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March 15, 2011 / arthill

Windows Live Photo Gallery and Picasa

I’ve gotten a few responses to my posts about these two programs that convince me that I haven’t explained things as well as I should.  In particular I’m disappointed that people have viewed these as an either-or choice.  They’ve said that all though Windows Live Photo Gallery sounds interesting they already have too much invested in Picasa to make the switch.

I understand.  We all suffer with these learning curves on software and hate to change to something else.  It’s nice to keep using something you’re familiar with. But, here’s the key point

I’m not asking you to switch!

If you’re using Windows you already know how to use Windows Live Photo Gallery.  It’s just a better version of Windows Explorer.  It’s an upgrade to what you already have.

You’ve all seen this. It’s Windows Explorer. You know how to use it to create folders, move things around, etc.


.  You should be seeing this instead


You don’t have to give up Picasa.  But you should have both.  Everyone should.  You might not ever use the photo editing tools but it can’t hurt to have this.  I won’t repeat the screens from my earlier post but I urge to read it and see what’s available.  There are things like panorama stitching and Photo Fuse.  (Photo Fuse is an amazing tools that lets you take several group shots and choose the best face for each person).  I use WLPG to upload pictures to Flickr and Smugmug.  (Used to use it to upload to Facebook but stopped doing that because Facebook’s photo support is so lame).

You get 25 gig of free storage.  So you have all your photos at Picasa Web.  So don’t use your free storage or just let the program use it automatically to create little galleries for you when you send a photo email. (See my post at

I’m not against Picasa.  I have it and I use it.  It has some features that WLPG doesn’t have.  But it has some big weaknesses for every day use.  I have yet to figure out how to use the Folder tool on the left side.  In WLPG there’s nothing to figure out – it works like Windows.

Lastly, if you’re using Windows Live Writer to do your blog you should use WLPG for your picture inserts.  Highlight a couple of pictures, drag them toward Windows Live Writer and WLPG gets out of the way to let you drop the pictures into Live Writer.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting.  I just wanted to clear that up.  Don’t view WLPG and another (sigh) program you have to learn.   Just download it and install it today as a better Windows Explorer.  You’ll be glad you did.  I promise.


Leave a Comment
  1. Maryann Goldman / Mar 15 2011 7:26 am

    OK, both is cool. So, how do I make it ‘look like this?” 🙂

  2. arthill / Mar 15 2011 7:30 am

    Just go to

    and download the Photo Gallery

  3. Carrie Conte / Mar 15 2011 3:24 pm

    Great info Art. I haven’t thought to use WLPG before and I have it on my computer. I guess I didn’t want to have to use another program but I can see the reasons why I should. Thanks for the info!

  4. Erin Harvey / Jul 2 2012 2:20 am

    I find WLPG is easier to organise folders as picasa doesnt seem to like folders within folders. But I’m helping my nan to convert to WLPG because she finds it hard to find things with sooo many seperate folders (50 or so seperate folders). But as we dive into WLPG I notice there are sooo many empty folders???? but these folders are not empty in Picasa. DO you have any idea why this is. I’m puzzled.

  5. Deena / Aug 9 2013 1:50 pm

    I have a new computer with Windows 8. All my photos are on Picasa and they appear when I open Picasa. How do I move them to Windows so when I want to open a photo, attach it to an email, post it on my blog, etc., Windows 8 finds it in Picasa? Windows 8 doesn’t know the photos are there in Picasa. Help!!!

    • arthill / Aug 20 2013 6:02 am

      I don’t have Windows 8.

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