OK, so I've spent a fair amount of time putting names to faces in Picasa 3.5 but in a few days (hopefully) my copy of Windows 7 should arrive and I'll need to reinstall Windows.

So, does anyone know what I need to backup so that I don't have to re-enter all those name tags?

N.B. I'm on Windows 7 RC and know that I don't have to do a clean reinstall but I would prefer to.


I clean installed Windows 7 and downloaded and installed Picasa. Unfortunately, the download link on the UK Picasa homepage still pointed to Picasa 3.0 (rather than 3.5) which doesn't have face recognition. This scanned my photos folders and overwrote the picasa.ini files along with the people information   :¬(

Fortunately I'd backed up the photos before installing Win 7, so after uninstalling Picasa 3.0 (along with it's database), restoring the photos from backup and installing Picasa 3.5, I finally got my face names back.


Google has now posted advice on how to migrate to Windows 7 and keep your Picasa database, meaning that it will not need to rescan you photos and will retain all information about then including name tags. They have a method for upgrading and for a clean install of Win 7.

Basically you need to back up:



  • argh..... why do they name the folder for Picasa 3 (!) Google\Picasa2 ?!!
    – kluka
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 17:09

2 Answers 2


From How to Back up Name Tags and copy to an another computer :

Q: Is face tag data stored in the photo itself?

A: We currently do not store face tag data directly inside the photo but this is functionality that we hope to have in the future.

Q: Since my face tag data is not stored in the photo itself, where is my face tags data stored?

A: Face tag data is stored in the Picasa database and also in the .picasa.ini file in the folder where your tagged photo sits. To see the location of the photo on your hard drive and the .ini file where the information is stored, right click the photo and select "Locate on Disk".

Q: How do I transfer my face tags from one computer to another?

A: There are a few different ways to transfer your face tags:

1) You can perform a Backup of your photos and restore them on your new computer. This process will preserve your face tags. ("Tools" > "Backup Pictures")
2) You can copy your files and the .picasa.ini file from your hard drive to the new destination
3) Upload your face tag albums to Picasa Web Albums and download the album to the new destination

*Important note on option 3: In order for your contact information to be preserved you'll need to make sure that your contacts associated with your face tags are marked as "Online Contacts." This means that the person is synchronized with Google Contacts. After copying the photos to the destination computer, make sure you are logged in to your Google user account so that Picasa can retrieve your Google Contacts and update your face tags with the corresponding information. See reference section for more info on syncing contacts.

  • This looks good. I keep my photos on a separate partition so if I understand this correctly, Picasa should pull the identified names out of the picasa.ini files and run the face identification again which will mark out the unidentified faces. I'll try copying a couple of folders to my work PC tomorrow.
    – pelms
    Commented Oct 20, 2009 at 20:02
  • 1
    Tried copying folders to work PC and pointing Picasa at them. The faces that I'd identified were all grouped together and as soon as I logged in to Web Albums the names appeared :¬)
    – pelms
    Commented Oct 21, 2009 at 13:11

Check out this tool called upsync faces for a different way of accessing and backing up name tags. It is written in PERL.

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