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Troubleshooting issues with FTM for Mac 3

Troubleshooting issues with Family Tree Maker for Mac 3

Answer ID 5322
Family Tree Maker for Mac won't load or continually crashes. What can I do?

Any application, no matter how stable, crashes from time to time. With that in mind, if you are having problems with Family Tree Maker for Mac continually not loading or crashing, please see the articles and steps outlined below to help resolve this issue.

  • This article only applies to Family Tree Maker for Mac 3. As this is the case, in the rest of this article it will only be listed as Family Tree Maker.
  • If possible we recommend creating a backup of your file before continuing in with any of these processes.
  • Family Tree Maker 3 will only work on an Intel processor based Mac running OS X 10.8 or later. You can check your OS X version and processor type by following the instructions found here. You can also click here for other system requirements.
  • Many of the steps listed below will recommend uninstalling Family Tree Maker. Instructions for uninstalling Family Tree Maker can be found click here.

If you meet the system requirements and are still experiencing issues with Family Tree Maker not loading or crashing, please see the different sections listed below for more troubleshooting options.

This article discusses the following:

Confirm OS X is up to date

If OS X is not up to date, Family Tree Maker may not work properly. Please confirm your system is up-to-date and if necessary download and install any updates by following the instructions linked from Apple below.


Confirm Family Tree Maker is up to date

Periodically, we release version updates for Family Tree Maker that fix various software bugs and issues. Installing these updates can often times resolve issues you may be experiencing.

With Family Tree Maker open and your computer connected to the Internet:

  1. Click the Family Tree Maker menu and then select Check for Updates.


  2. If there is an update available, the software window update will appear with release notes listed. To proceed with the update, please click the Install Update button.


    • To always keep Family Tree Maker up to date, you may want to check the box next to Automatically download and install updates in the future.
    • To ensure the update installs properly, please quit all other programs before proceeding.
  3. The update for Family Tree Maker will be downloaded and extracted. When it completes, the download window will say Ready to Install. Please click the Install and Relaunch button.


  4. Family Tree Maker will now be updated, and relaunched. Once it finishes loading, confirm the update was installed properly by again clicking the Family Tree Maker menu and selecting Check for Updates. You should receive a message that your software is up-to-date.

Start your computer in Safe Mode

When your Mac starts up, many basic system processes, antivirus software, system utilities, plugins, and other software load as well. These applications and services can sometimes cause interference when installing or running programs. Starting your Mac in Safe Mode starts Mac OS X with a minimal set of programs and can help troubleshoot many issues.

Following the link below, please restart your Mac in Safe Mode, then uninstall and reinstall Family Tree Maker and see if you are still experiencing issues.


Repair disk permissions

All programs, folders, and documents on your Mac are assigned access privileges, or permissions, that are usually automatically managed. However, if these permissions change, your Mac and programs installed to it may not work properly. Repairing permissions can potentially resolve this.

More information regarding repairing disk permissions can be found from the link below.


With OS X 10.2 or later, permissions can be repaired using the Disk Utility. Please follow the steps below to begin the permissions repair process.

From the Finder:

  1. Uninstall Family Tree Maker per the instructions linked at the beginning of this article.
  2. Open the Utilities window by pressing Shift-Command-U on your keyboard.


    • You can also open the Utilities folder by clicking the Go menu and selecting Utilities.
    • Image

  3. From the Utilities window, find and double-click the icon for Disk Utility.


  4. Select Macintosh HD (or the name of your startup disk) from the drives listed on the left.


  5. Click the Repair Disk Permissions button to begin the permissions repair process.


  6. Once this process has completed, please click the Disk Utility menu and select Quit.
  7. Restart your Mac and then reinstall Family Tree Maker and see if you are still experiencing issues.

Create a new user profile

It could also be that the OS X user account you are currently sign in as has become corrupt and isn’t allowing Family Tree Maker or services Family Tree Maker relies on to operate properly. By uninstalling Family Tree Maker, creating a new user account, and then reinstalling Family Tree Maker under this new user, you can confirm if this is the cause of your issue. Please follow the steps outlined below.

After uninstalling Family Tree Maker from your current user:

  1. Create a new administrator user account for your Mac named Test. For help regarding this, please see the Apple help article listed below for the version of OS X you are using.

OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)

OS X 10.7 (Lion)

OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

OS X 10.9 (Mavericks)

2. After creating a new user account, click the Apple menu in and select Log Out (your username)…


  1. Select Test from the list of users and wait for the computer to sign onto this account.
  2. Reinstall Family Tree Maker under this account and check if you are still experiencing issues.

If Family Tree Maker opens under this user account, please restore the file you backed up earlier and check if you are still having issues with the program crashing..

If Family Tree Maker doesn’t crash, you may want to transfer your information from your other User Account to this Test account and remove your old account. For help with this process, you will need to contact Apple Support.

After completing the steps above, Family Tree maker still crashes. What can I do?

If Family Tree Maker continues to not load or crash after completing the troubleshooting steps above, please contact Technical Support Team by clicking here. There may be other troubleshooting we can offer. It may also be necessary to have a computer technician examine your computer.

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