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Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues in FTM 2017 for Mac

Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues in Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac

Please note that the troubleshooting in this article only applies to Family Tree Maker 2017. For any earlier edition of Family Tree Maker, click here for more information.
There are several reasons why you may experience connectivity problems using Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac. Here are some steps that you can take to resolve this issue:

This article discusses the following:

Set Family Tree Maker to Go Online

If Family Tree Maker is not set to go online, you won't be able to use any of the web based features.

With Family Tree Maker open:

  1. Click the File menu.

  2. The bottom option will display one of two things:

    • Go Online means you aren’t currently set to access the Internet through Family Tree Maker. Select this option to allow FTM to connect to the web.
    • If Go Offline is displayed, Family Tree Maker is already set to go online.

Check the date, time and time zone for your computer

If the date, time, and time zone aren’t set properly on your computer, Family Tree Maker may have issues authenticating with our servers.

To adjust the date & time preferences:

  1. Click on the time listed in the upper right corner of your screen and select Date & Time Preferences.

  2. Confirm the date and time is listed correctly under the Date & Time tab.

    • The easiest way to do this is to check the box next to Set date and time automatically.
  3. Click the Time Zone tab and confirm the time zone is also listed correct.

  4. Close the Date & Time Preferences by clicking the red circle in the upper left and re-open Family Tree Maker.
You may also need to confirm the date and time on your router. Please refer to your router’s manual, or contact the router manufacturer for help regarding that.

Update OS X

Software updates can increase usability of both Ancestry and Family Tree Maker. If your OS X / macOS or add-ons aren’t up to date, you may experience issues on our website and using our software.

On a Mac, updating is handled through the Software Updates or App Store option (depending on your particular system) in the Apple menu, which is located in the upper-left corner of the screen.


After updating, open Family Tree Maker again and check if you are still experiencing issues.


Disable proxy servers

Because of security concerns, Ancestry & many other websites will not properly respond if you try to access them via a proxy server.

To provide you with a better and more consistent experience on Ancestry, we cannot support the use of proxy servers to access Ancestry, even through Family Tree Maker. To disable proxy servers, please follow the instructions outlined below.

After quitting Family Tree Maker:

  1. Click the Apple menu in the upper left and select System Preferences.

  2. Under the Internet & Wireless section, click on Network.

  3. In the Network window, select Ethernet (or Airport if you connect to the Internet wirelessly) from the left and click Advanced in the bottom right.

  4. In the window that opens, click the Proxies tab.

  5. Remove any checks next to Web Proxy (HTTP), Secure Web Proxy (HTTPS), and SOCKS Proxy and click OK.

    • Other proxy settings shouldn't affect Family Tree Maker, but it wouldn't hurt to uncheck any other protocols listed as well.
  6. Click the Apply button in the bottom right of the Network settings window.

  7. Close the Network window by clicking the red circle in the upper left and re-open Family Tree Maker.

Web accelerator software

Web accelerator software is primarily used by those with a dial-up connection, and works similarly to the way a proxy server does. It caches frequently used items and pages, compresses information, and optimizes code coming from web pages.

As this is the case, we cannot support the use of web accelerators while using Family Tree Maker. If you use a web accelerator, you will need to contact your ISP for help disabling it.

Security software & firewalls

Generally speaking this issue is not caused by a firewall or security however there are some security programs that may interfere with System changes that Family Tree Maker has to make in order to register your product. Turning off any Security on the system temporarily can rule this out. You may need to consult with your security software company directly for help disabling it.

For assistance with configuring your firewall, please refer to Apple's article on this topic by clicking here.

I've tried the steps above, but still can't connect to the Internet

After going through all of the steps and articles reference above, if you are still experiencing issues connecting to the Internet through Family Tree Maker for Mac, please contact our Tech Support team.

Couldn’t find the answer you needed? Click here for further assistance.