Home > TEST DRIVE 2.0







The original "test drive" program was created in April to allow users with problem-free trees, particularly smaller trees with under 15,000 people, to start safely using FTM 2017 prior to a general release. Participants began with an initial 48-hour trial period (the “test drive”) after which a diagnostic test was conducted, and assuming that everything had gone well, the driver could elect to continue using FTM 2017.

The original Test Drive Program is still running and is approaching 75,000 participants. More than 98% of those taking a test drive to date have elected to continue using FTM 2017 after the initial diagnostic test. The initial test drive build released in April (build 207) was stable enough that no new builds were introduced during the original test drive program, and build 207 is still in use today. 

Back to top

Test Drive 2.0, which will begin soon, was designed to take advantage of modifications made in the sync system architecture to make it possible for all users to safely try out FTM 2017, including those with trees larger than 15,000 people. Test Drive 2.0 will feature a new streamlined build of FTM 2017 which can accommodate very large trees and the number of FTM users who can participate will not be limited.

Beta testing of Test Drive 2.0 builds is in the final phases and the test drives will begin as soon as Quality Assurance declares it safe and effective for all users.  All participants from the original test drive may automatically participate, but they may alternatively stay with the original build (207) if they wish. Eligibility for others will be the same as the original test drive in which applicants need to either have pre-ordered FTM 2017 or be receiving.a free copy.   .

Back to top

TD1 = Original Test Drive
TD2 = Test Drive 2.0 

Q: Will it be hard to upgrade from TD1 to TD2?

A: No, it’s very easy. TD2 will install over TD1.  All your trees will still be there and if they were linked in TD1 they will still be linked in TD2.

Q: If I don’t like TD2, how do I go back to TD1?

A: As part of the preparation for taking your test drive of TD2, you will be making a backup of your TD1 trees. While very unlikely, if the TD2 test drive does not work out for you, you would restore your trees from backups and we would give you back a copy of TD1 (build 207).


Q: What is different in TD2 (vs. TD1)?

A: Three main things: 1) A new streamlined build means there is no limit to the number of users that can participate.  2) Users with trees of any size, even the largest trees are welcome to take a test drive. 3) There are no check-ins every 48 hours. And of course we haven’t been sitting still and have fixed as many non-sync issues as time permitted.

Q: Are there any new features in TD2 (vs. TD1)?

A: No major ones and nothing that wasn’t already in FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1. If you haven’t missed them in TD1 you probably won't notice them in TD2. We will publish a complete list of changes when TD2 is released.

Q: Will TD2 expire every 48 hours like TD1?

A: No. After the 48-hour test drive and diagnostic test, if you continue driving, TD2 will run until a new build that we recommend for all users is available.


Q: Who is eligible for participating in TD2?

A: The same as in the original test drive program — all those who have pre-ordered FTM 2017 and all who are getting a copy for free because they purchased a copy of FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1.

Q: Do I need to have testing experience to test drive?

A: No. There is no testing actually. The "test drive” name means you just use the software as you usually do. There are no test plans to follow, and no instructions other than for your safety, where to report issues if you find some, and where to go for help (to Live Chat, which is open 24/7 for test drivers).

Q: Does the TEST DRIVE cost anything?

A: No, other than the cost of the MacKiev edition of FTM software that you have already purchased to be eligible to participate.

Q: I am a regular beta tester, not a test driver. Am I eligible?

A: Beta testers may switch to the test drive if they wish, though they will no longer get newer experimental builds and we need all the help with those we can get. Still, if you joined the regular beta tester program only because you had a large tree and that was the only way to gain access to syncing, then you may indeed want to consider test driving instead. To make this change, please stop by Live Chat.


Q: Will I get asked to fill out a lot of reports?

A: No. After your 48-hour test drive, you will fill out a short five question form while we run a brief diagnostic test. After that, you will get a prompt once a week asking only if you have anything new to report. Click “Yes" and provide an update or click “No” and that’s that.

Q: I am a little nervous. Is test driving safe?

A: We have thousands of beta testers and many tens of thousands of test drivers who have used FTM 2017 so far and not one has lost a tree. As long as you fully back up your FTM tree to an external drive with the instructions provided to you before you begin the test drive, you can count on a safe ride. If you'd like to read some comments from a few test drivers, please click here.

Q: Can I do real research work during the test drive?

A: Yes, you can! The point of the test drive is to do what you usually do.

Q: If the TD2 build is made for all users regardless of tree size, why is a test drive and diagnostic test still needed at all?

A: It might not be but we’d rather be on the safe side, at least for now. We think it’s worth the peace of mind to run a diagnostic test that takes less than five minutes of your time after you've used the new edition for two days. Actually we haven’t had any complaints about it, so we'll probably keep offering test drives at least as an option long term.


Q: I’m not test driving yet, but would like to and I’m eligible. Should I start with the original Test Drive build (TD1) now or wait for Test Drive 2.0 (TD2) ?

A: That’s up to you. If you are ready to start now, there are still places open and you can begin to use FTM 2017 immediately.  That will get you into Test Drive 2.0 the soonest as we will move all Original Test Drivers that wish to upgrade first.

Q: How can I start a TD2 test drive?

A: Until TD2 is released, you can apply to take a TD1 test drive and be automatically invited to take a TD2 test drive. After TD2 is released, we will begin inviting all those who have pre-ordered FTM 2017 first, and all those who will be getting a free copy may also apply. You would of course need to be eligible to be a test driver (having pre-ordered FTM 2017 or be getting a free copy).

Q: Can I still start a TD1 test drive?

A: Yes, until TD2 is released. Just go to support.familytreemaker.com and enter “test drive” in the search field and read the FAQ in the article “FTM 2017 - TEST DRIVE”.


Q: What should i do to get ready for TD2?

A: Just do a full backup with media of your FTM tree files.

Q: I only have a tree on Ancestry, and none on FTM. How can I prepare to drive safely?

A: We recommend downloading your Ancestry tree as a non-linked tree with media which you can do now. For instructions go to support.familytreemaker.com, search for "non-linked”, and read the article “Upload and Download without Linking” for either FTM 2014.1 or Mac 3.1.

Back to top




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