Home > FTM 2014.1, 3.1 and Older > Syncing with Ancestry > Moving my linked tree between two Windows computers

Moving my linked tree between two Windows computers

Moving my linked tree between two Windows computers

Answer ID 5527
How do I move my linked tree from one computer to another?

If you have a laptop or secondary computer, you may want to periodically switch which computer’s Family Tree Maker software is linked with your online family tree.

Normally we recommend having your tree linked to one primary computer and working in the online tree with your alternate computer (or iPad/iPhone/Android device through the Ancestry App). Since Family Tree Maker “talks” to your online tree, any changes you add to the online tree will transfer into your tree in Family Tree Maker the next time you perform a sync.

If you need to change computers your tree is linked to for any reason follow the instructions outlined below:

This article discusses the next steps to follow:

Before you begin

The easiest method for transferring a tree from one computer to another is by using a USB flash drive. If you do not have one it may be worth your time to purchase one before continuing with the steps below.

Sync your tree to Ancestry

  1. Open Family Tree Maker on the computer you currently have your tree linked to and click on Plan at the top of the program.
  2. Make sure the tree that you want to link to another computer is open.
  3. Click the Sync Status icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen and select Sync Now to make sure your tree is in sync with Ancestry.

Backing up a Linked Tree

  1. Click File and choose Backup.

  2. Choose a location for saving your backup file. 
  3. In the Included in backup section make sure Media files and Allow restored file to resume syncing are checked.

  4. Click OK in the upper right corner of the backup screen.
  5. A backup progress screen will open up showing the status of the backup. Click OK on the Backup complete box.

  6. Go to the location of the backup file you created and copy the file to a flash drive or other removable media.

Restoring a linked tree

  1. Unplug your flash drive and insert it into an available USB port on the computer you will be re-linking your tree to Ancestry with. 

    Note: If you are moving from Family Tree Maker 2012, you should first unlink your tree from Ancestry in your new FTM 2014.1 before restoring a backup. For more details please click here

  2. Open Family Tree Maker 2014.1, click on the File menu and select Restore

  3. Use the Choose File To Restore window to locate and select your backup file and click Open.

  4. In the Name For Restored File window click Save button to restore your file.
  5. After your file is restored you will have a Restore - Additional Options window open up. Select Restore sync files to link this new tree to your Ancestry tree and click OK.

  6. Once your tree is re-linked click on the Sync Status icon in the upper right and select Sync Now to verify that your new tree is in sync with Ancestry.


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