Jan 202009

It does happen. I saw it just this past week while private tutoring someone on Picasa. I double-clicked on a thumbnail photo of a little girl, and what appeared was a photo of a boat! What the …. ?!#%*!

This can be a scary experience if you don’t know what’s going on. It appears that your pictures are missing or garbled. All that has actually happened is that Picasa’s listings of them have become corrupted. Your photos are fine. It’s like you’re trying to read a book with someone else’s eyeglasses. Nothing looks right, but the book is fine.

What I referred to above as Picasa’s ‘listings’ is actually a database, and it needs to be rebuilt. The built in method to accomplish this is to hold down the Alt, Ctrl, and Shift key as you launch Picasa. Make sure to launch Picasa from the start menu however, not from a desktop icon.

So, hold down Alt, Ctrl and Shift; Click Start and Picasa 3. Once you see the Picasa 3 logo, you can let go of Alt Ctrl Shift. It will take a minute, but you should eventually see:

Alt Ctrl Shift to open Picasa and rebuild database

Click Yes, and it will rebuild it’s internal database. When it’s done, your pictures should all be back to normal.

If you don’t want to trust this built in procedure and you’d rather do it yourself, let me tell you how. The database is actually a set of folders found within a folder called Picasa2. Yes, even in Picasa3, the database is found in a folder called Picasa2. That folder is located along with other program settings in your Windows user settings folder. Specifically, in Windows Vista it is:


In XP it is:

C:Documents and SettingsChrisLocal Settingsapplication datagooglePicasa2
Where it reads ‘Chris’ above, you would substitute your user name. (thanks to a comment below for reminding me to tell you that this is a *hidden* folder. You will only see it if you have your system set to view hidden folders – Tools, Folder Options, View, Show Hidden Folders) The easiest way to make Picasa rebuild it’s database is to remove the current one,then it has no choice but to build a new one the next time it opens. I like to just rename the Picasa2 folder to something like Picasa2-backup, just in case something goes wrong, I can always return to how it was. Then I open Picasa. It will come up with the same message it displayed when you first installed it … “Do you want me to scan your entire computer, or just My Documents / My Pictures?” I choose the ‘My Documents … ” option. When it’s done with it’s scan everything should be back to normal.
GOT Class Members can watch tutorial videos on:
First Time Using Picasa 3 – scan for photos