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Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues in FTM 2017 for Windows

Troubleshooting Connectivity Issues in Family Tree Maker 2017 for Windows

Answer ID 5412

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. Here are some steps that you can take to resolve this issue:

  • Verify Internet Connectivity
  • Online/Offline Mode
  • Date, Time & Time Zone Settings
  • Regional Short and Long Date Settings
  • Disable Internet Accelerators
  • Proxy Settings
  • Security Software
  • Disable Startup Programs

Verify Internet Connectivity

Ensure you are able to connect to the Internet outside of Family Tree Maker. The easiest way to do this to open Internet Explorer and navigate to a website like Ancestry or CNN.com. If you cannot reach these websites through your browser, we recommend contacting your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for further assistance.

Online/Offline Mode

In order to connect your Family Tree Maker to Ancestry.com, it needs to be set to Online mode. To enable online mode:

  1. Open Family Tree Maker and go to the File menu.
  2. Locate the option that says either Go Offline or Go Online.


  • If it says Go Offline, Family Tree Maker is online and nothing needs to be changed.
  • If it says Go Online, you are in offline mode. Click Go Online to enable online mode.

Date, Time & Time Zone Settings

If the time settings on your computer are incorrect for your area, Family Tree Maker may fail to authenticate with our servers. To check your current time settings:
  1. Go to Time.gov and make note of the time settings for your area.
  2. Hold down the Windows key then press R to bring up the Run command window.
  3. Enter timedate.cpl into the open field and then click OK. The Date and Time window will open.
  4. Compare the month, day, time, and time zone with the settings on the Time.gov website. If the settings are off (even by a minute) please change it to match the Time.gov website.


Regional Short and Long Date Settings

Check the Regional Short and Long Date Settings to ensure that the year is in “yyyy” format. From the Control Panel, select Region and Language. Make sure that the short date format is set to M/d/yyyy and the long date format is set to dddd, MMMM d, yyyy. This is the format that the Family Tree Maker servers use, so if your computer’s settings are different the software won’t recognize that your connection and won’t be able to synchronize your trees.

Disable Internet Accelerators

Check your installed programs for applications that use the words 'Accelerator' or 'Booster'. a majority of dialup providers use accelerator software. Regardless of the name they try to 'boost' the amount of data transferred from the Internet and your computer through compression techniques that do not work on secure connections. If you feel like you may have accelerator software installed and you use dialup, we recommend contacting your provider for further assistance.

Proxy Settings

Ensure proxy settings in Internet Explorer are disabled:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click the gear icon (in the upper-right), then select Internet Options.
  3. Click the Connections tab.
  4. Click the LAN Settings button.
  5. Make sure proxy server settings are disabled. The only option that should be checked is Automatically detect settings.

Security Software

Check firewall settings to ensure the Family Tree maker executable (FTM.exe) has access to service.familytreemaker.com on both ports 80 and 443.

Disable Startup Programs (Clean boot)

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that can occur when you install or update programs like Family Tree Maker. For help starting Windows in a clean boot, please click here.

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