Nov 132010

I want to know how to set up a Picasa account. What I want to do is have pictures of various occasions on my Picasa site and be able to let specific friends be able to view and download any pictures they would like. Is all this possible?

What you want is provided by Picasa Web Albums.  You can upload groups of pictures from your computer to Web Albums.  Each album will have whatever name you give it, and each album can be shared with the whole world, or just selected friends.

Step 1 – a Google Account

You will need a Google account in order to use Picasa Web Albums.  It is your Google account that identifies your photos as yours.  If you don’t already have a Google account, the easiest way to do that is to sign up for Gmail.  Gmail is Google’s free email system.  If you have a gmail account, that is also your Google account.

Step 2 – Upload your Pictures

Picasa Web Albums is located at  Your web albums will be located at

So … if you have Picasa and you have a Google account, here’s how you upload a photo to Picasa Web Albums:

  • Select the photos you want to upload, you will see them in the selection tray – lower left
  • Click the upload button- The very first time you’ll be prompted to set up your web albums using your Google account, thereafter just be sure you’re logged in – upper right.


  • Review the name of web album or click New to , visibility of album, and upload size (medium is recommended)
  • Click Upload – all photos uploaded will now have a green arrow added to their thumbnail in the Library view

Public = the world can see your pictures

You’re done.  You should be able to go to and see these photos.  And, as long as you selected ‘Public’ in the Visibility option, anyone else in the world can also see your photos at that location.  All you have to tell them is the web address:


Don’t want the world to see?

While viewing the Web Album in question, click on Edit / Album Properties.  here is where you can change the option for Visibility.  If you choose ‘Anyone with the link’ that means that people cannot stumble upon your pictures and they will not show up in any kind of search.  Only people that you send the link to will be able to see them.  If you choose private, then you get to list the specific people who have access and they must log in to their google accounts to prove they are the right people before being able to view your album.

Allowing people to download your pictures

Allowing viewers to download your pictures is another setting, but it is an overall setting for *all* your Web Albums.  It cannot be set one way for album 1 and another way for album 2.  You will find the setting in the upper right corner beside your login.  Click Settings, then click Privacy and Permissions.  You will see an option for “Allow any visitor to Download my Photos.”


A relatively new feature in Picasa Web Albums is the ability to collaborate.  That means you can share an album with a friend or family member and give them the ability to upload photos to the same album.  This is a great way to build a family photo album, or a club photo album.  It’s very easy to set up.  All you have to do is click the Share icon above any Picasa Web Album and make sure to check the box for, “Let people I share with contribute photos.”  See more about collaboration in Picasa’s Help Articles.

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