A couple of days ago, a Web Talk reader (John JC) asked me to solve an issue related to Google Picasa that locks up and freezes in certain situations. Basically, as stated by John and other Picasa users, when you or a device (such as a camera or an SD card, for example) try to open the Google application to import pictures and photos, Picasa will stop working. It will lock up itself and in some severe cases it will also lock the computer up, forcing you to reboot the machine. The issue seems to be pretty persistent and has been recurring in each Google Picasa version. I have extensively Googled to find a solution, and I have spent an hour reading Google forum threads and discussions on certain websites. At the time writing there is not any “permanent” fix, so to speak, which will solve your issue as I suspect this is a real bug and not something the final user is able to work it out by himself. However, I have found a couple of interesting workarounds that in some cases gave awesome good results.
The first thing I have learned about Google Picasa is that such a software is far from being perfect. On the contrary, it is pretty buggy and seems to give issues as far as its database is concerned as it corrupts pretty often. This causes Picasa to stop working . It will also hung of a sudden. The reason behind this behaviour is due to the fact that Picasa, after the database gets corrupted, will start utilizing 100% of your CPU resources which will also cause, in a kind of domino effect, your computer to freeze. The first remedy is to uninstall and reinstall Picasa, also making sure to get rid of its corrupted database:
- Click Start in your Windows OS.
- Click All Programs.
- Select Picasa.
- Click Uninstall.
- If prompted, confirm that you want to uninstall Google Picasa.
- Click the Yes button to remove your database. Do not care if Google gives you a warning message such as: “Do Not remove your database if you intend to reinstall”. Just confirm that you want to delete the database. This will permanently delete the Picasa database from your computer.
- Now, download and reinstall Picasa by visiting http://www.picasa.google.com.
- After installing the software, select the areas of your computer where you would like Picasa to scan. This will automatically rebuild your Picasa database.
The above procedure seems to work for a lot of users. However, in other cases, the database cleanup has no effect on the Picasa issue. Other users managed to fix the error by tweaking certain options related to the camera:
- Plug your camera (for example) to the computer.
- Click Start.
- Click My Computer.
- In the window, you should be able to see the camera as a drive. Right click the camera-drive icon and from the menu click Properties.
- Click the Auto-Play tab.
- From the drop-down menu, select Pictures.
- Select Picasa as application to auto launch.
- Restart Picasa.
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