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Using the Emergency Tree Restore Service

Should some unexpected calamity befall your computer and your FTM Source tree be irrecoverably lost, remember that in your TreeVault® Antenna tree you always have an up-to-date copy of your Source tree for emergency recovery, so you can restore your FTM tree from the Antenna tree. The restored Source tree and the Antenna tree will be linked, and any changes you make to the restored Source tree will be applied to the Antenna tree.

Note: Because your Antenna tree contains only the tree data and not your media files, you should consider a strategy for backing up the tree’s media folder. See the Backing Up and Restoring Your Media section below for more details.

This article discusses the following topics:

Using the Emergency Tree™ Restore Service for Mac

Using the Emergency Tree Restore Service for Windows

Backing Up and Restoring Your Media

 

Using the Emergency Tree™ Restore Service for Mac
 

  1. Install FTM 2019 on your computer.
     
  2. Chose Connect to TreeVault Cloud Services from the Family Tree Maker 2019 menu and log in to your TreeVault account.
     
  3. Go to the Plan workspace.
     
  4. On the New Tree tab, click Emergency Tree Restore from TreeVault.
  5. Click My Hard Drive Crashed.


    Note: If you have deleted your Source tree by accident, or it was lost by some reason other than computer or hard drive crash, consider clicking Deleted My Tree By Accident or Other Reason to go to Live Chat and get help with restoring your tree.
  6. Click Download Tree to see the information about your Antenna tree.
  7. Click Download Tree again to confirm the restore action.
  8. In the dialog that appears, select the location where you want the restored tree file to be saved and enter a name for it.
     
  9. Click Save. Restoration of the tree begins. When the process is complete, the restored tree opens in FTM.
     
  10. Copy your backup of the tree’s media folder from wherever you keep it to the folder in which you chose to save the restored tree in step 8. For more information on restoring the tree’s media, see the Backing Up and Restoring Your Media section below.
     

The restored FTM Source tree will be linked to your Antenna tree. Only changes to this new Source tree will be applied to the Antenna tree; if you had another FTM tree linked to this Antenna tree, it will be unlinked.

 

Using the Emergency Tree Restore Service for Windows

  1. Install FTM 2019 on your computer.
     
  2. Chose Connect to TreeVault Cloud Services from the Help menu and log in to your TreeVault account.
     
  3. Go to the Plan workspace.
     
  4. On the New Tree tab, click Emergency Tree Restore from TreeVault.
  5. Click My Hard Drive Crashed.


    Note: If you have deleted your Source tree by accident, or it was lost by some reason other than computer or hard drive crash, consider clicking Deleted My Tree By Accident or Other Reason to go to Live Chat and get help with restoring your tree.
  6. Click Download Tree to see the information about your Antenna tree.
  7. Click Download Tree again to confirm the restore action.
  8. In the dialog that appears, select the location where you want the restored tree file to be saved and enter a name for it.
     
  9. Click Save. Restoration of the tree begins. When the process is complete, the restored tree opens in FTM.
     
  10. Copy your backup of the tree’s media folder from wherever you keep it to the folder in which you chose to save the restored tree in step 8. For more information on restoring the tree’s media, see the Backing Up and Restoring Your Media section below.

The restored FTM Source tree will be linked to your Antenna tree. Only changes to this new Source tree will be applied to the Antenna tree; if you had another FTM tree linked to this Antenna tree, it will be unlinked.

 

Backing Up and Restoring Your Media

Your Antenna tree contains all of the Source tree’s data but not the media files. Therefore you should consider a strategy for backing up the tree’s media folder. Your tree’s media files are usually stored in this folder, which has the same name as your tree but with the word “Media” added (so, for example, if your tree’s name is “Smith Tree”, the media folder will be named “Smith Tree Media”). The media folder can be found in the same location as your tree file, which by default is the Family Tree Maker folder located in your Documents folder.

There are a number of different options available to you for backing up your media. For example, you can:
    •    Store the media folder with a commercial file hosting service.
    •    Regularly create an .ftmb backup file (which will include the tree’s media folder) and store it on a flash drive that you keep in a safe place.
    •    Use the media from your Ancestry tree.

Each of these options is discussed below together with instructions for restoring the Source tree’s media in each case.

Important: It's possible that some or all of your tree's media files are not stored directly in the tree's media folder but are just linked to the tree from different locations on your computer. Therefore, before you back up the folder, you should make sure that it contains a copy of every media file used in the tree.  To learn how you can do that, see the “Before You Start” section of this article.

Restoring your media from a cloud backup

Backing up your media in the cloud using a file hosting service such as Dropbox, Google Cloud, or iCloud is both convenient and reliable. Most of the services are free up to certain storage limits, and you can even set them up so that selected folders are backed up automatically. For more information on keeping your FTM Source tree media folder backed up in the cloud, click here.

To restore your Source tree’s media from a cloud backup, follow these steps:

1. Use the Emergency Tree restore service to restore your Source tree as described in the steps above.
2. Go to the location on your computer where you saved the restored tree and delete its media folder (this is an empty folder that was created when the Source tree was restored; it has the name of the restored tree plus the word “Media”).
3. Download the media folder from cloud storage. You can download it directly to the folder in which you saved the restored Source tree or to a different location and then move it to the folder with the Source tree.
4. Make sure the media folder name is exactly <Tree Name> Media (the name of the restored Source tree plus the word “Media”). If the folder name is different, edit it.
5. Open the Source tree in FTM 2019, and then run the Find Missing Media tool to make sure that all the media items in the media folder are correctly linked to the tree. For more information on using this tool, click one of these links:
• Using the Find Missing Media Tool in FTM for Mac
• Using the Find Missing Media Tool in FTM for Windows
When you have finished, you can delete the tree file you restored from the backup in step 3.
 

Restoring your media from a tree downloaded from Ancestry

If you are using the Emergency Tree restore service and you don't have an up-to-date backup of your media folder or a recently created .ftmb backup file, then downloading your tree from Ancestry may serve as a useful way to recover most of your tree’s media.

Please keep in mind that an Ancestry tree should not be regarded as a full backup of an FTM tree, since it doesn’t contain all of your tree’s data like a TreeVault Antenna tree does. Among the data that are not uploaded to Ancestry are all private data, saved charts, reports, and books, most types of notes, tasks, change log data, color coding, and smart filters. As regards media, photos uploaded to Ancestry Member Trees cannot exceed 15 MB, so any photo in your FTM tree that exceeds this size limit will be resized when it is copied to Ancestry, and you will then get the reduced copy if you download the online tree back down to Family Tree Maker. Additionally, some media files (video and audio files, PDF files of more than 20 MB, and files not linked to the tree but present in the media folder) are not uploaded from Family Tree Maker to Ancestry at all. 

You can see a full list of what’s not synced between FTM and Ancestry trees by clicking here.

For more information on uploading an FTM tree to Ancestry, please click here if you’re using Windows or here if you have a Mac.

To restore your Source tree’s media from a tree downloaded from Ancestry, follow these steps:

1. Use the Emergency Tree restore service to restore your Source tree as described in the steps above.
2. Go to the location on your computer where you saved the restored tree and delete its media folder (this is an empty folder that was created when the Source tree was restored; it has the name of the restored tree plus the word “Media”).
3. Download your Ancestry tree to a different location than the folder where you saved the restored Source tree (you can download it to the desktop, for example). For detailed instructions on downloading an Ancestry tree, please click here if you’re using Windows or here if you have a Mac.
A media folder containing the media from the Ancestry tree will be downloaded together with the tree file.
4. Move the downloaded media folder to the folder in which you saved the restored Source tree.
5. Make sure the media folder name is exactly <Tree Name> Media (the name of the restored Source tree plus the word “Media”). If the folder name is different, edit it.
6. Open the Source tree in FTM 2019, and then run the Find Missing Media tool to make sure that all the media items in the media folder are correctly linked to the tree. For more information on using this tool, click one of these links:
• Using the Find Missing Media Tool in FTM for Mac
• Using the Find Missing Media Tool in FTM for Windows

When you have finished, you can delete the tree file you downloaded in step 3.

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