How to control the Picasa directory scanning feature

Picasa FAQ: How do I get Picasa to only scan certain folders/directories, and stay out of the rest of my directories?

If Picasa is a little too aggressive in scanning all your folders for images and photos, you can control this behavior. I just ran into it when I started up Picasa, and it started scanning every folder on my system. My problem with this is that the photos I want Picasa to work with are all in my Mac Pictures folder; Picasa doesn't need to be scanning all my work folders, web applications, etc. for images. I appreciate that the Picasa developers are trying to do something helpful, but this aggressive scanning approach is a little too much for me.

To turn off this Picasa directory scanning feature, or more accurately to control the directories Picasa scans, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Picasa
  2. Click to the Tools menu, and select Folder Manager
  3. Select the folders you want Picasa to leave alone
  4. Click the "Remove from Picasa" button
  5. Click OK

I'm not sure why this drives me so crazy, but when I say photos in Picasa from some web applications I created a few years ago, that just seemed like a real waste of time and resources.

How to turn off Picasa facial recognition

On a similar note, if it drives you nuts that the Picasa facial recognition software is also running in the background while you're trying to work, you can turn this off on the same dialog. Just click the "Face detection on" button, click "OK", and then click "Yes" on the warning dialog that pops up.

I'm not really into the whole facial recognition thing, so just like having Picasa scan my entire computer for photos, when all the photos I want it to work with are in my Pictures folder and all sub-folders, scanning all my photos for facial recognition is a waste of resources, and my poor old MacBook Pro is slow enough as it is.