the database from my profile to a location that I want. I searched the "options" in the program and I searched the registry, but none of those seems to hold any useful information.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Robert Brown 12/24/08 12:34 PM
Can't do it, Taka.  Picasa insists on keeping it where it is.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Taka 12/24/08 1:06 PM
Thanks for your answer Robert,

But it is a shocking answer. I hope that the developers of Picasa understand that this can be a game-breaker. For me it is anyway. It is no fun to have Picasa indexing tens of thousands of photos and then find out that there is not enough space on drive C:\., while there is a D:\ with enough space for data.

Maybe Picasa isn't meant for people who have been using a digital camera for more than a few years?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Blbec 12/25/08 12:18 PM
I came searching on this very same issue. I have an EEE that I thought I could be clever with and put all my photos on an external hard drive to hook up. Didn't consider that the database has to remain on my system and eats up over 1/8th of my total space. Desktop hd space is cheap now so it wont matter to most people, but for note/netbooks it is a major flaw.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location funkazio 1/15/09 9:29 AM
Actually you can move the Picasa Database, yet the method is not completely "conventional" (it's not a setting, nor a registry tweak). What you need is a symbolic link. you just need the Microsoft free utility called Junction ( then you can create a link with something like:
junction "C:\Documents and Settings\xxx\Local Settings\Application Data\Google" "D:\whateveryouwant\Google"
From then on, all Google settings (including the Picasa database) will be stored on "D:\whateveryouwant\Google". I used that system about one year ago and had no problems since.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location balou06 3/22/09 10:28 AM
Hi, funkazio, great idea, like Unix, this allows to move all google huge informations to another partition or disk.
To use :  copy google datas (under c:\Documents & Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application data\Google to a save folder or backup
Copy same datas to the target folder (you got two exact copies (plus save folder in case of problem), example : D:\Google
delete all data under the C: Google path
Open a cmd session, go to junction path and junction -s <source dir on C:> <destination dir on D: or else> (-s recurses folders)
Your junction is ready and lot of Mb available !
Start picasa to check it is ok
To remove : copy datas from target dir to a save folder or backup
junction -d the target and restore your backup
Works fine here (South of France)
Re: Move Picasa database to another location waterlou 5/7/09 5:26 PM
FANTASTIC!  Thanks for the help... I used if as balou06 recommended and it worked great!
Re: Move Picasa database to another location milan39 5/7/09 6:55 PM
i need help, so this is not a reply - i want to move all picasa photos (about 5000+) to my eee external drive - exporting folder and album one at a time is impossible - i downloaded junction - when i opened it wants to extract all files - when i click next is wants toplace everything at 'internet[1] - where is this located and i am extracting my picasa photos or something else...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Robert Brown 5/7/09 7:06 PM
If you don't have album definitions, you can move your folders as a batch with Windows Explorer, then just go to tools>folder manager and set the external drive folders to "scan always".

If you have your folders stored under My Pictures, you can redirect that folder to your external drive if you are using Vista (I think you can do that with XP as well but I am not certain).

It is also possible to manually edit the files that backup your album definitions.  In general you will have to open one file per album and do one batch search and replace.  Check back and we can give you a pocedure or do a search of the forum.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location milan39 5/7/09 7:38 PM
i am using windows xp - ok, i just figured it out - i highlighted 'folders' in picasa (of course, it will not repeat what it just did!!!) and eventually found my computer in the dialog box and went to my pictures and found the external drive which then went craxy copying - now i will try 'albums' - thanks
Re: Move Picasa database to another location ray30 5/23/09 3:47 PM
where exactly in what file is all the photos that are created in Picasa save in xp pro and Kubuntu??????

Re: Move Picasa database to another location perspectives 6/2/09 2:54 PM
So, I am having trouble understanding EXACTLY how to do this.  I thought I did,  Can anyone help talk me through this?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location scrapblond 6/8/09 12:04 AM
I did the link thing alweel and it worked like a charm. Only problem I have now is that dedatabaseis grown to 29 gig. That is the size of my C:. So i am glad the link thing worked
Re: Move Picasa database to another location colehill 10/4/09 1:46 PM
I just made a 'Junction' with a program called 'wimboliclink' after reading the advice here.

My C drive is only 9gig so It really needed doing, if anyone needs help with getting this done then contact me and I'l try and help
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Alpetrus 10/19/09 11:52 AM
In Microsoft Vista use command mklink (you don't need to install any software)
First move folder "Google" from C:\Users\Kuba\AppData\Local to for example D:\
Open cmd.exe as administrator.
Go to C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local (C:\ and command "cd Users\<USER>\AppData\Local")
Type: mklink /d Google "D:\Google" (C:\Users\Kuba\AppData\Local>mklink \d Google "D:\Google")
That's it. In C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local will be created symbolic link to folder on D drive (D:\Google) where you move all google (Picasa, Chrome etc.) database and other files. All google program data will be save in folder on D drive, and you have a lot of free space on C drive from now :)
Re: Move Picasa database to another location RussellZ 10/20/09 4:47 PM
should the junction solution work with a mapped network drive?  I tried this on windows 7 and while I can create the junction, picasa gives me an error on startup and the only solution is to remove the junction.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location flir 10/21/09 12:24 PM
Hi, I tried to make a junction with "junction" to google folder -but I got a "access is denied" - Um could anyone help me? I totally suck with command promt...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location flir 10/21/09 1:05 PM
Of course it would be better to have a google-tool for moving the database. Atleast for me it is simply impossible to keep the database at drive C...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location funkgypsy 10/23/09 1:50 PM
Here is an easy, two-step explanation which describes a registry tweak that changes the location of the Google databases, and how to move the data. I tried it and it worked perfectly.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location RussellZ 10/23/09 4:00 PM
what if you don't have Google desktop installed?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Glenlan 10/23/09 5:14 PM
Well I too have been stung by Google's incompetence. I carefully backed up all my user data before I rebuilt my laptop and then put it back in the new one. But all the incredible work I had done in Picasa 3 identifying faces if gone. What the hell are you thinking Google? Face recognition is a killer app, but Picasa is a very poor product indeed to allow the user to lose their classification data in this way.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Djeedub 11/18/09 2:31 PM
My db3 dir was getting up to 4gb, insane that those techies at google wont fix it...
its only one extra option in the preferences for those who need it !
Re: Move Picasa database to another location rtayek 12/28/09 5:22 PM
i have made the command line junction work on my win xp. the junction link magic program works also (this is a gui and might be more useful to some). be sure to back up the picasa2 and picasa2albums folders before you try this (they must be empty before you make the link).

it does seem sad that google won't fix this problem. the fix is *very* simple - we just need a command line parameter or an entry in a config file to specify where these folders are. this would let users have multiple databases on different (or the same) drives.

Re: Move Picasa database to another location iansig 1/10/10 9:09 AM
similar problem to others, used the junction facility, and managed to get the photos to be visible by the other user account, but get the error message "cblock file::openblock err 11" followed by a number of the db file names that are in the db directory. Works fine in the original account still. Any clues?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location double_libra 1/23/10 3:03 PM
does anyone know if they have something that will do the same thing as described by funkazio, but on a Mac?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location PhilAtWork 2/8/10 8:23 AM
Since Mac OSX is unix, just go into the terminal and make a symbolic link:
ln -s <source dir> <destination dir>
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Dave Guy 2/10/10 6:44 PM
Sorry if I seem a little slow... I've read over a number of threads like this and there's one thing that keeps tripping me up.  (I'm using XP.)  When I use 'junction' to link from c:\Documents and Settings\David\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Pacasa2 to a directory on my external drive (e:), I get the dreaded "The data present in the reparse point buffer is invalid."

I think this means:  In XP, you canNOT create a junction from one physical drive to another.  (But correct me if I'm wrong.)

How did you guys (of those of you who are using XP) get around this!?!
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 3/3/10 3:57 PM
I made a startup-script for starting Picasa that lets you define where Picasa should search for its Database/save it's database... This way you can force Picasa par example to put the database on a network drive, even on Windows XP (where symlinks aren't supported yet). If you let the scripts of all your computers point to the same place... You have a shared database...
Because the database probably could be corrupted if you edit it with multiple people concurrently, I put in a check so it's not possible to start picasa together on the different PC's using the same database.
Here you can find the information: 
Re: Move Picasa database to another location mahmudi 3/12/10 10:17 PM
Hi there

I'm working with Win98 and solved the problem in the registry. Should work with XP too. Change the "Local AppData" Key under "HKEY_USERS\<username>\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders". Be sure to use double backslashes for the path.

Or create a file named (e.g.) "picfolder.reg" with


[HKEY_USERS\<username>\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders]
"Local AppData"="X:\\<as you like it>"

Click on this file and confirm the registry change request. If you want to restore the previous path create another file named "locappdata.reg" with the old path instead of "X:\\<as you like it>".

By the way you can replace also the Picasa Hot Folders (the folders that are scanned when Picasa does not have the database info):

"0"="C:\\Profiles\\<username>\\My Documents\\My Pictures\\"
"1"="C:\\Profiles\\<username>\\My Documents\\"
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Terabyte 3/14/10 5:37 AM
Guys, the problem here is Google simply doesn't listen nor does it care.  They have so many problems with Chrome on web sites and they claim to be in v4 and don't fix them.  There very little chance Google even reads these posts let alone cares enough to fixt PIcasa's problems.  Chrome is gone from my PC now and Picassa is going shortly.  I should not have to jury rig a product for it to work.  Goolge lives on it search engine and until it starts losing $ they won't charge for anything else and if Picasa was a fee-based product it simply wouldn't sell.  So for free you either have to live with it, jury rig it, or dump it. I'm going with the last choice.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 3/14/10 8:52 AM
@mahmudi: Nice try, but be very careful changing this. These keys are used by a lot of applications, so all those application will now use the <as you like it> folder... with the possibility that you are going to lose files!
Check out my thread about it... here. In 5 minutes I'll post an alternative to my .bat files, as a lot of people are a bit scared of them... in the form of a snall "PicasaStarter" application... check it out if you are interested...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 3/14/10 8:53 AM
Wrong button :-)... now the link...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location AlamZeeshan 3/15/10 8:47 AM
Here is step by step how to change picasa database location, even a dumb person can follow these instructions

Method 1 [ USING SYMBOLIC LINKS] for Vista

1. Create a folder in another drive where you want to move the database, for example "Picasa Database" folder in E:\Program Files\Google folder.
2. Now go to C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2 rename the folder "Picasa2" to "oldPicasa2".
3. Copy all the contents of C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2 to E:\Program Files\Google\Picasa Database.
4. In Run (press WIndows+R) type cmd, it will open command prompt.
5. In command prompt type [ mklink /D "C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2" "E:\Program Files\Google\Picasa Database" ](without brackets) and press enter.
6. You will get a message "symbolic link created for C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2 <<===>> E:\Program Files\Google\Picasa Database
7. Now delete the folder oldPicasa2 from C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google.
8. Now your picasa database is moved to E:\Program Files\Google\Picasa Database.
This method will work in XP also only you have to find the location of picasa database folder and instead of using C:\Users\Zeeshan\AppData\Local\Google\Picasa2, use that location

Method 2 [Change the location of Local folder only in Vista]

1. Go to folder C:\Users\UserName\AppData
2. Right click on folder "Local" and select Properties
3. Go to Location Tab. Click on move and select any folder on other drive, for example F:\Users\Local
4. You will be asked whether to move all the files from the old location to the new location, select Yes
5. Now your picasa database is moved to F:\Users\Local\Google\Picasa2.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location PGFracing 3/15/10 10:11 PM
I tried going to CMD prompt and using the junction feature however it says junction is not internal or external command. Do I need to have the Junction Exe file located somewhere special for it to work?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location PGFracing 3/15/10 10:17 PM
Okay figured out it needed to be in the C:Windows folder. So went ahead and tried it and said junction only supported in NTFS systems. What can I do now to get this junction idea to work or something else?
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 3/16/10 3:22 PM
I created a little application that is supposed to do the trick...
To be found here...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location AlamZeeshan 3/19/10 5:57 AM
<<<<<<<<junction only supported in NTFS systems>>>>>>>

Dude change your FAT file system to NTFS
To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt

   1. Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
   2. In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs

For example, typing [convert D: /fs:ntfs] would change drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location PGFracing 4/3/10 3:01 PM
If I change my hard drive to NTFS will it delete my current files on there? That Picasa Starter worked easy and perfect for me on my FAT32 system. Windows XP
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 4/3/10 3:37 PM
Changing to NTFS won't delete your current files.
But for PicasaStarter it is indeed not necessary to have NTFS... On Windows XP it uses another trick than junctions to change the location Picasa saves its database to because Windows XP doesn't support juntctions that point to a network drive anyway (they are called symbolic links), and I wanted Picasa to support networks...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location Arkenn 4/9/10 10:17 AM
I haven't tried it yet but GREAAAT!!
exactly wht i was hardly looking for!

May i suggest a new feature?
Based on mahmudi post (3/13/10), Picasa seems to have a database location check list.
The last thing missing in PicasaStarter to be perfect is to manage a check list for moving database.
For example, my goal is to have my picasa database on my NAS, mapped on X: for my photos folder. The problem is sometimes i need to connect it via USB (better transfert rate for big tasks). My X: is no longer available.
With this new feature, we could have: first, it check this path (X:\...), if not OK, it check this path, ...
I think a 3 locations choice is enough.

An other solution (or other new feature), is to have a button opening a windows dialog box for select the drive containing the database.
This could be useful for Picasa [half]Portable version.
Example:  you have your picasa database, your picasa starter and your photos on an external drive (USB). On every PC you connect your drive (with picasa preéinstalled) you can easily change the drive letter of you path for your database (your drive won't be mapped always on the same letter on differents PC).

I hope this will give you new ideas.
Congratulations for your work and Thanks a lot!
Re: Move Picasa database to another location the_roggy 4/9/10 1:26 PM
Hello Arken... first try it before getting too enthousiastic :-)...
I think the two features are already available in PicasaStarter... just not the automatic checking which drive is available, but I think it could give some risks as well...
Try it first as it is, and if you still have suggestions (or questions or wathever) post them on the PicasaStarter forum accessible on the PicasaStarter site... this is more practical than this (huge) thread...
Re: Move Picasa database to another location GJPerera 5/6/10 7:38 AM
@funkazio - Thanks for the great idea to use hard linking for this problem. I just posted a how-to on my site that walks you step by step using a similar method, but a little easier. I hope you all find it useful. Link to how-to - Again @funkazio, thanks for the inspiration.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location barnslave 6/9/10 2:44 PM

Sent email via your website but not sure it actually got to you.  I followed your terrific instructions and obviously did something wrong because I now have my Picassa database on both C and D drives.  When I started Picassa it started a new scan as if I had not done one before.  So could really use your help if you have a moment or two.  Email me at  Thanks again.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location yodiyo 7/10/10 12:19 PM
Thanks, Roggy. Works like a charm and now I have some much-needed free space on my c drive! Just to add, I backed up the two necessary folders and then deleted them on the c:drive - you may want to add this to instructions for newbies.
Re: Move Picasa database to another location dvae 7/12/10 12:53 PM
Here is a very straightforward method for doing this. See:

It also works by creating a junction, but the whole process is very well explained and actually worked for me!
More topics »