Home > FTM 2014.1, 3.1 and Older > Burning your family tree file to a disc

Burning your family tree file to a disc

Burning your family tree file to a disc

Answer ID 5451
How do I burn my family tree file to a disc?

There are several reasons you may wish to burn your family tree file from Family Tree Maker or Ancestry.com to an optical disc. Mostly this would boil down to backup purposes; although transferring files from one machine to another also might be a necessity. Regardless of the reason, this article is meant to help you get your tree file onto a piece of optical media.

Note: To burn a copy of your Ancestry.com tree to a disc, you will need to have a copy of it on your computer in some fashion already. Click here for instructions on downloading your online tree into the Family Tree Maker application.

This article discusses the following:

How to Tell if Your Computer Can Burn Discs

Be aware that you will need to be utilizing a computer that is equipped with an optical disc burner of some type in order to complete any of the steps below. The front of the disc tray on your computer should be able to answer this question.


The documentation that came with your computer will also be able to tell you for certain if your machine has this capability but you can contact your computer’s manufacturer for this information as well.

Mac users will not have a drive as depicted above as the feeder drives for those machines are embedded within the computer housing. That being said, most modern Macs have the ability to burn both CDs and DVDs. Should you require assistance with determining this about your Mac, please contact Apple support.

Burning a Disc from Within Family Tree Maker

We have an article that covers how to backup files using Family Tree Maker. This includes burning them to removable media. If the tree you wish to burn is in Family Tree Maker, please click here to view the article.

Burning a Disc from Windows

Windows has the ability to burn CDs and DVDs using a set of basic drivers if your computer has a burning capable drive. This is useful if you have a copy of your tree (such as a GEDCOM from Ancestry.com for example) but do not have genealogical software for burning. For instructions on how to burn from within Windows Explorer, click here.

Burning a Disc from Mac OS X

Mac computers also have the ability to burn CDs and DVDs if you don’t have genealogical software installed. To learn how to do this from the Finder, please click here.

Burning a Disc with Other Software

Your computer or optical drive may have come with alternate software for burning files to a disc. This may especially be true if you are using a different disc format other than CD or DVD. These can include HD-DVDs, Blu-Rays, etc. While other formats may be able to hold more data (e.g. standard Blu-Rays can hold 25 GBs of information and if they’re dual/quad layered they can hold much more), they may also require additional software for your drive to be able to burn to them. For assistance with these drives and media types, please consult your component’s documentation.

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