Android: Disable Syncing of Picasa Web Albums to Gallery App

   Posted by Jimmy Selix in Android


The Android operating system integrates really well with all of Google’s services including Gmail, Drive and even Picasa. By default, Google will sync your Picasa Web Albums to your Android device’s Gallery app. By stopping this process, you will have a more organized and orderly Gallery app.

The Gallery app on Android lets you view all photos and videos on your device. Additionally, it will also sync your photos from popular social media networks including Picasa web albums, Facebook photos and Dropbox.  If you prefer only seeing the photos and videos actually on your phone in the Gallery app, we will need to disable the sync process and clear this data so the Gallery app removes the previously synced photos.

This tutorial assumes you have already setup your Google account on your Android device. These steps should work on all versions of Android; however, the menu icons may differ in appearance. In my example below, the device used is a Galaxy Note 2 with Jellybean 4.1.2.


1.  Go to Settings > Accounts

2. Select your Google account, then tap on your Google account name to change your sync settings.

3. Scroll down to the bottom and uncheck the Sync Picasa Web albums option.

4. Go back into Settings > Application Manager or Apps or Applications. This will depend on your Android configuration and version.

5. Go to Applications > All

6. Scroll down and find Gallery and select it.

7. Tap on both the Clear Data and Clear Cache options. This will reset the cache and also clear the previously synced Picasa web albums from the Gallery app.

8. Go back to your Gallery app. You will notice that just your local photos and videos are listed.

9. If you Dropbox or Facebook media appears in the Gallery application, you can also do the same thing with your Facebook or Dropbox accounts. Go into your Facebook/Dropbox account in Settings > Accounts and then uncheck the appropriate sync photos options.  Once you do that, you will again need to clear the cache and data on the Gallery app via steps 4-7 again.


About Jimmy Selix

Jimmy Selix is an early adopter that loves to be one of the first on the block to have the latest and greatest in technology and gadgets. Another love of his is being able to share his knowledge to others seeking it. Feel free to drop any comments or questions that you may have.
View more articles by Jimmy Selix

The Conversation

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  • Hud

    I have been all over the internet to get rid of the Picasa photos on my phone. These are the best directions I have read and it works. Thanks so much I thought I would go crazy.

  • Candy

    Thank you! It worked wonderfully and to imagine I’d been ready to pull out my hair in frustration before! lol

  • Gabe

    Having a handful of albums added to my gallery every day was getting beyond frustrating. Best directions out there, thank you!

  • Gabor Cs,

    Thanks very much!

  • Zhuang Mingren

    Thanks very much!

    • nalin

      > Thanks very much!

  • TD

    Thank you very much for these clear and concise instructions! I am really glad that I found your site. This was driving me batty!

  • Krissy B.

    Thank u for sharing these steps. They work great, however, the picasa albums come back. Sometimes immediately, sometimes after a little while. Its really driving me crazy, and these albums are taking up most of my phone’s memory! I have made sure that all my social sites and dropbox have been un-synced, but they just keep coming back. Any idea on how to fix them from coming back for good? I must be doing something wrong. I havea Samsung Galaxy III with the update from ICS to first version of Jelly Bean. Thank u in advance!

  • Stan

    I tried this an dit didn’t work. When I went into settings, account and selected Google it didn’t have the option to uncheck Sync Picasa Web albums….all it had was a button at the bottom of the screen that said “Sync All” and when I clicked on that it states “cancel sync” but when I go to the next screen it resets it to sync all. God love Google that they can not make thinks simple.

  • victor

    Will all the other photos be deleted?

  • Carney

    I’m considering going from iOs to Android, and what I hoping is that Android’s default photo app will upload its content to my Picasa account, hopefully a non-public one, where I can at my leisure delete it, edit it, or move it to a public one. Is this the case?

    In other words, this article talks about how Android pulls photos down from Picasa to your phone’s photos app. I understand how that could be annoying given limited storage space. What I want is for the opposite to happen – for the phone to push its photos to Picasa and then let me delete them from the phone.

  • Len

    OUTSTANDING!!!! Thankyou!

  • Freetime

    Picasa Web Albums in the Galley will suck down your data plan as background data and appear under Google+

  • Stephen

    Thanks for your help. It worked.

  • Josh

    Nice! Worked perfecty. Thanks.

  • Kate

    this works for me, but they keep coming back, even though I have unticked the box for synching of picasa pics…not sure how though…ugh

  • sagar

    Was wondering how to get rid of the Picasa web album pis from my cell phone, Though i had off the sync option still the pics were in my phone , not even the DELETE option for them. Jus need to clear the data and cache. and its done.

    Thanks a lot , Relieved… 🙂

  • sanjh

    Supperr thanks……

  • Peter

    Thanks, It worked

  • Don Parker

    Jimmy, between Picasa and the various syncing capabilities of the android, Google+, dropbox, cloud etc, etc, I am at my wits end and feel like the guy in the movie 2001 dealing wit HAL.I have turned everything off till I am blue and it seems like each time I do when I turn something on, the PC or phone or Picasa it all keeps coming back. I deleted on the websites and Picasa over 400 photo’s and the next day they were back.
    I am trying your solution and hopefully it works. If you fid time to answer me, I would appreciate it because I need a little help.

    Thanks in advance,
    Don Parker
    North Carolina

  • Rajiv

    Jimmy, when I try to execute step 7, It says Unable to delete data for the app. Clear cache says security policy restrictions prevent clearing.

    What should I do.

  • Sannidhi

    Strange thing is – even though my auto sync is off, Google still syncs it. Just worked on #7 and #8 was an assurance of local snaps being preserved. Thanks for the info! Worked perfectly.

  • Samalamadingdong

    Hey, this is awesome! Thanks for the clear and concise info, it worked on my LG Lucid.

  • EJK

    Thanks so much for the help! That annoying request notification is gone!! Yay! Thanks again!