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Disable Picasa From Taking Unwanted Photo Screenshots

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picasa-logoPicasa is one of the best photo manager ever with loads of features and a very high ease-of-use factor. If you regularly take screenshots however, you’ve likely noticed an annoying “feature”—a disk-gobbling screenshot function you can’t turn off. This will help you fix that.

Whenever you open Picasa, if you press the “print screen” button to snap a screenshot with another screenshot application, Picasa will double up on the effort and save a roughly 2MB BMP. There is no toggle in the Picasa option menu to get rid of this feature but you can get rid of it by always turning Picasa off when you want to snap screenshots or map your favorite screenshot application’s hot key to another key besides “print screen” but both of those solutions are hardly ideal.

I decided to share this because it annoyed me. I so much hate it when I see the Picasa screenshot notification popping up in the lower right side of the screen every time I used my other screenshot app. It wasn’t until I found this solution and went to delete the screenshots that Picasa had been taking all this time that I found Picasa had taken nearly 7GB of disk space with useless screenshots. The following hack will disable the screenshot function in Picasa and halt the build up of disk-hogging BMP files.

A bit more detail for XP Pro/Vista Pro [Ed. Note: Works fine in Windows 7]
1. Locate the screen shot folder that Picasa creates. Something like My Docs\Pictures\Picasa\Screen Captures
2. Right Click on it > Properties >Security Tab
3. Goto Advanced > Then in the permissions tab click Edit.
4. Un-check the “Include inheritable permissions from this objects parent”
5. A pop up will ask you if you want to do this and if you want to copy or remove the permissions. In this case you want to “remove” them.
6. Apply everything and check that you no longer have access to the folder.

Some info for Xp Home/Vista Home
1. Goto this link on information about how to get a security tab, so you can edit these settings. The easiest is to boot into safemode.
2. Follow the directions for XP Pro.

When you’re done the permissions menu should look like this:

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Once you are done removing Picasa’s ability to use the “Screen Capture” folder it simply gives up on taking screenshots—problem solved! If you ever want to use the screenshot feature in the future just reverse the steps, adding permission to access the folder instead of taking it away.

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