Family Tree Maker: Transferring Trees
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Recently, I received a number of e-mails from users who all have the same question. How do I move my Family Tree Maker file from one computer to another' It's a situation most of us have faced. Whether you're finally upgrading to a new system or you need to reformat your hard drive to get rid of a pesky virus (yep, that was me last week), at some point you'll need to transfer your tree. And a few quick tips can help you move your tree--without losing any information.Your first instinct is probably to move your tree file like you would any kind of document: copy, paste, done. If you do this you will be able to access your tree, but Family Tree Maker won't be able link to your media items, and you will see only thumbnails of your photos and records. The trick is to make sure you transfer your file and your audio, video, and images at the same time. Note: These steps work for Family Tree Maker 2008 and 2009. The first step is to make a backup copy of your tree on your old computer.

  1. On your old computer, make sure the tree you want to transfer is open; then click File>Backup. The Backup window opens.
  2. If you want a new name to distinguish this backup file from your original tree, enter a new name for the tree in the Backup file name field. You can now choose whether to back up your file to a CD, DVD, or flash drive.
  3. Insert a CD or DVD in your disk drive or connect your flash drive to your old computer.
  4. In Backup location, click Removeable Media and choose your CD-ROM drive, DVD drive, or flash drive from the drop-down list.
  5. Click the Include linked media files checkbox. If you don't, photos, videos, and audio items in your tree won't be included in the file.
  6. Click OK. A series of messages shows the progress of the backup.
  7. When the backup is complete, take your CD, DVD, or flash drive and insert it in your new computer.

Now you need to move the backup file to the new computer's hard drive. This is important because Family Tree Maker won't open trees that are on CDs, DVDs, or flash drives.

  1. Make sure you have your most current version of Family Tree Maker installed on your new computer.
  2. On the new computer, double-click My Computer and browse to the drive where your backup file is stored (CD, DVD, or flash drive).
  3. Once you have found your backup (.ftmb) file, right-click it and select Copy.
  4. Find the folder on your hard drive where you want to store the file (such as My Documents); then right-click and select Paste. The backup file is now copied to your hard drive.
  5. Open Family Tree Maker on your new computer.
  6. Choose File>Restore. The Choose File to Restore window opens.
  7. Click the Look in drop-down list and find the folder where the backup (.ftmb) file is located.
  8. Click the backup file you want to open.
  9. Click Open. The Name for Restored File window opens. You'll now create a new Family Tree Maker tree from your backup file.
  10. In the Save in field, choose a location for the new file.
  11. In the File name field, enter a name for the new file.
  12. Click Save. Your tree opens in Family Tree Maker. Notice that your media items are saved in the same folder where you just saved your new tree.