A Free Update to Family Tree Maker is Now Available

The following announcement was received from Jack Minsky, President of Software MacKiev:

ftm_image_1xDrum roll, please. For those of you who have been waiting patiently (or impatiently) for an update we thought every user of FTM 2014 and Mac 3 should install, well it’s here, and here’s why you should install it. (Even if you’ve already updated to a previous edition of FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1).

• SECURITY. New in this build is the ability to add password-protection to the tree files you export. And if you’re sending them outside your computer, that’s a very good idea — so your family history doesn’t ever fall into the wrong hands. You’ll find it as a new option in the export window.

• STABILITY. We’ve crushed every crashing bug we could find or that’s been reported to us. Even some pretty obscure ones that we knew only a few users might ever find. Our goal was simple. We wanted to make this build what it is — the most stable edition of Family Tree Maker ever made.

• SPEED. We’ve improved both speed and responsiveness. Some actions that previously took several minutes in FTM 2014 now take just a few seconds. In beta testing over the past ten days, 800 outside testers with trees of all sizes noticed the improvement. We think you will too.
Performance Chart


Please read this carefully before you update:

1. Do a manual backup with media. While the updater is perfectly safe, it’s always a good idea to back up your files. After a last sync (if you sync your tree files), we recommend compacting them (Tools>Compact File) and then manually backing up (File>Backup, making sure the Media and Sync boxes are checked). Then put your backups on an external drive or load into cloud storage.

2. Make sure your old version is installed. The updater will be looking for an installed edition of FTM 2014 or Mac 3 or later. If you don’t have a copy installed, then go get one at the Replacement Center (see instructions below).

3. Do NOT unlink your tree! If you have a linked tree on Ancestry.com, the link will magically move to the new build when you install it — whether you are updating from an Ancestry version or an earlier one of ours. It will copy your preferences too, and will not touch your tree files.

OK, if you’ve read all that (you have, right?), and you are ready to get your free update, please click here. Enjoy!


Here’s the situation. You’re upgrading to our new edition of Family Tree Maker and you have your tree still linked to your old edition. Well there’s one thing you should NOT do — and that’s to break that link and re‐download your tree. Because now you can take your link with you. When you open your tree in our edition, the link will move (somewhat magically if you ask me) right along with the tree. No need to break links or re‐download. It just works.


Relax. TreeSync® won’t stop working at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve. It will still be retired at some point in the not too distant future, but before that happens, new syncing technology will be available to replace it. And that means syncing as we know it for FTM is going to live on into 2017 and beyond. So stop worrying about what happens at the end of the year. As long as you’ve purchased a MacKiev edition, syncing, search, and Ancestry’s shaky leaf hints are all here to stay.


If you’re an early bird in the US, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve added three more morning hours to our live chat support service, now open from 6am‐6pm, 7 days a week. We still offer email support and you’ll find hundreds of useful articles in our Support Center. But when your research can’t wait, there’s nothing like a live agent to walk you through the steps. See Getting Technical Support, below.

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful New Years celebration with family and friends. I can hardly wait to share what’s coming in the new year. But that will just have to wait for the next edition of Family Tree Maker News. Stay tuned!

Jack Minsky
Software MacKiev


I downloaded the new update, I have Windows 10 (new computer, so I just had reinstalled FTM2014 from Ancestry), but the update does not recognize that I have it installed. I called support, but they have to refer to their engineers and suggested I buy a replacement CD. I don’t know why, since my FTM 2014 works ok? Anyway, that’s my experience.


    Could you tell me where you found the update? I live in Canada. I have FTM 2014,1 (22,0,1,1474), My FTM HELP- Check for update says my copy is up-to-date, contrary to Jack Minsky’s letter posted on Dick Eastman’s newsletter. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Same here. The update program can not find my current version of FTM 2014 even though it works fine. I hate to spend $10 for a CD when I was able to download the update program just fine.


My click here did not work.


This took a little digging, for those of us who may not have signed up for the mailing list (I thought I had)

“Emails were sent out to all those who both a) who had registered a copy of FTM 2014 or Mac 3 with Ancestry before March 1, 2016 or a copy of FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1 with MacKiev by November 29, 2016 and b) had signed up for the Family Tree Maker mailing list at http://www.familytreemaker.com by November 29, 2016. If you have not signed up for the mailing list yet, you can still do so and you will be notified sometime next week when your update copy is ready for you to pick up. If you have signed up for the mailing list on time, then it probably means we could not find your registration in our database, in which case you should fill out the Update Center form and if it tells you your registration is not found, then select the option to send us proof of purchase.”

I am assuming there’s an individual link, their way of pacing the downloads so that they can keep up and not crash the servers.


    Well I’m confused because on the MacKiev website, it says the update is only for the MacKiev 2014.1 version and will only update this version and not the Ancestry version!! In other places it says both version 2014 and 2014.1…which is it?

    Q: I have both an Ancestry edition (FTM 2014) and a new MacKiev edition installed (FTM 2014.1). Which version will be updated?

    A: Just the MacKiev edition will be updated.


    Have FTM 2014 but can’t find the link to update it??????


The ‘click here’ to download the upgrade doesn’t work for me either. There is no link. I can’t find a place where it’s available, not even the FTM site.


I have two purchased copies of FTM 2014, (one on CD and one downloaded directly from Ancestry) for two computers. I’ve been getting the regular emails, but not the upgrade one. Went to their website just now and they say I have the 2012 version so will cost $29.95 to upgrade. I’ve never owned the 2012 version so that cannot be the issue.


This might help. Kiev has a Facebook page called Family Tree Maker Users. But of course you have to be on Facebook to find it. There have been lots of posts the last few days about downloading the new Kiev FTM 2014.1 Some were successful and some were not and there are comments about ‘workarounds’. Even Jack Minski who owns Kiev has personally posted to help people. Seems they are still ‘tweeking’ the new download to correct a few of the unforeseen issues that people have commented on. One example was the ‘default’ button (for Ancestory I think) was still ‘ticked’ in the new download and should have been ‘unticked’. I was impressed that the President of the company, Mr Minski, got involved to personally refund monies to people who were unsuccessful in their download. I haven’t been on their Facebook page in the last day but one of the recommendations was to redownload FTM 2014.1 (even if you already had 2014.1) as some minor issues are a current work in progress.


I would like to know whether I can buy an upgrade for my FTM Version 10 (15th edition). I cannot find that particular version mentioned anywhere.


In a pickle here. Have Family Tree Maker discs for 2009, 2011, 2012. I have FTM 14 synched on my last computer (crashing -> almost dead), but I misplaced my 2014 disc. I think I could possibly get 1 more sync out of it but I still can’t transfer the program nor docs to my new computer? So what to do. I think I should just get a new program and set it to sync to my tree and start anew. Do you have any better ideas?


Article states to ‘see below’ info for the Replacement Center. There is no additional info regarding this center.


Is the free update available for an older version of Family Tree Maker?


I have version and the help utility says that my FTM 2014 is up to date. Where can I get the update from please ?


For people who have not seen all of the “FAMILY TREE MAKER NEWS – New Years Edition” of 30 December 2016 from Software MacKiev, only part of which appears at the beginning of this post, most of the rest (without graphics) appears below, along with hyperlinks in square brackets ([…]) from the original message that were not shown in clear text. I downloaded the free upgrade for Ancestry’s FTM 2014 on December 30, 2016 and again today, 6 January 2017. Both downloads brought the file “FTM2014.1Update.exe” (605,024 KB), which can replace an existing FTM installation (not recommended) or be installed separately for testing. This current setup program installs FTM 2014.1, Version, on 32-bit computers or FTM 2014.1, Version, on 64-bit computers.

Note in particular the following text on the first page of the MacKiev Update Center:
“When a linked tree is opened in the new edition for the first time it will be converted to a new format. To be 100% sure that the tree’s Ancestry link moves with it:
“• UNCHECK the “convert a copy” box so you convert the ORIGINAL instead.”

I will be doing that for my main Ancestry tree after testing on full and partial copies of it, which testing has gone well so far.

From the rest of “FAMILY TREE MAKER NEWS – New Years Edition” of 30 December 2016:


Where you go depends on which Family Tree Maker edition you currently have:

• Users of FTM 2014 and Mac 3 – Free updates are available in our new Update Center [http://www.mackiev.com/techsupport/ftm/update_center/check_registration.html]. These offer added security, faster performance and greater stability among many other improvements, and are recommended for all those who have already updated to FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1 too.

• Users of older FTM editions – No matter how old your copy of FTM is, or whether it’s on Windows or Mac, you can download an upgrade for a discounted price. Click here [http://www.mackiev.com/offers/ftm/upgrade_promo_us.html?s=1] to take advantage of this limited-time offer.

• New users – If you’ve never owned Family Tree Maker, you can download a full edition for $69.95 at http://www.familytreemaker.com (click the Store button). On startup you’ll be offered a 14-Day free trial membership to Ancestry.com to start on building your family history.


Software MacKiev is now supporting all versions of Family Tree Maker for both Mac and Windows, though Ancestry will continue to assist us behind the scenes through the end of 2016 and beyond.

Where to Get Technical Support

Companion Guide. The first stop for learning how to use features of Family Tree Maker is the Companion Guide which contains step by step instructions for everything you might want to do. You can open the guide from the Help menu while running Family Tree Maker.

Knowledge Base. We have hundreds of helpful articles posted on our support site on a variety of topics that will be of interest to all users, and can help solve problems. To get to the knowledge base, just go to support.familytreemaker.com.

Support Requests. If you don’t find what you need in the Knowledge Base articles (at support.familytreemaker.com) just click the link for “additional support” at the bottom of the page and you will see the Technical Support request form. Typically we’ll be getting back to you by email in 2 days or less.

Live Chat. When you file a Support Request (see above) between the hours of 6am and 6pm EST (7 days a week), you will have an option to have a live chat with an experienced support agent. This can be very helpful for urgent issues or those that would be easier as a discussion than an email exchange.

Facebook Group. There is an excellent unofficial but very active Facebook group called “Family Tree Maker® Users” [https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyTreeMakerUsers/] which you might want to consider joining. They have many very experienced users who are generous in sharing their time and wisdom to help other users solve problems and learn new tricks.

Replacement Copies. We have set up an online Replacement Center which is always open. The Center provides free replacements for those with FTM 2014 or Mac 3 and later, and discounted upgrade replacements for older editions. If you are a registered user and find yourself needing a fresh copy, then have a look at “Getting a Replacement Copy” below.


For any users needing a replacement for FTM 2014 or Mac 3, we have set up a completely automated online Replacement Center. Whether you’ve had a hard drive crash, are moving to a new computer, or just need to reinstall FTM but your activation code doesn’t work anymore, you can use the Replacement Center 24 hours a day to get a fresh copy. Here’s how:
Getting a Replacement Download
1. Go to support.familytreemaker.com.
2. Click “for additional assistance” at the bottom of the page.
3. Click the Replacement Center tile.

The Replacement Center checks that you have a copy of FTM 2014 or Mac 3 registered with Ancestry and then provides you with a free fresh link by email. You will also be given an option to purchase a backup disc for $10 or our new natural wood USB backup drive for $14. Note that what you get will be a full free-standing installer, so it won’t be looking for your old copy, a disc, or anything else.

You will also notice that the replacement copy installer doesn’t ask you for an activation code. That’s because we don’t use them. Why? Well, we don’t like them ourselves, so we decided a long time ago we weren’t going to torment our customers with them. Instead, we use this old-fashioned thing called the honor system. It’s been working pretty well for us for more than two decades now, so don’t expect us to be changing that any time soon.

FTM Gift Collection

Almost everything you will need to know can be found on our Family Tree Maker home page.

Home Page: http://www.familytreemaker.com.
Links on the home page include:

FAQ – Find answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Feedback – Let us know what we’re doing right and what to improve.
Report a Bug – Tell us what you think needs to be fixed.
Suggest a Feature – What you would like to see in our next edition?
Beta Tester Signup – To help us test upcoming editions, sign up here [http://www.mackiev.com/familytreemaker/ftm3/ftm_feedback.html?type=betatest].
Gift Collection – Perfect gifts for the family historian.

Any Questions?
If you have questions for us, please first read our FAQ as we’ve tried to answer the most common ones there. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please send your question through our Feedback Form which you’ll find on our FTM Home Page (see above). Thanks!


© 2016 The Software MacKiev Company. Family Tree Maker is a registered trademark of The Software MacKiev Company. Ancestry.com and TreeSync are registered trademarks of Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.



I opened my family tree about a week ago and everything is gone. I didn;t do anything to delete my records. What just happened and how do I get all of my records back. I bought the 2014 but don’t have a CD. HELP!!!!!


Sorry,That was a 2012 version


Having issues when installed the free update running on my Family Tree Maker 2014. It installed and converted my file but I lost over 2000 names and the Family Tree Maker now does not have the christening or burial sections to complete. Can someone please help me.


What if the copy I have is 2005?


I have FTM 2012. What do I do to update to the latest FTM?


Where is the ftm 2017 update at. I have ftm 2014.1 I received an email the update was available but am unable to find it.


FTM Mac3 would not let me sync with Ancestry.com, then I saw this message about a free upgrade. As in previous messages, how do I upgrade when the “click here” isn’t working?


I guess my version 5.0 probably does not qualify for any update at a reasonable cost since I cannot find a reference to it.
I was hoping to have my grandson continue with my 40 year efforts, but i guess I will have to give him my old computer to do so, hoping it will last.


In a reponse to a previous email, I just bought a new laptop with windows 10. All my info has been transferred off of my old laptop but I cannot open the program. I updated in 2002 and later around 2010. I was not happy with the Broderbund update in 2010 that was a free download and went back to using the 2002 version. This is loaded on a windows 7 and is not recognized by 10. I have 209,000 names on my program with history that spans back to 2500 BC that I don’t want to lose. Can you help me!


This whole thing is getting ridiculous. I’m on test drive so everytime I go to use the system I have to answer your silly questions and update the test drive again. Today I did it, went to sync and it required I download the whole test drive again. Went to sync and it did it again.


Frank Miller….There will be no syncing until the final release of FTM 2017 which we’ve been waiting for since March. I am more than fed up waiting and about ready to call my pre-paid update a loss and move on 😦


I agree with Vera, consider it just a loss, have not received my DVD yet.


12 17 2017 I have been trying for several months to purchase this product I have found it is the hardest damed product to buy. Do you want my money or not?
Bill Krueger Deland Florida


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