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HOW TO COMPACT AND BACK UP A LINKED TREE

HOW TO COMPACT AND BACK UP A LINKED TREE

Whether you are getting ready to update your copy of Family Tree Maker, or about to embark on any other significant event such as using a new synching technology like FamilySync for the first time, it's a good idea to first compact your tree files and then make a full backup with media. Compacting removes spaces in the tree database and reduces the likelihood of errors when performing actions on it.

Here's how:

COMPACT YOUR FILE

   1. Select Compact File from the Tools menu.

   2. In the window that appears, click Compact.

   3. In the window that appears confirming that compacting was successful, click OK. 

BACKUP YOUR FILE

   1. Select Backup from the File menu.

   2. In the Backup the Tree window that appears, check boxes to include Media files, Historical events, and if your tree is linked with one on Ancestry.com, you will also be able to check Allow restored file to resume syncing.

   3. Click Backup.

   4. In the window that appears to confirm a successful backup, click OK.

SAFELY STORE YOUR FILE
   Because of the importance of your family tree file, and the possibility that your computer's hard drive could at some point crash, you should protect your family history by storing copies of your trees outside your computer on a regular basis.  For most users, that means using an external portable hard drive or cloud storage such as Dropbox or other similar service.
 
Q: Doesn't my Ancestry tree count as a full back up?
 
A: No. There are certain elements of the FTM tree on your computer that do not get synced with your Ancestry tree. So while your Ancestry tree contains much of your family history records, you should not rely on it as your only backup.
 
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