An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

June 11, 2009

Advanced Search Options in Picasa Web Albums

Picasa Web's search feature has been improved and you can now filter search results: choose an aspect ratio (landscape, portrait, panorama), select a size (small, medium, large or extra large), filter videos and view the files that are licensed using Creative Commons.

Just click on "show options" to enable the tool belt with advanced filters. The new options can be used to search the public photos uploaded by Picasa Web Albums users, the photos uploaded by your favorite users or your own albums.

Picasa Web Albums indexes tags, captions, album titles, album descriptions, and album locations, but many photos don't have proper metadata and they're not searchable.

If you've been using Flickr's advanced search page to find Creative Commons-licensed images, Picasa Web is another place where you can find images that can be reused or modified. For example, 81,302 from the 3,064,934 search results for [Oslo] are licensed using Creative Commons.


  1. What is there to search if you only have 1 gb for free?

  2. Since most people upload photos using Picasa and the default option is to resize images to 1600x1200, photos use 300-400 KB. That means you can upload 2600-3500 images using a single account and without paying for additional storage.

  3. This new search is all very well but what I really want to know is why I cannot search my own photos on Picasaweb without having to first search the public photos ??! It is ridiculous, I almost never want to search the public ones but often need to search my own. Moreover, it seems that often when I am using the Picasaweb UK site it doesn't even give me the option to search my own photos ! Google, please fix these glaring errors. Thank you.

  4. Anonymous, how about searching for images other than your own? 1 gb per user with tens of thousands of users certainly merits a search mechanism.

    Even 1 gb of photos can warrant a search mechanism, if you're not familiar with how they're organized.

  5. I use Picasa web albums for upload pictures.this is really very helpful and interesting in use.

  6. I have been using picasa albums for a long time and experience has been good so far...And now Google has introduced advanced search options in picasa..This would be really interesting.

  7. we use Picasa web albums for upload pictures.its really very helpful and interesting in use.

  8. This is sexilent!

  9. I would second Rob's complaints. This is really good idea, but the implementation is poorly thought out. For example, what if I want to see all of the videos in My Photos. So I hit "Search" without any search terms, thinking I will then be able to filter by videos. But if you don't put in a search term, the "Show Options" link does not show up.

    It would be fine, in fact, if I was just able to put filetype:mpg into the search box, as you can with the main google search. As it is I can't see any way at all to see all of the videos in My Photos.

  10. I have exactly the same problem as David Hammond. I want to search my own photos for all my videos and I am stuck.

  11. I third Rob's complaint.. On a side note, I figured out how to embed albums into a web site, but does anyone know if that search can be embeded as well. The search of "My Photos" on my website?

  12. Ditto Rob. I have four giant vids I accidentally uploaded, and I need to find and zap 'em. Can't search by file name. Have to search through 1000s of uploaded photos.

  13. Hello,

    I was having the same problem (searching my own photos) and it's actually simple :

    */ Make a search as usual
    */ In the results page, you have, on the upper right corner, the number of results (1-20 of 45789 photos in....) HERE, you can change the option :

    - Community Photos
    - People I'm following
    - My photos

    Select the last option in the drop down menu.

    1. So it works great as long as you first do a bogus search and then filter out the junk. Brilliant.

  14. All i want to do is search ALL photos on picasa for photos taken by a particular camera. I cannot see any way to do this without also specifying a tag (which I do not want to do)

    The interface is extremely clunky.

  15. I can't understant how to Apply a filter by place. Anyone know how to manage that ?