How Do I Set Picasa as My Default Photo Viewer?

By Nick Peers

Although Picasa 3.9 is not certified for operation on the Windows 8.1 operating system, you can install and use it without any problems. The default photo viewer in Windows 8 is the Modern UI Photos app, but you can configure your computer's operating system to use the Picasa Photo Viewer by changing the default programs settings. Finding the default programs settings is not difficult, but the procedure is different from Windows 7.

Installing Picasa in Windows 8.1

Step 1

Open the [Picasa]( Web page and click the **Download Picasa** button. Although Windows 8.1 is not listed among the supported operating systems, you can install a fully functional copy of Picasa on it.

Step 2

Save the file on your hard drive and then double-click it to launch the setup wizard. Click **I Agree** to accept the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy. You can read the two documents in your Web browser by clicking the **Terms of Service** and **Privacy Policy** links.

Step 3

Click **Browse** and select the destination folder. Picasa 3.9 requires around 70MB of free disk space. Click **Install** to install the program on Windows 8.1. Usually, Picasa 3.9 is installed in less than a minute.

Step 4

Enable or disable the various options on the Completing the Picasa 3 Setup dialog by checking or unchecking their boxes. You don't need to run Picasa to set it as the default photo viewer, so you can safely uncheck the **Run Picasa 3** box. Click **Finish** to close the setup wizard.If you leave the **Send anonymous usage stats to Google** option enabled, Picasa sends usage statistics to Google for analysis.

Changing the Default Photo Viewer

Step 1

Move the mouse pointer from the upper right corner of the screen toward the lower right corner to display the **Charms bar**. Alternatively, press **Windows-C**. Click the **Settings** charm.

Step 2

Click the **Change PC settings** button to open the PC Settings screen. You can quickly access other settings -- such as network, volume, notifications and keyboard settings -- by selecting any of the other charms.

Step 3

Click **Search and apps** on the PC Settings screen to view all settings related to Windows apps.

Step 4

Click **Defaults** to view the default apps, or programs, used by Windows to open various file types.

Step 5

Click the default program in the **Photo Viewer** section to display a list of programs that can open image files. Select **Picasa Photo Viewer** from the list to use Picasa as the default photo viewer app.

Step 6

Optionally, you can choose to open only specific file types with Picasa Photo Viewer by clicking the **Choose default apps by file type** link.

Step 7

To change the default app for a file type, locate the file's extension, click the default app and select a different program from the list. For example, you can open JPEG files with Picasa Photo Viewer, but use the Photos app for GIF files.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you uninstall Picasa, Windows uses the next available app to open images -- Windows Photo Viewer in most cases.
  • If you can't find Picasa Photo Viewer in the list of available apps, uninstall the program completely, restart your computer and then reinstall the software.
  • In Windows 7, change the default program by clicking the Start button, typing "Set default programs" and then clicking "Set Default Programs" to open the Control Panel. Select Picasa Photo Viewer from the list of programs and then click "Set this program as default."