Family Tree Maker - Current Version

The current version of Family Tree Maker is followed by its release year, e.g. 2012. It was completely rewritten in 2008 and is very different than its previous incarnation. There is also a Mac version. They have a Family Tree Maker category in their blog. Use this entry to review the current version, and use the FTM Up To Version 16 entry to review the versions prior to the rewrite.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured • Builds Website
Overall2321.67 out of 51.67 out of 51.67 out of 51.67 out of 51.67 out of 5 1.67
2014481.29 out of 51.29 out of 51.29 out of 51.29 out of 51.29 out of 5 1.29
2013511.92 out of 51.92 out of 51.92 out of 51.92 out of 51.92 out of 5 1.92
Earlier1332.22 out of 52.22 out of 52.22 out of 52.22 out of 52.22 out of 5 2.22

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232 Reviews of Family Tree Maker - Current Version     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Steve Williams,  6 days ago

Not Rated

Have just bought FTM 2014 as I have upgraded my computer from XP to Windows7 (64bit) and, although I had uploaded FTM Version 10, It told me it had uploaded with some errors (haven’t found out what these may be yet!). Managed to install, but had to switch off anti-virus and firewall to load the immediate essential update. Imported my FTW file into new programme. God Almighty! what a busy, unfriendly screen layout. Also, I it does not show all the additional fact details in each of the individual tree bmember boxes and I am damned if I can work out how, or indeed, whether I can do that. Similarly, it just show the immediate thread with little arrows to the next strand of the tree. Again I want to be able to show the entire tree at once as in the old version I had. I don’t know whether I can, as I certainly can’t find out how to do it. I also wish they included a book of instructions. I LOATHE these computer -based help files. I like to browse instructions in bed! AM NOT IMPRESSED ONE IOTA. I shall continue to use my old version if at all possible.

Biggest Pro: Can’t think of one
Biggest Con: Turned me right off as soon as I saw the screen layout. Has no relationship with my earlier version at all.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Frank Morales III,  Apr 12, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Freezes, Crashes. Was once a very good program. Now that got a hold of it, it’s pretty much,useless, for me. Got a refund. You should too.

Biggest Pro: able to put on iPhone x1 - see con below
Biggest Con: Craches and Frezzes

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Ms. Smith,  Apr 9, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I lost all of my FTM (from a 2000 something edition) files some years ago due to computer failure. I decided to go to to put up trees so I could share them with family. I decided to take a chance on 2014 Family Tree Maker this past week to get back/sync what I have done on trees I entrusted with, and send files to family (outline descendent trees; easy to bring up, copy, and paste to an e-mail) I was able to download the 2014 purchased program, and actually download 1 ancestry tree with my password/user name. Original options for importing trees showed ALL of my ancestry trees (several of them ;now, the only tree that shows up is the one I was successful with) . Since then, I’ve been trying to download others (my other trees do not show up), and they say I have to log in with my ancestry account user name and password. It (user name/password) is now rejected where it worked the first time) and I keep getting a message to download a patch, and in order to do that, I have to turn off my firewall. Tried that, and nothing. Totally frustrated with all of this, and thinking about canceling my expensive subscription after 14 years.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Tony Barker-May,  Apr 7, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I bought 2014 late last year, and did not have previous version - bought it because I used Ancestry online, but MyHeritage offline, so I thought it best to use Ancestry in both cases. Big mistake - MyHeritage (free) was a much better offline system. Anyway, I had not synchronised Ancestry online with my offline tree since February. Tried to synchronise yesterday, 7 April, and it came up with an update message, no option to bypass it, I had to update. The whole thing froze, didn’t update, and I lost my desktop icon. After trying a few times, I uninstalled 2014 and reinstalled it, insisted on the update again, started to synchronise but gave up. I’m about to give up myself - this software is rubbish, and it’s clear from this forum that this is very much the majority view.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Doesn’t Work

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Gerald,  Apr 4, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5


I had FTM 10 and many problems with crashes. I call support and was told Windows 7 doesn’t work with FTM 10 and I needed to upgrade.

I bought FTM14, guess what, more crashes. No better than FTM 10.

Biggest Con: crashes

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by UNHAPPY RESEARCHER,  Mar 26, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Family Tree Maker 2014 is NOT was it was advertised to be… I had a windows XP and enjoyed it very much. So, I purchased another system with windows 8.1 64 bit with all the bells and whistles. when uploading from the cd I was sent An ERROR messaged pop-up and halted everything.



I have had several conversations with tech support and was requested to send to them certain even logs, which I did, and still no solution, I’m done to their research on their problem with this version of FTM 2014. I have done what was asked of me. THEY SHOULD SLOVE THERE OWN PROBLEMS!

Biggest Pro: NONE
Biggest Con: TOO MANY TO LIST.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Ellen Weider,  Mar 26, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

After 2 straight days trying to install Family Tree Maker 2014 on my Dell Inspiron Windows 8.1 laptop, I’m done. Not done with the install, just totally done with FTM2014. Patches that won’t load, interminable holds for customer support, random suggestions that don’t make sense and don’t solve the problems, including one rep who suggested I buy the disc instead of online download because the downloads never work, and the final blow, latest install won’t proceed because my validation code has been denied due to too many downloads. Well, yes, it has been installed and uninstalled far too many times on this one computer and hasn’t worked yet. To top it off, the denied validation message linked me to a site that has nothing to do with FTM in the US, and when I got the US number, they were closed at 4:20 PDT, although their site says open 9-5 PDT.

Biggest Pro: Wouldn’t know, can’t get it to run.
Biggest Con: Won’t install, support is weak.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Kathy F,  Mar 25, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Thanks to everyone for the warnings. I purchased FTM 2012 a couple of years ago, upgrading from a much earlier version, and it was a total disaster. It corrupted all my files and even after repeated contacts with Ancestry, I was unable to fix the problems. Multiple people in my tree were either deleted or multiplied several times, so I had the same person listed up to six times. I was hoping that the 2014 version would be better, but I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere.

Biggest Pro: Nothing
Biggest Con: Nothing

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by FMC,  Mar 24, 2014

Not Rated

There seem to be two strands of complaint here: one that FTM2014 is simply ungrade on anything from FTM 2008 onwards and people aren’t impressed with it.
The other is that FTM2014 says it can handle all versions since FTM2005, when it clearly can’t. Like many of the people complaining about 2014, I was still using FTM2006. Yes, it was an old clunker. Yes, it made huge files, but that’s hardly relevant with today’s very large memory drives. The bigger problem was that it would not work beyond a certain file size. Other than that, it was extremely simply to use. And it handled photos better than anything else on the market.
FTM2006 was what we used to call “plug an go” and I am not even sure we had USB sticks in 2006. What we meant was that we could install it and use it straight away, seeing the family build as we typed. It gave us what we wanted - all the basic information about one person on one screen. Given names of parents at top of screen; partner, if any; children if any, with icons to click to add sources, notes, photos, icons which were actually large enough to use easily. . None of these silly pop up screens with one fact - the most of important of which these days seems to be who a person’s father is. What sexist nonsense! People have two parents, whether known or not. Since when is a father more imporant than the person who gave birth to you? Or more important than whoever this indivdual chooses to spend their life with? Utterly bananas. Not to mention extremely offensive.
And as for charts … FTM2006 could handle 99 generations in a descent tree, and that’s what I set it at, regardless. So much easier than pfaffing about: simply choose person, press go. Results in a blink. I tried to get FTM2014 to do seven generations. I should hope there is a way of setting seven or more generations in advance, but I haven’t found it yet. The default seems to be four, one of which is “add parents”, so really only three generations and the grandchildren have no partners so actually two and half. The program huffed and puffed and took for ever to rearrange itself into five generations, then six. When it got to seven [including add parents], I waited five minutes and then clicked cancel. The program took another nine minutes to do that. And my computer is two weeks old. Large. Fast. Etc.
Did I mention it freezes all the time? Crashes?
And so on
It has turned my image file captions into complete nonsense and given them weird and wonderful file names to boot. They had file names. They had to have file names otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to upload them on to the computer … A few have the names of the right people on. Others have just the year. Others have the first two or three letters of a surname - which when half one’s family is Dutch is not very helpful - and then a number.. The name is not necessarily their own either. Others are just a string of numbers. I can recaption them as much as I like, but when I want to change, say, a profile photo, from one photo to another, what comes up is not photo options [as FTM2006] but these meaningless file name options. FTM2006 handled that one better, folks. You just chose the photo you wanted as a profile pic, clicked the caption and a whole load of options came up: for tree, for family group sheet, etc, and you just ticked where you wanted the image to go. I haven’t found out how to do that one in FTM2014 yet.
FTM2006 had icons down the side of its charts: what to include, typeface, etc. Typeface and box size I have found, though it seems I have to reset this every time I do a chart. But “what to include”? Like, names, folks? J Smith just will not do. And it says J Smith even if I make the box twice as long as it needs to spell out John Adam Smith.
And it’s reduced my sources to rubbish. Thanks a million
Oh, and one can’t cut and paste from the input screens. What year is this? 1984? How can you forget that? As for someone saying that the biggest Pro is being able to cut and paste straight from source to notes, dear me, you can do that in FTM2006, Well, if you haven’t got Windows8 you can.
And FTM still can’t deal with merged families. Families have been merging since the year dot. Life expectancy was short even Europe and the USA until well into the 20th century, with the result that many widows and widowers remarried in their child bearing years. Get used to it. Deal with it. Listing the children in birthdate order under one set of parents rather than their own parents is disgraceful. You can land up with deceased children listed under the name of a stepfather or stepmother they never met and so on. Ancestry has “sponsored” geneweb for years and you would think they would have learned from them how to do this by now.
It is just too appalling for words and is coming off as soon asI find something better
Anyone got any suggestions?

Biggest Pro: None whatsoever
Biggest Con: FTM seem to have forgotten what a family tree is for. Complete waste of time and money

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Hwaters19,  Mar 19, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT! a very poorly written programme! Ancestry would be far better forging an alliance with Legacy 8 enabling it to upload media files and sync with Ancestry tree. FMT 2014 has too many bugs and problems. LEGACY 8 deluxe far superior.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: The fact that these bugs are not being fixed or updated.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Chuck,  Mar 18, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Initially intrigued and impressed with some of the new features. However, actual usage of them has revealed a buggy and incompletely regression-tested piece of software. I upgraded from Mac Family Tree Maker 2 to 3. My 3700-person, ~2GB tree seemed to convert OK (imperative you do a back-up, first). However the default is to constantly sync online. Turn automatic syncing off! The duplicate people process is far slower than before. FTM3 dropped the link to my online tree (the first an only time that I have ever had that issue). I’ve not been able to successfully restore the connect. by any of the recommended methods. I decided to restore my FTM work to a recent back-up. That process fails with no message at all. Trying to open up the full back-up “Open With… FTM3) only gives me a message that the file type is either incorrect or truncated or otherwise broken. Fabulous!…NOT. At the moment, I’m screwed. The current version of my FTM3 database has somehow grown a couple of hundred extra people. If I try syncing to the online tree, the number of additions and modifications is in the thousands. Clearly, something is wrong here, too.

Unless you are starting from scratch, skip this version (currently 22.2.1712)

Biggest Pro: Better integration with You could realistically do hints and searches without the website.
Biggest Con: Performs untold harm to your database. Won’t restored databases made by the same software.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by JACK,  Mar 17, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Brutal software! Very unfriendly and difficult to use. Constant updates nearly every time you sign on, then there is difficulty opening files after performing the updates. Can’t re launch file without going through a manual uninstall of all related files. I got 9 pages of paper for the uninstall procedure, because you have to make sure every file is deleted before you can re-load the disk. Had the same problem with download software, disk no different…. help desk not super good either. Do yourself a favour, stay away from this software. Use Ancestry and put your findings into another tree. There are other reviews that also say 2014 version is not good!

Biggest Pro: Non
Biggest Con: The whole package.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by A. R. Downing,  Mar 17, 2014

Not Rated

Correction on previous post. I, actually, started contacting FTM January 25th not February. My how time flies when you’re having fun!?

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by A. R. Downing,  Mar 16, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I have been a user for years. My mistake was going on past good experience and upgrading to 2014 without reading reviews. Would never have purchased it if I had. I have been working with support since Feb 25th, still no repair. They do not even admit that there is a problem and only offer fixes available on-line. After “FTM has stopped working” and crashes, I have only managed to get back a read only file. That only works if I don’t accept the required updates. The latest fix, “call Microsoft”. This suggestion came after I asked for a new disk, hoping that what they are selling now does not have the bugs. I guess that leaves me dead in the water with 30 years worth of research sitting in limbo. Any suggestions for a new program that will easily accept a large FTM file?

Biggest Pro: When working, ease of use, report capabilities, etc. etc.
Biggest Con: 2014 is a piece of junk. Support only knows what’s already available on line. FTM won’t admit it has a problem.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by R E Nagel,  Mar 14, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

I had bought the FTM 2011 version 20.0 and never installed it because there were so many saying they hated it. I was forced to install it on my new computer, and I HATE IT. I can’t find anything and can’t see things in one page. I am looking for a better software, any one got a better Genealogy soft ware?

Biggest Pro: There is NON
Biggest Con: Unusable who ever wrote this was a sick person

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Carole,  Mar 13, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

Thanks to everyone for their info - I won’t buy this version or any other for a while, don’t know what to do.
I have been a FTM user since inception and the last version I bought was 2011 though I didn’t install until 2013, didn’t really want to but had no choice. It has caused endless problems which are worsening day by day, it won’t save the files as I want, will save the mega files but won’t let me open them and gives a blank icon, the default tag should be ‘ftm’ but it is ‘ftmb’ and naturally when it saves to the latter, the file is very small and when I alter the tag to ‘ftm’ it doesn’t save the additional data nor documents……………now I can’t even open yesterday’s files and so on. I have contact with the help-line via email and more problems are caused by trying all the suggestions!

Biggest Pro: not sure there is on
Biggest Con: FTM is no longer made by genealogists

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Heather,  Mar 12, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

FTM disgusts me and every Genealogy seminar I attend I find people who feel the same. Surely FTM can admit their mistakes and go cap in hand to the original designer of the original and the best Windows Genealogy Program which is the old Reunion for Windows and please please create something in Windows that is as good as the Mac version of Windows. I am not interested in a cumbersome program like FTM - the latter is frustrating in every way. There are no excuses possible any more. Windows using genealogists urgently need something better than FTM

Biggest Pro: the box it comes in is useful. That’s all
Biggest Con: It is cumbersome and clumsy and thoroughly annoying to use..

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by JACK HALLIDAY,  Mar 11, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

I have an earlier version of family tree which has been good, but no longer supported. I purchased the download version of Family Tree Maker 2014. Downloaded worked OK and was using for a couple of weeks. One time I signed in and got a message that there was system update, so followed the recommended update procedure. System crashed, lost my 2014 version, my desktop shortcut, and there was absolutely no way to launch the software. After a few calls to their not so helpful help desk, I found out that in order to download/upload the 600+ names in my 2005 version, that a special procedure was needed to name and reformat my 2005 files. This was only determined after a few calls to the help desk. I was not told this on my initial inquiry asking about the transfer of my 2005 files…. I was told it would all be picked up automatically! Luckily, I did not delete my 2005 version, which the installation process to me “that you can now delete your 2005 files”. I cancelled my download transaction and Ancestry gave me a refund. I decided to order the CD copy instead, and placed the order Feb 24th, and I received the email confirmation that the order had been shipped. I was told that it would only be a few days and I would have the disk. After a week, no package. I was not able to track my delivery. Apparently, because I live in Canada, I cannot track, and my delivery could take up to 30 days for “international” shipments! My latest explanation from the help desk via email was “that we normally don’t ship to Canada” so could take 30 days. An earlier enquiry responded that I should have my delivery March 10th, not received, March 11, not received. I get products quicker from China! Ancestry seem unapologetic, and really down give a crap. Some of the staff think that we live half way around the world, and don’t know where Canada is. If I would have known the frustration first, not so sure I would have purchased this software. Suggest to anyone, that you just go to staples and buy the latest version available (2012)…. too frustrating dealing with Ancestry. Check out other software too, may be a better one!

Biggest Pro: Can move my existing family tree to new version, with some file format changes.
Biggest Con: Poor support from Ancestry. Most of the staff I spoke with cannot solve problems

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Gammon,  Mar 9, 2014

2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

Many people report issues with the software affecting their computers. I have had no such ill luck. The worst that happens that every few months the software fails to sync with the web tree and I have to unlink, and redownload from the web.

My massive complaint - no, it’s a fact - is that Family Tree Maker is a data eater. You can input a lot of family information and relationships (i.e. data) but you can’t get it out in the form of information. You cannot use it’s report functions to accurately report on the data FTM holds. That’s the BUG/GLITCH/POOR PROGRAMMINg in FTM.
Whether you generate an Ancestor Report or an Ahnantafel (the de facto report that is supposed to detail your ancestors by generation so you can identify great grandparents) doesn’t do it. It misses people and that’s the fault of the relationship calculator.

Both and Family Tree Maker share that MAJOR flaw. Neither can accurately identify grandparents. admits it’s relationship calculator can’t handle complex relationships but it tells me a great grandmother is the “Paternal grandmother of husband of 4th great aunt of husband of 14th great grandmother” but it can’t/won’t identify that great grandmother as my 23rd Great Grandmother.

Family Tree Maker is a little better, but not much. If you have a set of grand parents who have children, and descendants of two or three of those children are also your great grandparents,

If your 20th Great Grandmother, your 18th Great Grandfather and your 22nd Great Grandmother all share common parents, their parents would be your 21st, 19th and 23rd great grandparents. The reports out of FTM will only report on one set of grandparents. There is no report I can find in FTM that accurately reports grand parents, and they’re the most important relationship in a family tree. Not the “Paternal grandmother of husband of 4th great aunt of husband of 14th great grandmother.”

Biggest Pro: Convenience
Biggest Con: It can’t accurately tell you who your grand parents are and hence makes its reports useless.

Family Tree Maker - Current Version Review by Pat Craig,  Mar 8, 2014

1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

My new Family Tree Maker 2014 fails to open form a CD. Unable to get online help as I will not give them my credit card number to use the advertised and paid for 14 day free web use. I paid for the CD and expect it will work, when it does not, and there is not explanation. I am dead in the water.

Biggest Pro: Good adds
Biggest Con: Does not work.

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