Backup Photos to CD / DVD and Restore from Backups

SUMMARY: Store copies of important photos in the Picasa library onto CD and DVD media, and restore them from those backups if necessary.

Because it's never smart to rely on your computer's hard drive as the sole place to store digital photos, especially priceless memories, Picasa can backup your images to CD or DVD. When doing so it includes an application (PicasaRestorer.exe for Windows users) and data files on the media that let you easily restore images back to their original location or a new folder.

1. From Picasa, select "Tools" - "Backup Pictures".

2. Picasa changes to a "Backup your photos" screen. Underneath "Create a Backup CD', select a backup set you have already created or click "New Set" to create a new backup set.

Once you backup files in a backup set, Picasa remembers this and hides the backed up files and folders so you do not have to back them up again. If you do want to make second (or third) backups of the same files, create new backup sets.

* If you create a new backup set, a "New Backup Set" dialog box will appear. From here you can name your backup set, select the backup type (this tip describes the CD/DVD backup but you can also backup to another folder such as on a network or USB hard disk), and the files to backup.

Note that unless you select All File Types, you may not back up all of your files! Selecting "Only JPEGs with Camera Information" does not backup non-JPEG files, nor will it backup JPEG files without EXIF data. Selecting "All Pictures (excludes movies)" may be desired if you wish to save space at the expense of not making backups of movies.

When done, click "OK" on the "New Backup Set" dialog box to save your new backup set.

Creating a new backup set in Picasa - note that if you do not select "All File Types", you may not backup all of your photos and movies

3. Now place checks next to the albums / folders you wish to backup, or click the "Select All" button to backup everything. While you do this Picasa will calculate the sizes of the files and folders, and how many CDs / DVDs will be needed to store the backup.

4. Click the "Burn" button to begin the backup process.

Selecting to backup all folders and albums in Picasa

5. Picasa will prompt you to insert CDs / DVDs during the backup process. Click "Write" when prompted.

Picasa prompting you to insert a blank disc.

6. During the CD / DVD burning process, a popup will appear with the recording progress. Once the backup has completed, you will be prompted to either eject or show the CD / DVD.

If you later need to restore photos from a backup:

1. Insert the CD / DVD. Picasa does not need to be running, as either your operating system will automatically run the restore tool on the media or prompt you to do so.

2. When the "Restore from a Picasa backup" dialog box appears, choose whether to store files in their original location or a different folder. If you choose "This folder", click the "Change" button to navigate your computer to where you want the files stored (the "Browse For Folder" dialog box includes a "Make New Folder" button so you can create a new folder if desired).

Choosing where to restore files from the Picasa backup

3. A "Restore from Picasa Backup" dialog box appears, showing the files that will be restored. Click "Restore" to begin this process.

Picasa showing files that will be restored.

4. As the restoring progresses, each file should display a status of "Complete". Once the restoring has finished, click "Done" on the dialog box.

Picasa finished restoring files from a backup

For really important photos, you may still want to consider a second backup, such as to a USB hard disk. The backup process is similar; just choose the "Disk-to-disk" backup type when creating a new backup set.

This tip was written regarding Picasa 3.1.0 running on a Windows Vista machine. Features, information, and screenshots for other versions / operating systems may vary.

Return to the Picasa page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.