A few days ago I noticed a strange thing with my Google Picasa hosted images. The images were not loading at all, and when I tried to open the image by pasting URL in a separate browser window, it showed an error shouting:

Google 403 Error. Rate-limit exceeded
Google 403 Error. Rate-limit exceeded

I was fed up with this error since my blog readers were complaining about the error. For a quick fix, I re-uploaded the images to my another Picasa Web account, and then replaced the URLs accordingly.

Why the error occurs?

I’ve done some research on why this error occurs and how can I fix it. Actually Google 403 Error means you’ve exceeded the free bandwidth limit in the last 30 days that is allotted to the Google Picasa Web users to host images. Generally, people who use Blogger (Google service) and Google+ have their pics stored at Picasa Web albums.

Of course, it is not a storage issue here, it’s free bandwidth that is over due to which our images show 403 error. I didn’t find any official resources covering information regarding Picasa Web bandwidth limits and additional bandwidth purchase, however I managed to fix it somehow and I hope that may work for you too.


The fix is very simple, but its working depends on if you are not using Google+. I read somewhere that Google+ users have more advantages in terms of Picasa Web storage and bandwidth. I created a Google+ profile with my that Google account and found that strange error was gone! Yes, that worked for me.

I’ve came across some cases in which the error was caused due to a bug at Google end! The issue gets resolved by itself in a few minutes/hours.

If this fix is not working for you, you should wait for a few hours (24 hours), as Google round-off the bandwidth used in last 30 days. There are chances that you get some bandwidth quota remaining for that next round-off. Good luck :)