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Repairing a Tree File in FTM 2017

How can I repair a Family Tree Maker tree?

File damage can occur in a tree for various reasons, such as improper shut-downs of Family Tree Maker or your computer, malware, or bad sectors on the hard drive.

The best way to recover from file damage is to restore a backup of your data that was created prior to when the damage occurred. We recommend that our members protect themselves against data loss by maintaining a good backup system. For help on backing up your data, click here for Windows or click here for Mac.

If you do not have a healthy backup, you can try to repair the damage using the processes below.



Probably the easiest fix you can try is compacting your file. For best results, we recommend compacting your file while it is closed. To do this, please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. With Family Tree Maker open, choose Close from the File menu.

  2. Choose Compact File from the Tools menu.

  3. In the window that opens, navigate to the location where your file is stored, select it and click Open.
  4. In the Compact File window, check the box for Perform extended analysis, then click Compact.

  5. Your file will now be compacted. Depending on the size of the file and the amount by which the file is compacted, this can take some time. When this process finishes, you will receive a window stating the compact is complete, and the file size was reduced by a percentage. Note the percentage and click OK.

  6. Repeat this process until the percentage is 0.00%
  7. Open your file again and check if you are still experiencing issues.



If you've been able to sync your tree up to Ancestry successfully, and don't have a good backup you can restore, you can download your Ancestry tree as a new corruption-free file in Family Tree Maker 2017.  Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Click the Plan workspace and click the New Tree tab.
  2. Select Download a tree from Ancestry, find the tree you want to download in the list, and click the Download Tree button in the lower-right corner.
  3. After some processing, you will see the Sync Weather Report, after which you will be shown the options for downloading your tree.  Make sure to choose a name for the new FTM tree that is easy to distinguish from your existing corrupted tree, set the other sync options, and click Download to begin.

  4. This will start the downloading process. Depending on the size of your tree and your connection speed, this can take some time. Once this process is complete, you will see a window indicating success, such as the one below.



When using this repair method, it's important to note that GEDCOM files do not include saved publications or tasks.

  1. Choose Export from the File menu.

  2. You may see a window with information about password protection.  Click Continue and the Export window opens.
    Select Entire File, change the Output Format to GEDCOM, and make sure all of the boxes in the Include section are checked.

  3. An Export to GEDCOM window will open; select Other from the dropdown and click OK.

  4. Navigate to the location you want to save this file to, type a name for your new file, and click Save.
  5. Re-import this file. If you need instructions for importing files, you can find them by clicking here.
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