“Smile” Doesn’t Have Me Smiling Webshots…

I hate griping about a service or program I’ve used for a long time that’s free, or supposedly free, but I have to do it. This time my gripe is about Webshots, or at least what used to be called Webshots, since it seems to have undergone a transition, and a horrid one at that if you ask me.


Back in 2010 I wrote about Webshots and how I thought it was a great and perfect program for running images on your computer. You could also download pictures from their site, set yourself up for a daily picture that would show, and for the most part the service was free. You could pay for premium services, which gave you unlimited downloads and access to the highest quality image they had.

Now with the change over, I’ve found nothing but distress. Lucky for me, kind of, is that I discovered this on my wife’s computer rather than mine, which means mine is still running but hers… not at all.

Here’s the issue. It seems that when they changed over and started calling themselves Smile by Webshots they must have cleaned out their databases of people who didn’t show up all that often to download images. I’ve been a member since the late 90’s but because I add my own images most of the time, I don’t have to go to the site all that often. The last time I’d even had to use my username and password was last October when I bought my laptop and added the program, since you had to use those to load the program.

I had to get into my wife’s computer for something she asked me for & I saw an update ready to load for the Webshots program. I went ahead and tried to load it and it said my username and password were invalid. I had a chance to request an update for my password if it was wrong by sending them an email, and the sucker’s said my email address was invalid as well; what the hey? Membership for more than 10 years and they didn’t have it?

So I went into the site & tried to set up a new account. When I put in my username it said it was already in use; that was proof that they had me in the system because it’s kind of a unique name. So I went another direction and changed things up a little bit. I got an email saying my password had changed and I could get in. This allowed me to load the program. However, when I went to run it no images will show; seems it either can’t interpret the current files on her computer or it’s moved where it saves everything from where the original Webshots saved everything. Either way, only a total black screen.

I tried going back into the site to see if anyone else had the same issue… the site says my password is invalid. Ugh! That’s it, downright frustrated. I tried deleting the new program and going back to the old program; nothing doing.

Frankly, at this point I’m sick of the whole thing, and I’m glad I haven’t seen an update request on my own computer. For my wife though… I’ll have to find another program, which my mind remembers from a year ago but I haven’t been able to bring it to the front of my brain, that will cycle her images on her computer as wallpaper.

Why does everything that supposedly updates for the better seem to be worse?

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13 comments on ““Smile” Doesn’t Have Me Smiling Webshots…

  • I’ve never use this application, usually send pictures to my parents and friends through Dropbox or just social networks, however I have been several times in situations when I can’t login to application or a website, because some kind of update and this can be really frustrating.

    • Carl, it’s not a “send pictures” thing to people. It’s images on my computer wallpaper, rotating, that I’m looking to do, and that’s changed because of the folks running Webshots now.

      • Ah, I see, I am using something similar on Ubuntu Linux and the option is inbuild in kernel, quite often I switch my operating system when I am doing some web develpment works, actually right now I writing this comment from Ubuntu, pretty slick and lightweight operating system, the best is that all software is free.
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  • It’s frustrating for me too. Initially when the site updates certain things- loading problems and login problems makes me feel like never go back to that site, but later on if I find the update to be valuable enough then I stick myself to it. And why not if trouble pays you off? 😛 Anyways, I have never used this application but I have heard from lot of my friends that the service they provide isn’t that great if the photos that their premium membership pays for can’t be downloaded. Still, for the sake of try – I will definitely use it once.

  • I am sick using Smile too. I have a premium membership with webshots which I have been using since 2000. I am completely disappointed by what they have done. I cannot download anything not even their Smile Desktop. Now I’m trying to find a way to move all the pics I do have off the old Webshots Desktop to my computer so I do not lose them. I really don’t know what else I should do to save my memories. I am planning to cancel my membership soon and looking for a new site for screensavers. Mitch, I will definitely get back to you if I come to know some way out to your problem.

    • Charls, you probably have a bunch of those images on your computer somewhere like I do. It will be somewhere in your profiles area, although I moved mine once I found them some years ago. I wish you luck on that.

  • Brian Hawkins says:

    I lost an old Hotmail account years ago because I didn’t log in for 30 days. I knew the policy but, like you, when I went in to re-create the account it said that email was in use. I had that email account all over the place and completely lost access to it. I know it’s a free account and they can do whatever they want but it really put me in a bind.
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    • I can imagine Brian. I’m thinking that if we have an account it should be up to us to decide when we want to go in, but this type of thing has happened before, the part where you go to sign in and suddenly they can’t find you. However, for it to mess up software already on your computer… unprecedented.

  • Charles Gulotta says:

    I’ve had the same experience with other sites. I have the username and password written down, so I know they’re valid, but suddenly I can’t get in. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could simply reactivate the account, but as you said, you end up running in circles and just getting frustrated to the point where you give up. That’s progress, I guess.

    Happy New Year, Mitch.

    • Progress or regress Charles? lol I figure part of it is my issue since I obviously hadn’t visited in awhile but there are plenty of sites that I hadn’t visited in years that, because I still had a password, I found that things still worked just fine. At least I wasn’t paying for it.

  • Although I’ve never heard of that service nor used it Mitch I have had similar things happen to me before with services.

    I keep a record of all my passwords and log-in information. I know what the hell it is and when that sort of thing happens it’s so frustrating.

    Your poor wife, I hope she’s forgiven you by now. 🙂

    Hey Mitch, Happy New Year my wonderful friend.

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    • Actually Adrienne, she hasn’t been home and I haven’t told her about it yet. lol I already have my story set if I can’t find something suitable before she gets back. lol

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