How to Stop Picasa Links from Redirecting to Google+

If you use Google’s Picasa service to share photographs (as I do) and also use Google+, you may be troubled to discover that Google is redirecting links to your Picasa albums to its Google+ social networking service. I find this a dubious business practice that violates Google’s motto, “Don’t Be Evil.” It’s evil because:

  • Picasa users are not informed that their Picasa links will be redirected to Google+;
  • Those without Google accounts cannot download photos at full resolution from privately shared albums on Google+;
  • Google appears to be hijacking users’ Picasa links to promote its Google+ service.

Now, I do like Google+ (you’ll find me there here), but when I share a link to one of my Picasa albums, I don’t want my friends to be redirected to Google+. Fortunately, there is a solution: add “?noredirect=1″ to the URL. For example, this is the link to my public Picasa albums:

https://picasaweb.google.com/116790950801070160641

Clicking on that link redirects you to my albums on Google+. But the following modified link will not be redirected:

https://picasaweb.google.com/116790950801070160641?noredirect=1

If the link you want to share already includes parameters after a question mark (as will links to privately shared albums), then simply add “&noredirect=1″ to those parameters.

But we shouldn’t have to manually edit Picasa URLs to prevent them from being automatically redirected. Google should fix this by ceasing automatic redirects and offering Picasa users who so desire the option of sharing albums via Google+.

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44 Comments

  1. Eric Noyelle
    Posted 19 March 2012 at 17:48 | Permalink

    Thanks for this post. I completely agree with you and think Google should offer an obvious choice between using the Google + or PicasaWeb interface.
    The only way I found before you gave your hint was to connect directly to PicasaWeb (which still works)

  2. Posted 20 March 2012 at 23:13 | Permalink

    Thanks for the post. The workaround helps… but…
    I agree that this is an “evil” practice by Google. I started having trouble with Picasa when they started integrating with G+. I haven’t been able to find the option to share via URL (to set permissions so anyone with the link can view it) and now my albums appear in my stream when I publish a new photo… I hate the new Picasa behavior and I’m actually considering getting back into Flickr, which I left for Picasa a while back.

  3. Johny
    Posted 2 June 2012 at 12:18 | Permalink

    Strange, but this link brings me to Picasa and not to Google+

    https://picasaweb.google.com/116790950801070160641

    Just the same as this one

    https://picasaweb.google.com/116790950801070160641?noredirect=1

  4. rjbub
    Posted 5 June 2012 at 07:58 | Permalink

    tried the suggestion several times… doesnt work for me… it pops up a page 400 Bad request error when adding the suffix as described above.

  5. Andras
    Posted 12 June 2012 at 19:52 | Permalink

    Thanks, it really helped!

    rjbub:
    I also got 400 page, the reason is that there was another “?” in the url already. Try adding “&noredirect=1″ instead, as suggested above.

  6. Greg
    Posted 24 June 2012 at 05:04 | Permalink

    When sharing Picasa Web links that have an embedded authorization key (happens when you share an album with only people who have the link), if you want to avoid the EVIL Google+ redirect, make the following change:

    At the end of your link will be an ampersand (“#”) character. Immediately to the left of the last ampersand, insert “&noredirect=1″.

    Thanks George, for your post.

  7. Chkiron
    Posted 18 July 2012 at 04:32 | Permalink

    Great post.

    For me, it’s a disrepectful behavior from Google, even more if I consider that I pay some dollars for picasa extended storage.

    I will try downgrading Picasa from this link: http://www.oldapps.com/picasa.php?old_picasa=23?download

    As I am in the middle of a transfer, I will not try right now. If this did not work, I am thinking very seriously in deleting my never-used g+ account, to see if I can use picasa as a normal non-g+ person again.

    Very, very stupid decision. At least, we could have a choice, but it seems that Google is now behaving the way it always complained in the past.

    ‘do not evil’ it is now only a b*llsh!t…

  8. Rahul
    Posted 7 August 2012 at 09:27 | Permalink

    Hi Guys,

    Here is the trick. you will have to manually form the url. for this one should know the user id of the person whose album needs to be downloaded.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/username/?noredirect=1
    this urs will display all the picasa albums of the username.
    Then click on a specific album and download(If the user has checked the downloadable option in settings)
    To make it downloadable:
    g+->settings->”Allow viewers to download my photos”
    OR
    https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/settings#permissions

    Thanks,
    Rahul

  9. Posted 15 September 2012 at 22:08 | Permalink

    Wonderful, George! Thank you for this trick. I hate the “Google+ view”: It’s stylish but unpractical, the captions are not under, but at the right of the pictures, and they are shortened (Why? There’s plenty of space there!), no “slide show” etc. I prepared a detailed German and Englisch description of the Picasa Web Album varieties at blogabissl.blogspot.de/2012/09/bilder-und-videos-aus-picasa-web-alben.html. Fritz Jörn

  10. Stu Alden
    Posted 26 September 2012 at 02:23 | Permalink

    It appears that there is now an “notify by email only” option and I’ve been using that. If you “share an album” with yourself, you can discover the appropriate URL, which you can then paste into a regular email. Alternatively, you can use Google’s dialog box and enter all the emails to which you might want to send an “invitation.”

    I like the old way better, but I believe that by providing the email-only option, Google is being a little less “evil.” George, thank you for raising this issue!

  11. Posted 27 October 2012 at 14:07 | Permalink

    This was very useful – I folowed your advice and modified the link – I’m dissapointed with Google as this is clearly something that does not correspond with their own view on user privacy protection!

  12. Adina
    Posted 4 November 2012 at 13:21 | Permalink

    thank you, thank you, thank you

  13. Michael Hill
    Posted 16 December 2012 at 03:59 | Permalink

    Just an excellent tip. Worked perfectly. Thanks VERY much.

  14. Joe
    Posted 19 December 2012 at 03:27 | Permalink

    Thanks George, and thanks Greg for the additional clarification on authorization code links!!

  15. Deepak
    Posted 1 January 2013 at 18:47 | Permalink

    Thanks for the redirect tip! I was quite bummed to see low res pics with no captions when I clicked on the picasa link I sent out. Updated the url manually to go to the picasa view which is much better. Pretty bad regression in the user experience – hope they fix it.

  16. Karsten Enggaard
    Posted 30 January 2013 at 17:45 | Permalink

    Hello Greg
    I can’t make it work on this link
    https://picasaweb.google.com/108588418808792329229/NewZealandSulekolonienFebruar2012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCMHB6Jy46JL_nwE&feat=directlink

    This is a link with an embedded authorization key – but I see no ampersand (“#”) character. So I can’t insert “&noredirect=1″ to the left og ‘#’ .
    Can you help with that? Thank you.

  17. John/chloe
    Posted 13 February 2013 at 23:26 | Permalink

    I have used Picasa extensively for 7 years (for business), it was simply the best (had Flickr but found not useful for my needs).

    Since registering with Google+ from its very beginning I have found using Picasa has become a exasperating experience in which I just give up.

    Google+ has derailed Picasa. Hate that when I log into (or direct friends & business leads) to my Picasa Web it automatically redirected to my Google+ account.

    Regained control of my web Picasa (found the link at top of the page…which they told me about it!) after a year of searching. Google Help desk is a labyrinth in which you lose yourself & eventually want to kill someone…and still are nowhere near the answer you are searching for.

    Google+ tries to be very trendy but so far found no practical use for it yet (as mentioned above, it redesigns your images into a teenage scrapbook). Anyway, if I want to socialise I use FB.

    As Google is hell bent on forcing us to use their G+ service I may have no option but to terminate my Google+ and see if I can use Picasa as it used to be; in its purity, if that fails then may have to go back to Flickr which I dread.

    Ah progress!
    …sometimes it best to leave something great alone.

  18. Posted 19 February 2013 at 23:38 | Permalink

    Thanks for that tip.

    Very helpful.

  19. Ernesto Treviso
    Posted 22 February 2013 at 11:08 | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for your solution/FIX. I’m absolutely agree with the author’s article. It’s not possible lost 2 hours of own life for finding a fix, because Google decided being conspiratorial or reticent. It’s obvious the convenience for Google for redirecting to google+, but it’s obvious too that the user hasn’t the same functions available in Google+ albums, like simply changing the data of uploading for a chronological overview of the photos. So, please Google: REMEMBER always your Motto DON’T BE EVIL, otherwise I MUST THINK THAT IS IN THE NATURE OF EVERY COLOSSUS OF COMPANIES BEING TOO MUCH CRAFTY.

  20. Posted 22 February 2013 at 20:39 | Permalink

    Thanks for the info –
    I find that Google + is totally useless in my iPad (no captions)
    When these same pictures are viewed in “Picasa Web”, using your fix, they work fine in iPad.

    I repeat ” HEY GOOGLE!! THIS STINKS!! BRING BACK PICASA WEB ”

    Ed

  21. Fabrice Fiorucci
    Posted 23 February 2013 at 05:23 | Permalink

    Thank you for the trick.

    I just discovered google starts the same kind of redirection with youtubes vidéos.

    A door is open for another company to bring a picasa like service without social things.

  22. anon
    Posted 3 March 2013 at 23:44 | Permalink

    Google is now putting a weblink at the top of the page with this sentence:

    “Click here to go back to Picasa Web Albums.”

    It doesn’t solve the redirect problem.

    Agree with the comments that Google should stop the automatic redirect.

  23. Posted 4 March 2013 at 00:35 | Permalink

    Thank you thank you thank you
    It took me a while to realize this was happening. I take a lot of pictures of our athletes and have been using picasa to share those pictures with parents so they can get them printed for themselves.

    I am now going around and adding our fix to all of the links I have posted, but really resent that this happened in the first place.

  24. Posted 14 March 2013 at 19:33 | Permalink

    Finally able to fix this! I always embed on my site via picasa, but with them forwarding to g+ i couldn’t figure out how to. This fixed it, thanks!

  25. Jim M
    Posted 14 March 2013 at 22:31 | Permalink

    Thanks for the fix. It works great! I use Picasa for embeding photo map albums to my website. Google+ just doesn’t have the features of Picasa, yet. Thanks so much!

  26. Granny Lee
    Posted 17 March 2013 at 03:21 | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this article…I still use my XP and when I went to check my Picasa albums, I found myself in Google+. It wouldn’t work for me, and I learned that it won’t support XP.
    Sorry, I can’t afford another computer right now, so I went looking for another photo album site. Finally found this page with your article!
    It appears that my cookies still work, because now I get Picasa anytime I click on a Picasa link (such as yours). But when I send out my email invitations, I shall have to adapt the URL and explain to my family that they can use Picasa or Google+. (Some of my kids have modern computers)
    I dislike the way this was done, and I think we should be able to opt out of Google+ if we wish.
    Not everyone thinks “progress” is better!!!!

  27. Paul Chen
    Posted 17 March 2013 at 20:50 | Permalink

    Thank you so much for your explainations. As Granny Lee mentioned, I have exactly the same troubles since I am still using Window XP. I will try to add ?noredirect=1? and send out my Picasa photo albums via email instead. When I share my Picasa albums via Google+ in Google+ Circle, all albums become unvisible. It is so annoying! Many thanks again.

  28. alan
    Posted 23 March 2013 at 03:12 | Permalink

    Thanks for your link solution….
    But a new problem has appeared and maybe people here can help. I have many picasa galleries that are set to share via link only (unlisted) BUT now the URL link for the whole picasa page where people see gallery thumbnails and can click on them to see the gallery doesn’t seem to no longer work at all.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/100250583234463673125?authkey=Gv1sRgCOPlw7vvv4byqAE

    But links to individual galleries still work… ie one from the above set:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/100250583234463673125/PuppetPerformanceSeriesAtMBKMar2012?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCNT1j4zng6n7Dg&feat=directlink

    ***The other problem with google+ is that its gallery thumbs are not full frame!! it ruins the whole image’s composition!!

    Is there a way to reset the picasa *unlisted Gallery* link or somehow fix this problem.
    Thanks

  29. Posted 2 April 2013 at 09:23 | Permalink

    OMG> thank you so much. Google+ can’t do photo maps, so this is so greatly appreciated. I was starting to think they just shut down picasa web!

    Cheers!

  30. Posted 13 April 2013 at 16:47 | Permalink

    Writing on the wall: PicasaWeb as you know is is going bye-bye. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as frustrated as everyone else but I wouldn’t put it past Google. After their nixing of Google Reader, wouldn’t put *anything* past them…

  31. John
    Posted 5 May 2013 at 03:19 | Permalink

    Yes sadly I think you’re right Jason.
    Just opened a new Picasa account (in order to bypass G+) and this is what I read:

    You’ve recently joined Google+. Note the following changes to Picasa Web Albums:
    Albums you’ve shared can in turn be tagged and shared by others.
    For new albums, anyone an album is shared with can see who else it is shared with.
    Bla bla bla…

    Wished they closed down G+…it’s next to useless in my world.

  32. Ken
    Posted 1 June 2013 at 01:15 | Permalink

    They messed with perfection, and made everyone mad at them – including me.
    Google+ is crap.
    Ken

  33. Posted 2 June 2013 at 21:58 | Permalink

    Sadly Google is doing even more evil. We embed Picasa albums in a shop’s web site, and now when you click the album, Google intercepts the link and transferring the user to an advert pushing Goole +. To see the Picasa album at that stage, the user has to then click the highlighted part of a message that confusingly says go to a mobile site. Doing this them takes you to the old Google album. Frankly this is the last straw in a really annoying “do evil” saga that I expect to continue. Our new strategy is to drop Picasa and go to Dropbox, which we have been working with for a while. In place of the Picasa album HTML, you have to put a “linked” photo to the associated dropbox album – we nominate that this album is opened in a new window, so getting back to the instrument details is simple.

    Hope this helps some of you. The key message here is that with Google flogging its dead/dying horse Google +, its time to head for a better, less evil place as things will only get worse!

  34. John Whipple
    Posted 23 June 2013 at 01:52 | Permalink

    I’m really pissed!!!!
    These are my pictures. You have no right to mess with them!!

  35. John Whipple
    Posted 23 June 2013 at 02:06 | Permalink

    Sorry, sounds Like I’m venting at you. Substitute Google

  36. Carol Kavanaugh
    Posted 23 June 2013 at 20:13 | Permalink

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS ARTICLE AND COMMENTS. As many of commenters say, I have wasted several hours of my life trying to figure out how to send links to people the way it worked wonderfully for me in Picassa! I have been using Picassa happily for 6 years, and will not be happy if Google disables it permanently. I’m looking for an alternative, because Google seems to implement things quickly without telling people and the Google help is another time-wasting sink as well.

  37. D
    Posted 3 August 2013 at 21:09 | Permalink

    Google+ is the worst tool by Google ever. Hope it’ll go away soon.
    Sharing is simply impossible and buggy (if eventually you manage to share you album with 1 receipient, then it shows that only 15 photos are available to view, however when you open the album it displays what it should).
    Anyways, if Google does not fix it or return to Picasa, I am switching to other photo sharing tools and moving all my albums there (there’s lots of them).
    Bad job, Google!

  38. tlo
    Posted 9 October 2013 at 01:37 | Permalink

    Thank you so much. We had links to slide shows in our website and I just discovered it was redirecting. Had to go through all html links and add that code. Thanks again.

    This + business makes me sort of sick – the constant nagging to join. I’ve never even had a facebook page, don’t like all the social business on the web, and I am feeling VERY intruded upon by Google right now. I’m deeply entrenched in their services though. Been using Picasa and GDocs since the beginning, but I really really really dislike this + stuff.

  39. Frances
    Posted 18 October 2013 at 10:58 | Permalink

    Thanks for this
    google has gone a step too far with this – might have not been an issue if google+ had a better, more accessible interface (and I am speaking as someone very familiar with computer interfaces

  40. Jane fleming
    Posted 17 November 2013 at 23:34 | Permalink

    When I want search my extensive picasa web albums I only have the option to access EveryOne in google+. Only way round this is to view my albums in stacks of photos in iPad

  41. Dan
    Posted 29 November 2013 at 01:25 | Permalink

    I used to help my mom share photos with friends and coworkers with picasa web album. Worked like a charm and I didn’t mind paying a few bucks to expand storage. She became a tech guru in the eyes of her peers.

    But this G+ thing comes after the letter F.

    My redirected link shows more albums than necessary, and I can’t find the settings that used to be so easy to set privacy.

    Even Flickr has gone the way of the S#&* show.

    Dropbox may be an alternative, but why share all files when I want to really show them.

    Frustrating..

  42. Geralyne
    Posted 2 December 2013 at 14:13 | Permalink

    Hi George,
    Yours is a good strategy for getting to Picasa without redirecting to Google. However, my Picasa Web Account was created with an old email address using total.net and not gmail. So I cannot get there at all.

    Any suggestions?
    Many thanks,

    Geralyne

  43. Prasant
    Posted 27 December 2013 at 08:29 | Permalink

    Hi Guys,

    I read all the posts wrote by you ppl.

    Can any body suggest what is the best method to stop G+ redirecting from Picasa.

    I am using Picasa last 4 years for my business. It is one of the best site to download my friend & relatives pics also. It is very useful for sharing the entire album to any one in the web.

    Also can any body let us know how to find other’s pic in the picasa web without redirecting to G+.

  44. ernie
    Posted 29 December 2013 at 20:56 | Permalink

    Google+ has ruined my entire phone camera experience, won’t let me delete photo. I refuse to use a phone and camera that EVIL google controls. No matter what I try I can’t get rid of any photo they have poisoned. Seems my only choice is to live life as if I don’t HAVE a camera, or to unsubscribe from google dumbphone universe altogether. In my worst nightmares I could never imagine anything being so profoundly the opposite of user friendly as the insidious malicious google+ experience I have had. New definition for Websters, google+ =pure evil.

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