Google Photos Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Picasa team

Sleep soundly: Back up your photos

Thursday, March 13, 2008 8:31 PM

Has it been a while since you backed up your photos? Wait, have you ever backed up your photos? Your computer will fail sooner or later -- that’s just how it goes. What matters are the steps that you’ve taken to prepare for that day.

Picasa doesn't automatically back up or even store your photos. It's more like a play list, in that it takes photos that already exist on your hard drive, and displays those photos without moving or altering them. So if your hard drive is suddenly beyond repair, Picasa won't be able to help you recover your photos. It's up to you to back them up.

In the Picasa Help Group, our most experienced users recommend backing up your photos to an external hard drive whenever you make changes. They even suggest keeping another backup in a separate location in case of fire or flood. The level at which you protect your photos really depends on how valuable they are to you. But one thing is certain: they are valuable, and they do need to be protected.

The good news is that Picasa makes it easy to back up your memories. You can always upload your photos to Picasa Web Albums - choose 'Slowest upload - largest size' in the upload dialogue box to secure your photos in full resolution. In terms of offline options, there are a couple of ways you can go about it, both located under Tools > Backup Pictures:

  1. Back up to an external hard drive: For larger collections, this may be the way to go. Once you’ve initially backed up your entire collection, Picasa will then only back up the recent changes that you’ve made. This saves you time, and ensures that your entire collection will live on. Using an external drive with Picasa’s backup feature is also a great way to migrate to a new computer.
  2. Back up to CD or DVD: Burning your photos to CD or DVD is a convenient option. Should your hard drive ever fail, or should a power surge hit your external drive, you will thank your lucky stars as you recover all of your photos and edits.
So take a few minutes to secure all of those memories that you’ve spent so much time editing and organizing -- it's worth it.