Family Tree Maker

by Software MacKiev (Jack Minsky)
This program Family Tree Maker was acquired by Software MacKiev and they will be supporting and continuing the development of the program. They made their first new version of the program available in March 2016. Please use this entry to review only Software MacKiev’s Windows releases of Family Tree Maker beginning with Family Tree Maker 2014, Build 429, version (32-bit) or version (64-bit) or later. Please go to Family Tree Maker 2008 to 2014 - by Ancestry to review earlier versions by Ancestry. Please go to Family Tree Maker for Mac to review the Mac version.

Purchase • Windows • Full Featured
Overall541.7 out of 51.7 out of 51.7 out of 51.7 out of 51.7 out of 5 1.70
2017451.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 51.72 out of 5 1.72
201691.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 51.55 out of 5 1.55
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54 Reviews of Family Tree Maker     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker Review by Dan,  3 days ago

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

As per other complaints I purchased Family Tree Maker 2017 because the old “TreeSync” application was no longer supported and for one to obtain this option you had to purchase the 2017 edition which uses “FamilySync”. I paid $95.90 for a download and a CD on 8th August 2017 (it’s been 7 days and no CD). Basically the 2017 software requires you to load your tree on, even though you are an active subscriber and having a limited tree (private) already listed. I have used Family Tree Maker and purchased all the up-grades for the past 20 years and I do not want to publish my complete tree on (public or private), therefore since Mackiev forces users to load their respective trees on the web site to use the “hints” function of the software is not acceptable to me. I sent the following e-mail (three times) to and yet to receive any input. This is an indicator that there so called customer service department is basically non-existence.
“Just purchased your software: My input! (August 8, 2017)
OK – I purchased your software to replace my Family Tree 2014 edition. My primary reason for the purchase was to re-instate the “hints” link from Open software (Family Tree 2017) and clicked on help, clicked on “Connect FTM to Ancestry ….” – Nothing Happens!!!! I could care less about the Family Search link as I access their web page directly and have better search results. I have not and will not upload my tree to Ancestry – therefore if uploading my file is a prerequisite to obtaining the “hints” link from Ancestry then it looks like I paid a copious amount of money for a “Boat Anchor”.
Bottom line – This software does not meet my expectations and is not worth cost demanded by Mackiev.

Biggest Pro: None noted
Biggest Con: The Mackiev web page suggest that the 2017 edition is the best thing since “Peanut Butter” - it is not!

Family Tree Maker Review by Becky,  Aug 7, 2017

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

Absolutely horrible. What a nightmare! Never had a problem with FTM before but had to upgrade to 2017 with Mackiev in order to be able to sync my tree. The sync link keeps breaking. They have had me download my ancestry file to merge with my ftm file which didn’t work, then reset the program which didn’t work. Then they had me merge it with a back up. Didn’t work. Now I’m being told to uninstall the program and start over. I’m not confident it is ever going to work. Tech support is a mess. If you are already using FTM what other programs are available that you can use?

Biggest Pro: None that I can find yet
Biggest Con: It is a disaster! Very frustrated and disappointed.

Family Tree Maker Review by Ellie,  Aug 7, 2017

5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

I have used various Family Tree Software products and I find FTM 2017 the best I have used. I have had minimal trouble converting my files from previous formats and I follow the instructions in the Companion Guide to help me so I do things the correct way.

Biggest Pro: So many features, synchronising with Ancestry trees
Biggest Con: Uses more computer resources than previously

Family Tree Maker Review by Jean Fredette,  Aug 6, 2017

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

What a disaster - Waste of my tie & money, want a refund.
Long time & Family Tree Maker customer with a huge number in my trees. Think Ancestry did its longtime customers a great disservice when they sold the program leaving us without the services we signed up for.
Don’t think I will be renewing my subscription when it expires unless they can do something to rectify this huge

Too bad because up until now I was a satisfied customer who has spent a lot of money to subscribe.

Biggest Pro: Not a thing
Biggest Con: Everything

Family Tree Maker Review by Eric,  Aug 4, 2017

Not Rated

This is a follow up to my review below given 2 days ago. I want to share my nightmare with others about FTM 2017. My August 1 attempt to solve the problem [starting the program without having to restart my computer first] over their chat line was to do the Team Viewer Session. That didn’t solve anything. I sent Crash logs and did clean boots. At one time I lost my internet connect, somehow it got on airplane mode. Finally I was told that they were concerned because this was a deep problem and their engineers will have to work on it. They’ll get back to me, it might take weeks. Remember this was to start FTM 2017 even if I had an app, like Word, already up, or to restart FTM 2017 after shutting down and no apps up. The only way it would start was to restart my computer and turn on FTM. Their suggestion while we wait for the engineers to solve the problem was to make my FTM 2017 a read only. That was it after spending three days and a total of 4 hours and 54 minutes on the chat lines. I said I want my money back and I will do my family tree work on instead.

Biggest Pro: I hope they will refund my money
Biggest Con: It doesn’t start unless you restart your computer

Family Tree Maker Review by Eric,  Aug 1, 2017

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

I downloaded FTM 2017 on July 18. I had numerous problems, including the discovery I must sync my tree with if I want the hints. I was unaware of this requirement, and I am quite unhappy with it. But the biggest problem was when I found out I could not start FTM 2017 unless I did a restart of the computer. If there was any program on, it refused to start. I would get a message FTM was not properly closed, I’d click continue, it would start to come on but then a” program closed” box would come up. Only if I restarted the laptop would it start. It will stay on if I turn on other programs. I filled out support requests, not one was answered. I tried live chats, couldn’t connect until today, Aug 1. I was on live chat for 1 hour and 31 minutes. We tried several things, but nothing has worked. I’ve scheduled a Team Support session where they will connect with my computer to try to solve the problem. Not sure I’m happy with that.

Biggest Pro: Nothing so far
Biggest Con: Can’t start program unless I restart computer, in order to use Ancestry’s hints you have to sync your tree, Family Search seems to have other people’s trees, not the primary source information I could access directly

Family Tree Maker Review by Moira,  Aug 1, 2017

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

Be very, very careful! Always make sure you have a back up of all files before syncing. Paid for this (2017 version) in February and only received the full version in July! but it completely messed up my ancestry tree and 20 years worth of hard work. I can rescue it as I have copies of files etc. but the only reason I bought it was that I have DNA on my ancestry tree and this will not find “new” relatives unless I keep it syncing (or manually input information again, in which case I don’t need the 2017 version I could continue to use the older one that I already had).
Over 20 extra really weird entries appeared as new people, and lots of doubles, and when mothers were synced they appeared as fathers and vice versa. It also takes ages to enter data.

Biggest Pro: Nothing
Biggest Con: Still has many problems working and had to wait 5 months to even get this far.

Family Tree Maker Review by Gerald Whelpley,  Aug 1, 2017

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

Used FTM 2012 and 2014.1 and never really had a problem. I didn’t really use the sync feature. FTM 2017 take a long time to load. I do have a little over 319,000 people in my tree but I think it should load quick that 5-10 minutes. On the older trees you could after entering a mother’s name and infor us “control-V” keys to enter a child’s name and continue to enter the rest of the childern’s names. On 2017 the second childs name comes up in the child’s info screen, but the header for the info screen should the previous child’s name. You have to click on the Father or Mother and bring up there info screen and then you can enter the current child’s information. This really slows down data enter. I don’t really see a big improvement on 2014.1.

Biggest Pro: Don’t see one.
Biggest Con: Slow loading, slow data entry

Family Tree Maker Review by John,  Jul 31, 2017

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

Never a huge fan, I bought the new version to maintain continuity of my files. Within a month they unexpectedly turned off syncing as they experienced IT issues. That was in February. It was going to be all fixed in a few days, which was a phrase repeated for the next several weeks. It was turned back on but only for beta testers. I eventually signed up as a beta tester so I could get some stuff done and found my copy only worked for 48 hrs and then I would have to re-submit a survey to get an unlock key for the software I had already bought- grrr. Several times my files wouldn’t open. After abt 5 months of this they finally released their post-beta version and within hours the program repeatedly froze up or crashed altogether. Essentially it’s been 6 months of teeth grinding hell. Maybe they will eventually get it working right and it will be pretty good but my patience has limits and I’ve decided to switch.

Biggest Pro: Ability to color code lines of ancestories.
Biggest Con: Switch in authors has been anything but seamless. Still buggy as July 2017

Family Tree Maker Review by Elizabeth,  Jul 31, 2017

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

Did not upgrade properly. Had to start over and then nothing so I imported from Ancestry. No hanging green chad so tell me there are Ancestry hints even though it is checked. Does not import marriage information at all. Takes forever to merge anything. It’s like watching paint dry.

Changed all of my trees to FTM2017 when I was not ready to do this. ALL! Can back up but can’t compact. Help (online chat) was useless.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: The entire program

Family Tree Maker Review by Richard,  Jul 28, 2017

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

Well I hate to be accused of kicking a dead horse, but FTM 2017 and MacKiev seem to be very poor. Tech Support? Lots of luck. The saying “better late than never” does not apply. I just ordered Roots Magic and will not look back. I was rooting for MacKiev. I got my first copy of FTM from one of the brothers that owned Broderbund Software where FTM resided at the time, about 35 years ago. I hate to think of what has happened to it.

Biggest Pro: A very good legacy
Biggest Con: Lack of quality control. They depend on paid customers to do the testing. MacKiev may kill FTM with incompetence.

Family Tree Maker Review by Martin McGovern,  Jul 25, 2017

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

Very difficult to see any benefits of FTM 2017 over FTM 2014 (owned by Ancestry) or even FTM 2014.1 (owned by MacKiev). They claim that FTM 2017 will synch (2014.1 didn’t) with but my relatively small tree (1100 people) doesn’t. I’ve had nothing from support either. I’ve also noticed at least one bug in the places area (when merging places), so it’s actually a step back as far as I can see.
If you are considering purchasing, consider something else or wait until there’s significant positive feedback on a site like this.

Biggest Pro: Very hard to see any
Biggest Con: The key promised feature doesn’t actually work

Family Tree Maker Review by Chal,  Jul 25, 2017

3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

I’ve used Family Tree Maker for years with a database of 5000 individuals. When I first uploaded my tree to the 2017 edition it crashed and continued to crash. It was sooo frustrating and after days of trying to get some work done I created a Gedcom from a slightly better working version of 2017 on my laptop. I then uploaded that Gedcom to my desktop and it works well. I like being able to access Family Search and Rootsweb so I can continue research when I don’t have an Ancestry membership.

Biggest Pro: I like being able to access Family Search and Rootsweb so I can continue research when I don’t have an Ancestry membership.
Biggest Con: When I first uploaded my tree to the 2017 edition it crashed and continued to crash

Family Tree Maker Review by Jimmy Wright,  Jul 24, 2017

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

This company’s support is terrible. Horrible. I am getting my money back and going to another genealogy provider.

Biggest Pro: Name recognition
Biggest Con: Horrendous support.

Family Tree Maker Review by Chuck H,  Jul 24, 2017

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

This is by far the worst FTM that there has ever been. FTM 2012 worked great, and FTM 2014.1 worked also but still had crashing problems

FTM 2017 won’t allow Green Leaf hints with merging of info. Have to type all names and info by hand. Changing names to all Capital letters for Last names does not work at all. Over 4 months now of BETA versions and still no program that works. Already paid for a disk, but wonder if I will ever receive one. Just wish would go back to FTM 2014.1 that worked fine to me.

Biggest Pro: None, Worst FTM program ever

Family Tree Maker Review by S.Motley,  Jul 24, 2017

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

Very disappointing, no real advantages
Very clunky and heavy.
I have a large tree (26,000+ people and 12,000+ places), and was hoping this would make it easier no navigate and merge. No changes I can see from FTM 2014
18 months off line and no difference!

Biggest Pro: NONE
Biggest Con: Advertised in advance as next generation - almost no difference at all

Family Tree Maker Review by Sherry Rogers,  Jul 22, 2017

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

I have downloaded my tree 18 times because it stops working. It is a complete hassle. It needs to be downloaded again and I am having trouble. I am not a computer expert. It seems that if you turn off your computer you loose your desktop and have to re-load. My computer decided to update and now I am trying to reload again. I can’t reload one more time today. Not sure what to do with this McKiev version NIGHTMARE.

Biggest Pro: I don’t know. I have barely been able to keep it running.
Biggest Con: Constantly have to reload.

Family Tree Maker Review by Old Redneck,  Jul 20, 2017

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

They have released “test drive” after “test drive.” If you download and install the test drive, it expires after a few days and you are told to download another small app that updates your test drive.

Doesn’t work.

Are there any plans to release a version of FTM 2017 that actually works?

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: The whole thing is a con

Family Tree Maker Review by Kris Cerone,  Jul 19, 2017

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

I have been a Family Tree Maker (FTM) for 20+ years. I started when it was $70 for the program on diskettes. The program was before At that time you could buy CDs, the DVDs with research and dig around for your family info, like Census info and family trees. Along comes who was pushing the same info, but over time ancestry got more and more info. The beauty of FTM was being able to import the data into FTM directly from Ancestry likes individuals to upload trees because that adds to ancestry’s database all free of charge to ancestry and if you do not keep up your subscription, you do not have access to your data. Some folks do not want to provide their hard work to ancestry so they do not upload. Now, ancestry will not provide their hints to FTM if you do not upload your tree. Pretty sneaky. You don’t have to upload your tree, but why pay for FTM?

Biggest Pro: None anymore since 2017 went live
Biggest Con: The only way to get web hints from ancestry is to link a tree to ancestry.

Family Tree Maker Review by Wade Williams,  Jul 18, 2017

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

Just discovered the plan between MacKiev and In order to get shaky leaf hints on FTM2017, you are forced to upload your family tree to (hey, they’ll keep it private - wink wink). I was told by the on-line- support drudge that most everybody is okay with this. Oh? This business-as-usual model that invades your family privacy in order to conduct genealogy research is a deal breaker for me. Not only did they vandalize my FTM2014 internet connection, but now they want me to provide them with my decades long family research project. RIP FTM.

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: me for upgrading to FTM2017

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