Updated: January 7, 2015 | Contains affiliate links

Transfer your pictures with Picasa in 3 simple steps


Besides being fast and easy to use, Picasa also can make your life easier when it comes to transferring your pictures from your camera to your computer. When setup correctly, Picasa can place your transferred pictures where you want them and also organize them how you want them. This can be a real time saver on such a repetitive and mundane task as transferring your digital pictures from your camera to computer. Read on to find out how to make transferring your pictures as painless as possible by configuring Picasa to help you.

Create a picture transfer folder

Over the years I have realized that the simplest way to deal with transferring my pictures from camera to computer is to have a specific picture transfer folder on my computer. Then with a little help from Picasa I can turn this picture transfer folder into something that makes my life a lot simpler.

What do I mean? Well, take a look at the example folder structure below.

My Pictures

Think of the TRANSFER folder as the area where you first look at your pictures. You quickly scan the thumbnails, you remove the really bad pictures, you star the really great ones, you assign some initial tags and other quick tasks. This is your initial work area and then FAMILY/2010 will be your final destination of the pictures. In short, TRANSFER is the quick area while FAMILY/year is the final area.

Setup Picasa so that it transfers your pictures automatically to the picture transfer folder

Once you have created the TRANSFER folder, now it’s time to tell Picasa that you want this folder to be your picture import folder.

This setting doesn’t speed up Picasa but it makes life a lot easier when using the Import function of Picasa. I want Picasa to import all images from my camera into the specific folder called My Pictures/TRANSFER. So, in order to ensure that Picasa always picks this folder when importing my pictures, I have to specify this folder in the Save imported pictures in: section of the General options tab.

Setting the import folder in Picasa is very convenient.
Set the picture import folder in Picasa.

Set up Picasa so it creates a folder for each day when importing pictures

While Picasa picture import feature is not the most flexible, it does have the minimum features that make it a time saver. The one feature that really saves me a lot of time is having Picasa create a separate folder for each separate day.

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Configure Picasa to create subfolders for each separate day
The picture import wizard in Picasa.

Notice on the very bottom of the image above that the Import Folder is set to TRANSFER and then I choose to create subfolder and name them as “Date Taken YYYY-MM-DD”. This is exactly what I want. The next field is up to you. I usually want to delete the pictures I copy to the computer from the memory card, but you can choose to “Leave card alone”.

So, let’s say that on my camera (or memory card) I have taken pictures on December 1, December 5 and December 10, 2010. They are all on the same memory card. If I tell Picasa to create a subfolder for each day this is what I will get:

My Pictures

Now this is a time saver! Now I can quickly scan each folder and figure out what happened that day and rename the respective folder with a meaningful name (including place and description).


You’re done! You have transferred your pictures to your computer and they are all neatly arranged by day without you lifting a finger! Now all it’s left to do is to rename the folders and move them to the permanent folder (Read Organize your pictures in 5 steps)

Essentials for organizing your digital photos

Here are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Excellent Lightroom alternative. If you need a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac or ACDSee Photo Studio Professional for Windows is my preferred solution for organizing all my media. It has a very fast browser, great image editing and it's simple to use.

If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has best photo editing capabilities even though it has a steeper learning curve. Adobe Lightroom is my favorite for image editing.

I recommend Backblaze Personal Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 5 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure. This is the best solution especially if you have a large quantity of media files.

Use a reliable & affordable external hard drive for backing up everything on your computer. It is absolutely essential for keeping all your memories backed up and safe.

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