How can I upload photos to Google Picasa Web Albums, rendering them untouchable or disallowing any edits or manipulation? I only want them to be viewable only.

I use a PC Windows 7 and use Photoshop Lightroom 3 to edit my "photos" (the topic of my question). After editing, I export them to Google Picasa to store and view. Lately, I decided I'd like to use Google Picasa Web Albums to upload out for public/private/whatever viewing only.

With family and personal friends, I couldn't care less how they use them or print them. But I do not want anyone else being able to manipulate, copy or print my work. This is where my issue begins.

Watermarking them is no more than a joke. It's good for advertising purposes, but messes up the beauty of most photos.

Actually Picasa Web Albums does have a check box asking if you'd like them to be Printable or Not Printable. I selected them not to be printable. Also, you have the choice of Viewable By Me Only, Everyone, or Only Those With The Link. All my albums are with "Only Those With The Link." I tested the works by giving my sister the link to an album. She emailed me back telling me she was able do anything she wants with them, copy, print, manipulate! What? How?

I though that by checking the "NOT to be printable" box was all that needed to be done. Is something wrong with Picasa, or is there something else I need to do to prevent this?

Am I asking for something that is impossible or far too much hassle?

  • 2
    Whatever is on the web can be downloaded and saved on a computer. The simple fact that you can see them online means that they have already been downloaded on your computer. Sites like 500px or Flickr make it a little more complicated to save them, but not impossible.
    – Alex
    May 17, 2012 at 10:53

2 Answers 2


There is nothing you can do besides making them private. If the browser sees the picture the browser can store the picture. This is true for any picture on the internet with the exception of pictures embedded in some sort of flash application but still with a hi res monitor you can get a very nice quality screen shot.

By checking no printing and no download just means that other people can't order prints from picassa or right click save as. ( you can still save using a web inspector ).


I think you cannot do that with Google Picasa. The picture would always be available for download for anyone with the link or access to your album. And as soon as one can download it, he or she is able do anything with the picture.

Some other web services, for instance Flickr, use somehow more complicated techniques. You cannot just right-click on most pictures and save them locally. That would be more like "read-only-on-the-web" feature.

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