Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to avoid paying Google fees when uploading photos to your blog

Apparently times are tough even for Google. It appears they have come up with a brilliant way to make some extra money these days by charging for "photo space" on Picasa Web Albums. Little did I know, until recently, that every picture I upload onto this blog is being stored on the Picasa Web Albums site, and trying to remove pictures to lower the space actually deletes them from the blog as well.

So I made this post to see if anyone could help, and then searched Google (ironically) to see if anyone else had blogged about the issue. I couldn't find any helpful blog posts, BUT, as it turns out, one of my best friends, Andrea, who blogs over at Moments with the McGuires, was able to find a way to get around paying the fees! So she gets 100% of the credit for what I am sharing today.

Thanks also to my blogger friend Hannah from Life Happens When You're Making Other Plans who explained that Google used to charge only $5 per year to rent 20GB of space, and if you signed up before April of 2011, they are still honoring that rate. However, the new rates charge $2.49 a MONTH for 25GB or $4.99 a MONTH for 100GB.

I realize I'm cheap and $2.49/month is not going to break the bank, but out of principal, it bugged me to pay $30/year to blog.

So if you are cheap passionate (sure that works) about not wasting money like me, try following the steps below to store and upload your photos for FREE!

This is the error message that you'll see when you've reached your 1GB max:
If you haven't already updated your Google homepage to Google Chrome, you will need to do that. Go to, log in, and it will give you the option to update to Google Chrome (which is just the newest version of Google). You do not need the Google Chrome web browser downloaded, just the updated version of Google on

Once you have done that, your home screen will have tabs on the top that look like this:
Click on the "More" Tab on the right-hand side. Then select "Photos".

Select "Upload new photos" on the right-hand side:

Select photos from your photo library, or wherever your pictures are stored on your computer. 
After it finishes uploading them, it will ask you if you want to tag friends or share the album... you can select "skip" and "cancel". The pictures will still be stored.

Then, go into your new post page on your blog and click the "add photo" button like you normally would. Instead of selecting "Upload"and "Choose files", select "From Picasa Web Albums". 
I know that sounds confusing, but Google Chrome actually saves within the Picasa Web Albums still, just through a different web address so that your not charged for the storage. (Notice the web address at the top of the screen when you're uploading photos- you can see it in the photo above this one)

Here is my "December 4, 2012" album within the rest of my Picasa Web Album pics.

From here, all you do is select the pictures like you normally would! You'll notice that it uploads the pictures at a faster rate because the Google Chrome uploader automatically uploads and stores the pictures at a smaller size.

Hope this helps! It you have any questions, feel free to ask. And thanks again to Andrea and Hannah for your help!! :)


  1. HUGE thank you Heather!! I was just about to pay the $2.49 and just happened to see this first!

  2. Great tutorial, Heather!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing! I ran into the same problem the other day and read that you can upload for free for pics under 800x800 pixles. I just started resizing everything manually, but this seems to be an even easier process.

  4. Thanks for the tips :) Just fyi, you actually have to update to Google Plus (in addition to Chrome) to get it to work. I already had Chrome but when I clicked "pics" it was still sending me to Picasa. Once I updated to Google Plus (Google's social site), my screens looked liked your screen shots :)

  5. This is great! I got the same message the day you did, so I'm glad to know how to work around it!!

  6. SO glad you found a better (free) way to do it!!!

  7. Great post ~ things are changing so quickly in cyberspace that it is hard to keep up ~ Happy Holidays ~

    A Creative Harbor aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^