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Syncing Best Practices

Answer ID: 259728


What are best practices for successful syncing? 

Here's our advice for improving your chances of trouble-free syncing.

1. COMPACT YOUR TREE

Before you sync, you should always compact your tree (Tools>Compact). Compacting removes spaces in the database that can lead to errors.

COMPACTING TIPS:

You can and should compact multiple times until the result shows “reduced by 0.00%”.

• Always check the Extended Analysis checkbox in the Compacting window.* This looks for errors and fixes them.

  * Extended Analysis functionality is Windows-only at the moment but coming soon for Mac users.

MORE INFO ON COMPACTING:

Click here to learn more about compacting tree files on Windows, or click here if you're using a Mac.

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2. DO A MANUAL BACKUP

Before you sync, always do a full manual backup (File>Backup). Backing up ensures that you will be able to immediately restore your tree if something goes wrong.

BACKUP TIPS:

• Always check the box for including Media. (Note that "Auto-Backup" does not include media.)

• Always check the box "Allow restored file to resume syncing".  This will help you get relinked if your connection with your Ancestry tree if ever unintentionally broken.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: The application makes Auto-Backups. Isn't that good enough?

A: No. AutoBackups do not contain media and the do not have the information needed to relink your tree.

MORE INFO ON BACKING UP :

For full instructions on backing up your tree files, click here for Windows, or click here if you're using a Mac.

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3. SYNC EARLY

Try to avoid syncing your trees during peak hours when Ancestry servers are at their busiest. Many users report that early morning hours are best for trouble-free syncing. Others find that late night is best, doing a final sync before signing off for the day.

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4.  SYNC OFTEN

Sync your tree frequently — don't wait until you've made dozens of changes.

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5. SYNC MANUALLY

Use Manual Sync instead of Automatic Sync. It tends to be more reliable. For more information on the two methods, please click here

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6. GET WELL-CONNECTED

For smooth, swift transfer of your data, use a wired Internet connection with an adequate speed (1 Mbps or faster). You can check your speed using the speedtest.net website.

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7. MAKE CHANGES IN ONE PLACE

Between syncs, to the degree possible, work on your tree only in one place — either on your offline tree in Family Tree Maker or on your online tree on Ancestry.com. One-way syncing tends to be faster and more trouble-free than two-way. 

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8. DON'T CHANGE TREE FILES

Do not replace (overwrite), rename, or move the file containing your linked tree as this might break the link with your online tree. If you need to change the location of a tree, make a manual Backup (with the "Media items" and "Allow to resume syncing" options selected), save it in the new location, and then restore it there. Click here for more information. 

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