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Troubleshooting Installation for FTM for Windows

Troubleshooting Installation for FTM for Windows

Answer ID 5250
I'm having issues installing Family Tree Maker. What can I do?

For the majority of our users, Family Tree Maker installs without problems. However, if you are experiencing issues installing Family Tree Maker, please see the steps listed below.

This article discusses the following:

Does your computer meet the minimum system requirements?

Confirm windows is up to date

If Windows isn’t running as it should, Family Tree Maker may not install properly either. To ensure the best experience installing Family Tree Maker, please make sure all updates have been installed for Windows. If you require assistance in regard to this, please see the Microsoft help article listed below and follow the instructions there.


Note: If you have Windows Vista, 7 or 8 and receive the error message that you need to install Service Pack 3 for XP, please take the following steps to turn off Compatibility Mode:

  1. Right-click on the setup.exe file.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Click on the Compatibility tab.
  4. Un-check the box titled "Run this program in compatibility mode for..."
  5. Click OK.

Copying to and installing from the Desktop

Installing from the desktop can troubleshoot a number of issues, from bad discs, disc drives, installation stalling, and more.

To install Family Tree Maker from the desktop, please follow the steps below.

  1. Insert your Family Tree Maker disc into the CD/DVD drive on your computer.
  2. If the installation process starts, please cancel it before continuing.
  3. Click the Start menu in the bottom left, and then click My Computer (Computer for Vista and Windows 7, This PC for Windows 10) from the right side.

    Note: If you are running Windows 8, click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.

    • If you don’t have My Computer (Computer for Vista and Windows 7) listed, it may be an icon on your desktop. Please double click it there.
    • In the window that opens, find the CD/DVD drive with the Family Tree Maker disc in it. Please right click on it and select Copy from the menu that appears.
    • Now, please click the minimize button in the upper right corner of this window to minimize this window and then close any other windows that may be open.
    • On the desktop now, please right click and select Paste. A folder with the same name as your Family Tree Maker disc with all of the install files will be created.
    • Once these files finish copying to this new folder, please remove the Family Tree Maker installation disc from your computer.
    • Please open the new Family Tree Maker folder we just copied to the desktop and double-click the icon for Setup.
      • Depending on the version of Family Tree Maker you are installing, you may need to open a folder labeled fscommand first before you will see the icon for Setup.
    • Continue through the installation as normal. When the installation finishes, you can delete the Family Tree Maker folder off your desktop if you like, as it is no longer needed.

Avoiding conflicts with other software

Conflicts with other software (such as security software) can stop Family Tree Maker from installing properly. To avoid this, we suggest starting your computer in a clean boot and then trying to install Family Tree Maker.

The majority of software can also be temporarily disabled by starting your computer in a clean boot. A Microsoft help article with instructions for starting Windows in a clean boot can be found below. Please choose the link for the version of Windows you are using.

  • Though most security software is disabled through a clean boot, some may not be fully disabled. For help fully disabling your security software, it would be best to contact the software provider.
Windows Vista, 7 & 8

After starting your computer in a clean boot, please reinstall Family Tree Maker and any updates for it. If Family Tree Maker installs correctly, you can then restart your computer normally per the instructions in the Microsoft article above.

Corrupt user profile

It could also be that the Windows user account you are currently using has become corrupt and isn’t allowing the Family Tree Maker installer or services Family Tree Maker relies on such as the .net frameworks to operate properly. By creating a new user account and then reinstalling Family Tree Maker under this new user, you can confirm if this is cause of your issue. Please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Create a new administrator user account for Windows named Test. For help regarding this, please see the version appropriate link below.
    • Please refer to the section My computer is on a workgroup

    Windows 7

    Windows 8

    Windows 10

  2. After creating a new administrator user account, please click the Start menu and select Log Off.
    • If you are prompted to choose Switch User or Log Off, select Log Off again.
    • With Windows Vista and 7, you will need to click the arrow just to the right of the Shutdown button.
    • With Windows 8, press the windows logo key on your keyboard, select your account name from the upper-right corner and click Sign out.
  3. From the list of users, please select Test and wait for the computer to login to this account.
  4. Install Family Tree Maker under this account and launch Family Tree Maker.

If Family Tree Maker installs properly, your regular user account is most likely damaged. You can attempt to fix this by following the instructions for your version of Windows linked below.

Windows 7

Windows 8 and Windows 10
Microsoft does not have an article with instructions for correcting problems with corrupt user profiles. If the issue is found to be account related, we recommend contacting Microsoft support for further assistance.

Note: These links will take you to help articles directly from Microsoft. We offer these links as reference only. Please understand we can offer no support configuring software produced by other companies.

Check the security options

If System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing is enabled on your computer, this blocks the Family Tree Maker installation process. It will also prevent the application from launching if enabled after installation. To disable this policy, please follow these steps:

1. On your keyboard, hold down the Windows logo key and press the R key to open the Run dialog.

2. Type “gpedit.msc” in the Open field of the Run dialog and click OK

3. In the Local Group Policy Editor window that navigate to Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options. Then, in the right pane, locate the System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing, and signing setting and double-click it. 

4. In the dialog that appears, select the Disabled option and click OK.

5. Restart your computer. You can now try again to install Family Tree Maker.

Stopping the MSIEXEC service

If you are getting the "Another installation is in progress" error message and restarting your computer doesn't help (see the "Avoiding conflicts with other software" section above), then the problem may be due to the MSIEXEC service running on your computer. This can block the Family Tree Maker installation process. To stop the service running, follow these steps:

1. Right-click the Start button and choose Task Manager

2. In the Task Manager window, click the Services tab.

3. Find msiserver in the services list. Right-click it and choose Go to details from the context menu.

4. End all msiexec.exe running tasks by right-clicking each one and choosing End task from the context menu.

5. Close the Task Manager window, and then try to install Family Tree Maker again.

I still can't install Family Tree Maker

If Family Tree Maker will not install after following the troubleshooting steps above, please click here to get in contact with our tech support team. There may be some other troubleshooting we can do. It may also be necessary to have a computer technician examine your computer.

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