The Biggest Mistake You Can Make with Your Pictures

recycleWe’re worried about you deleting your pictures unintentionally!  We think this is the biggest mistake you can make with your pictures.  We’ve seen grown men cry when they realize their pictures are gone.  Imagine learning that it was your fault!  If you haven’t already taken our quiz, and you’d like to test your own knowledge before reading this article, you can take our Picasa Quiz #1 here.

The majority of people who took our Picasa Quiz got the wrong answer when asked about deleting pictures.  Here’s the question:


If you take a look at the results, you’ll find that 57% of the respondents answered d. You’ve only deleted the Picasa copy, your original is still on your computer.  710 people have taken the quiz to date, that means 404 people (that we know of) are in danger of accidentally deleting their pictures because they believe that they are only deleting ‘Picasa’s copy.’ 

If you answered D, you’re wrong! 

Picasa does not have an extra copy of your pictures.  Picasa is not a container.   When you first installed Picasa, there was a message that we emphasize in our classes, “Scanning for pictures never moves or copies files to new locations.  You can choose which folders are displayed by Picasa using the Folder Manager tool (available from the Tools menu)”

Picasa is your faithful servant, doing whatever you ask to the pictures on your computer.  If you ask Picasa to delete a picture, it DELETES THAT PICTURE FROM YOUR COMPUTER.  Just as if you had seen the picture listed in Windows Explorer, or Macintosh Finder, and deleted it yourself. 

Everybody reading this, I want you to do something right now.  I want you to open Picasa, click on a picture and then press the Delete key on your computer.  You should see this warning message:


If you now click on the ‘Delete Image’ button, your selected picture(s) will be deleted from your computer (so please press ‘Cancel’ this time!) ) If, at any time you have checked the box for ‘Don’t ask again …’ your pictures will be deleted immediately upon pressing the delete button. 

In case you don’t understand the ‘Recycle Bin’ concept, here’s an explanation: in both Windows and Macintosh, whenever an item is deleted from the computer, it is sent to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Macintosh).  It stays there until such time as you empty your trash/recycle bin.  This is just a standard operation of your computer, it has nothing to do with Picasa.  In any case, the picture has been deleted from it’s location and you will not be able to see it using Picasa or My Pictures, or any other photo management program.  It’s gone.  Unless you manually open your trash/recycle bin and use the Restore command to get it back.

Where to Learn More …

 Geeks on Tour includes over 80 different Tutorial Videos just on Picasa.  We also have a discussion forum and we’ve added a topic which discusses this quiz.  If you view this topic, you will  learn which Videos teach the answers.  We’ve included notations for which videos require a membership and which are free for all to view.

Published by


Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

36 thoughts on “The Biggest Mistake You Can Make with Your Pictures”

  1. On a Mac it says “delete from disk” and it does, no second chance. However the working says “Delete from Disk” which is pretty straight forward.


  2. Sometimes old pictures get distorted in Picasa. If you delete them, then restore them from Recycle Bin, the picture is restored and the distortion is gone.


  3. Chris…
    Lots of info/publicity about Google’s new $ 35 com cast item….
    Any chance the “cast” capability will be added by Google to Picasa?
    Thank you and thanks for your pubs!


    1. Hey Dave, thanks for the kind words!
      I beleive that’s the Chrome Cast, you’re talking about. It does sound way cool. What I read applies only to video and audio right now – not just viewing static content like photos. But, yes … I would expect something like that in the future.


      1. Anything that you view in the Chrome browser can be “cast” if on the same WiFi network. I’ve not tried it yet, but that’s what I’ve been told.

        I am a happy Chromecast owner!


  4. Great tip, and one I learned the hard way…
    NOW I am a happy member of the GEEKS ON TOUR technical tips,
    So I wont have to learn things the hard way any more 🙂


  5. I recently had to reinstall Windows 7 on my laptop. All my pictures are stored in Picasa. How can I now restore those folders/pictures to my disk? Does Picasa see that these folders no longer exist on my reinstalled Windows disk? Or will it delete all my pictures in Picasa because they no longer exist on my computer?



  6. I keep getting the Do You Want To Delete to Recyle Bin, and I have NOT hit Delete, and then it will NOT go away. I have to restart. I will be happily adding photos to Facebook (it never did this before that feature) and suddenly it’s threatening me. What’s up?


  7. I keep getting the Do You Want To Delete to Recyle Bin, and I have NOT hit Delete, and then it will NOT go away. I have to restart. I will be happily adding photos to Facebook (it never did this before that feature) and suddenly it’s threatening me. What’s up?


  8. My current copy of Picasa does not function
    I thought I could down load the new version, and when I do I get this mess
    .CblockFile::Restore err=2, albums_index.db

    If I uninstall Picasa, will I still be able to keep my photos?
    Will that include screen captures?

    I like Picasa and would like to re-install

    Please email me back as I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find this forum again . . .THX
    Email me at


    1. I don’t know of a “Picasa Trash Bin.” If you deleted them using Picasa – on your computer – then they are in your Recycle Bin and you can restore them from there. If you’re referring to Picasa Web Albums, online, I believe you need to use the Google+ interface to photos. Then, you’ll have an album called Trash. Deleted photos are held there for 60 days.


      1. Sorry, quick question: I used Picasa for photos on my flashdrive. The photos I deleted using Picasa aren’t in the recycling bin. I deleted another file from the same flashdrive outside of Picasa as a little experiment and I see it in the recycling bin, but not the other photos. Is there any way of getting those photos back?


    1. If you mean the Project folder called Movies, you can find it using Explorer (or Mac Finder) in Username\Pictures\Picasa\Movies Then use windows commands (or Mac Finder) to copy the folder wherever you like.


  9. Suddenly for no apparent reason several of my folders containing photos disappeared.
    Cannot find them anywhere – not in MY Pictures and yet I know that I did not press any delete button
    Please help


  10. uh……while transferring photos from my camera to my computer, i asked picasa to remove all photos from my camera AFTER downloading all to picasa. Instead, picasa just deleted the entire card without first downloading the pictures to the computer. So the pictures seem to be gone! What happened?????????


  11. As I was deleting some folders in Picasa, I noticed that folders that contained documents…not photos…were deleted as well. How is it possible that I can delete folders that are not photo folders from Picasa? And why is there no prompt asking me if I am sure I want to delete this folder first? I looked in my Recycle Bin and nothing. I will say that my files were all located on an external hard drive, which may be why these files aren’t appearing in my Recycle Bin. Please tell me there is a way that I can recover these documents. And PLEASE tell me that Picasa will be adding a “trash” folder soon…clearly, based on other comments…it is very much NEEDED!!!!


    1. Picasa does indeed warn you when you delete a folder. And, it DOES go to the recycle bin. See a screenshot I took of the warning:
      It is possible that you have turned this warning off … check it out in Tools->Options->General Then look for the checkbox called “Delete from Disk without confirmation.” By default that is NOT checked.


  12. I need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please!

    Every time I do something with fonts on Picasa and then I save the picture the writing disappears!!!! WHY?! it gets really annoying when i spend hrs then it vanishes I end up not saving my image and figuring out what to do

    please help


  13. I have a folder of folders from 2011 in my picasa collection. For some reason it decided that it includes photos from January of 2020. So now it alwasys shows at the top of the list when ranking albums by date, most current first. How can this be corrected? I can’t see a place anywhere this could be corrected.


  14. I just finished uninstalling Picasa and Picasa Albums/Folders because I wanted to update to a higher brand of photoeditting software. I do like Picasa, not gonna lie, but I need more features than it has. Before I installed it, I used to open the photos in Windows Photo Viewer. I expected that to work, but instead it shows as if the file is corrupted or its a different file type. It doesn’t seem to me like its a JPG file anymore. Not really sure, because I cant open the picture on anything on my Windows 7. Need lots of help!! I’m so frustrated because all the photos I had imported into the computer while I had Picasa are acting the same way. Can I change the file type?


    1. First of all, you don’t need to uninstall Picasa in order to use another photo editor. In picasa, you can right-click on a picture and choose “Open With” and then choose your other editor – like photoshop – make your edits in PhotoShop and save. When you return to Picasa the picture will be the one saved by Photoshop.
      Ok, but you did uninstall Picasa. Do not remove the folders with pictures in them! Those are your pictures. Picasa was just the tool you used to work with them. If the files you’re clicking on are .jpg files then double-clicking will run whatever program – e.g. Windows Photo Viewer – that is set in your File Associations. Just click your start button, search for association, and “Change the file Type Associated with a File Extension. Hope that helps … for anything further, you need to be a Geeks on Tour member and use our Q&A forum. and click the menu for q&A forum


  15. I scan pictures and edit them. When I try to save them, some disappear but when I click on them, they change to the ones that disappeared and the picture I think I’m clicking on, disappears. If I then scan to a different folder, I can’t put it in the folder I want it in, I can’t move it to any other. This only happens with scanned pictures.


  16. When I upload from my SD card, I pick delete from SD card and upload. 2 TIMES now it has deleted everything and then not uploaded, causing me to lose hundreds of amazing photos. What gives??


  17. I imported photos into Picasa. They were copied. but now i don’t see them. What did i do wrong? I have used Picasa before and no problem, but this time no pictures. I have erased them from my camera. Please help me.


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