How to create a backup of photos with Picasa

Picasa is a great tool to manage your photo collection, and to create web albums for sharing.

If you are using Picasa to manage the photos on your computer, it is important to make a regular backup, so you do not lose any precious pictures. Of course you can use the standard Windows backup option, or use a 3rd party backup manager, but Picasa also has a backup function.

To make a backup of your photos with Picasa, follow these steps.

First open Picasa, and in the Tools menu, select Back Up Pictures…

Picasa photo backup menu

If this is the first time you use the function, you will first need to create a backup set, which is basically a configuration that tells Picasa what to backup and where to backup the photos.

You will see the following pane show up in the bottom of the Picasa window:

Create a new backup set in Picasa

Click the New Set button to create a new backup set.

Now you need to type a name for the backup set and select which files to backup and where to.

Details for backup set

In the example screenshot we have selected our Network Attached Storage (NAS) as the target device, but you can of course also use a CD, DVD, USB stick or external hard drive. As long as there is enough storage space available.

Click Create to finalize the new backup set.

Back in the panel in Picasa’s main window, you can now select the new backup set in the left side (step 1). In step 2 on the right side, you select which folders to backup. You can use Select All to backup everything, or select individual folders by placing checkmarks in front of them in the folder selection pane.

Once you are done selecting the folders to backup, you click the Backup button.

The backup progress is shown in Picasa itself:

Progress of the Picasa backup

After the backup completes, a windows explorer window will open with the target location.

A number of files and folders are created by the Picasa photo backup:

Files and folders in backup location

Now your backup is complete, and if you ever need to restore photos from the backup, simply execute the PicaseRestore.exe in the backup location.

That will bring up the photo restore window from Picasa, and you can select where to restore the photos to.

Restore photo from backup

After this you have a safe copy of your photos and have reduced the risk that you ever lose the photos completely!

How to make a backup in Windows 7

Better than any data recovery software is to make sure you have a real backup of your important data. That way you can simply restore lost or corrupted files from your backup, rather than trying to undelete a file or retrieve a lost file from its original location on disk.

In Windows 7 making backups is possible with the integrated backup software. Below are the steps on how to make a backup in Windows 7 using an external hard disk as the backup medium.

Start the Backup and Restore software from the Start menu.

Windows 7 backup and restore window

Next, click the Set up backup link on the right-hand side of the Backup and Restore window.

This will start Windows backup, which might take a moment as it will look for devices that are present as a backup destination.

Once started, Windows backup will ask you to select a destination disk for the backup.

Destination selection for file backup

Although you can also save your backup to a network location, keep in mind that:

  • you will need to have write access to the network location,
  • sufficient space is available on the location you plan use for your backup (network shares often have quotas assigned to them),
  • the backup process can take considerable time depending on the network speed.

With the destination location selected, click the Next button.

Now you will need to choose whether you want Windows to decide what to back up, or manually select what to back up. Windows will not just back up your personal files, but it will also make a backup that can be used to restore the system itself. That will take much more space, so if you only want to make a backup of your personal files, you select the second option, Let me choose.

Select which files to back up

In the personal selection you will again see an option to include a system image of the drive. Clear this checkbox of you do not want a system backup.

After completing your selection you click Next again, and finally confirm your backup process in Windows 7 by clicking the Save settings and run backup button.

Now you only need to wait for the backup to complete!

Backup in progress

In case you ever want to interrupt the backup, click the View Details button, after which you can click the Stop backup button.

Once you have run a successful backup at least once, the Restore my files button is available to restore files from an earlier backup.

By default the new backup job will run at a scheduled interval, for which you can change the details using the Change settings link.

Apart from saving your backup to an external hard disk, you can of course also opt to store your backup online. Saving your backup into a secure cloud environment reduces the risk of data loss, since even an external hard disk can fail or get destroyed if you keep it with your computer…