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
Overall781.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 51.85 out of 5 1.85
2017691.87 out of 51.87 out of 51.87 out of 51.87 out of 51.87 out of 5 1.87
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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78 Reviews of Family Tree Maker     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

Family Tree Maker Review by lionel mclaughlin,  1 day ago

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

I am satisfied with the level of performance. Unlike Legacy 9 it has a working map to show the movement of ancestors. Legacy 9 has for weeks promising to fix the problem. Legacy 9 is now on the same level as this program, both very good

Biggest Pro: modern layout, great templates
Biggest Con: Bugs…….. need to see updates to sort them out.

Family Tree Maker Review by Connie,  3 days ago

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

All my years of research is disappearing. I have no idea what is happening and I no long have an ounce of confidence in the program. Avoid it if you have years of prior research to protect.

Biggest Pro: none
Biggest Con: destroyed family histories

Family Tree Maker Review by Chuck Hjortness,  Nov 25, 2017

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

This is real piece of work. Reviewing previous comments of others, I have experienced all of those same problems. It is slow, always Not Responding, and now having to wait for days without being able to work at all because a new BETA is available, but it is not and shuts the program down.. I would prefer that Ancestry bring back 2012 or even 2014 that did have problems but always allowed me research and work on the program.
I would like to know what other program is now being used by others that will open my existing FTM 2017 files.

Also, I lose so many of my media file if uploaded and have reload them to my tree.

Biggest Pro: Some printable features if you like those
Biggest Con: Always crashes and very slow, plus the days I lose when the don’t have to update BETA ready

Family Tree Maker Review by Marion Webb,  Nov 14, 2017

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

I’ve been working with a version (4.40) of FTM since the 1980’s. Liked the older version better for what I’m doning..
Not interested in linking to

FTM 2014 is very limited. For example, earlier versions allowed relationships to show up when printed (i.e., divorced with kids and remarried with a new wife and new set of kids). With the 2014 Version, I have to eliminate the second wife and kids until the first wife and kids have been copied and pasted into my book, which is typed in MS Publisher, which poses another minor limitation of the program and so on. Otherwise, the program lists all the kids under one spouse OR you have to remember that the person was married several times with children by each person. Don’t like it at all. Would never purchase or recommend another program like this without significant changes.

Biggest Pro: Data can be stored in one program.
Biggest Con: All my data is stored in this program, but it is very limited in terms of showing relationships when published.

Family Tree Maker Review by Jack Crystal,  Nov 1, 2017

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

I use FTM offline exclusively; have used FTM for 10+ years in a similar mode. This update is a step backwards. The indexing feature for names and existing references only works sporadically. If I enter MN as an exiting reference sometimes the program will go to my MN references, other times it “locks up” and I have to scroll to MN. I have similar experiences with names. Looking for “Eken”, the program may lock up and do nothing or go to names starting with E. It will not go to names staring with Ek so I’m again reduced to scrolling through my list of names.

The co-pilot had me compact my file repeatedly, run the program as an administrator and create and exception for FTM in my antivirus program. Any improvement was fleeting.

My recommendation: if you’re considering upgrading DON’T!

Family Tree Maker Review by Maryann Judge,  Nov 1, 2017

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

2017 FTM has taken a turn for the worst. While generational numbering for grandfathers remains accurate. numbering for siblings and children are now off by one number. How does that issue get corrected? Online Chat was no help at all.

Biggest Con: No help with problems

Family Tree Maker Review by Karen Brandon,  Oct 25, 2017

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

It took a YEAR to get this program working and there are still problems with synching to Ancestry trees now and then, but now that it is FINALLY working, there is nothing better for creating charts and descendants and ascendants reports. I am writing a book and have to organize and number several THOUSAND descendants of my 4great grandfather plus other branches and there is no possible way it could have been done without this program.(I used D’abboville format but there are three other choices). The charts are nice for clients and friends, too. I don’t use FTM for research, only for downloading Ancestry trees and doing charts and reports through the software. I understand there is a photo restoration section now, but haven’t used it. Online “chat” with customer service is usually not helpful - and there is no number to call to talk to a live person, which is the biggest problem. However, now that it’s working, I do recommend it for the purposes outlined above.

Biggest Pro: Organization and numbering of huge trees for publishing purposes
Biggest Con: No live helpline, synch with ancestry trees doesn’t always work.

Family Tree Maker Review by Arnold Chamove,  Oct 23, 2017

Not Rated

I have been using FTM since version 14, and use the old, unimproved version 16 every day—with no issues at all. As it is my prime software (along with Branches and Legacy), I buy the new “improved” versions every year as they come out to see what’s up. And I then devote several hours to slog through the update to see if I want to commit to it—and invariably, the answer is “No”. The main problem I see is that is not user-friendly, not intuitive; nor is there any effort made to make it so. It is as though, to sell the program and to match other programs, they have jammed in as much stuff as they can, stuff most people will never use; but they don’t give us the option to clear/toggle all those icons from our screen to leave us with what we want, what we use. There is no “point of difference” anymore. It is as though they gave the program to software engineers with the type of intelligence that remembers tiny details, and do not cater for people with other types of intelligence or people over 50 years of age.

If you look at the immensely popular old FTM-16 and ask, as I have done repeatedly, why not have an overlay so the new FTM has all the extra stuff in the background and we can look at the clean screen that was so loved in FTM-16?

The most recent FTMs have a steep and long learning curve, and to do anything, you need to make multiple mouse movements and multiple clicks, just like the old cell phones before Steve Jobs. I love the idea of FTM but I just don’t like what it has grown up to become.

Biggest Pro: It has bells and whistles, when they work
Biggest Con: Too hard to learn and use

Family Tree Maker Review by Craig,  Oct 2, 2017

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

The bad reviews here are questionable. Mackiev has a very responsive LIVE CHAT - if you follow discussion groups (e.g. FaceBook) you will see that most users are very happy, and those with issues like those claimed here are very quickly responded to and resolved through the live chat. I have no connection with the program except has a happy user.

Biggest Pro: No sync failures like old Ancestry version.
Biggest Con: None

Family Tree Maker Review by Jeff Wilson,  Oct 1, 2017

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

I’ve had no issues with the 2017 version. Synch works, all the information is there etc. I also have rootsmagic and I like this better.

Biggest Pro: Great mapping
Biggest Con: None

Family Tree Maker Review by N Kramm,  Sep 24, 2017

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

I’ve been a Family Tree Maker user for over 12 years, with very few problems. After software rights were purchased by MacKiev it has been nothing but smoke and mirrors. They said that if previous users of Family Tree Maker purchased their Family Tree Maker 2014.1 that you would receive a free upgrade to FTM 2017 when it became available. I made the purchase and received my copy of FTM 2014.1 but have never received the upgrade to FTM 2017. I tried on several occasions to contact them to no avail, they never responded to my email’s . Even tried twice to get them to send me a copy of the Beta Version of FTM 2017, they never responded to either request. Yet in their newsletters they keep extending their half price upgrade sale of the new software along with the reassurance that more improvements are coming. I’m sure the half price is to get folks to pay for their continued efforts to try and deliver a product which will work, but for how long will folks fall for the scam? I have since moved on to a different software.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Just that, they are running a Big Con!

Family Tree Maker Review by David P. McCULLEY,  Sep 21, 2017

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

My version will not respond properly to any additions I try to make. It is very slow to respond.There must be a problem with program.Please help me.

Biggest Pro: ????

Family Tree Maker Review by Jim,  Sep 15, 2017

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

Terrible software…

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: incomplete downloads, missing ancestors, also no media support,

Family Tree Maker Review by Mark W,  Sep 5, 2017

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

I ordered the new FTM 2017 download and DVD on the 11th of August.
I got the download in a couple of hours but have still not received the DVD.
After sending now six e-mails to MacKiev as well as fastspring sending them an e-mail i still have had nil reply.
And no the leaf hints don’t work unless you upload but notice later day saints are now involved and have hints appear with a little blue box.
I am in New Zealand and have some real concerns about MacKiev they are not being transparent.
I sent another e-mail this morning this time to MacKieve@info and had it bounce back saying server error.
At this stage i am very concerned they are taking peoples money and not delivering if they have a problem they should be up front.
I feel all these problems are also reflecting on Ancestry even though they have sold FTM.

Biggest Pro: Nil
Biggest Con: MacKiev

Family Tree Maker Review by SusanLJ,  Sep 4, 2017

4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Syncing between Family Tree Maker and is fast and works great. Oftentimes, I’m working in both environments and have never had a problem. FTM has many great features, but it’s not intuitive. The user interface hasn’t changed in years; it’s outdated and is in severe need of an update.

Biggest Pro: FamilyTree Sync works great!
Biggest Con: Outdated user interface - not very intuitive.

Family Tree Maker Review by Pam,  Sep 3, 2017

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

Worst. Software. Ever. Enough said.

Biggest Pro: Nothing
Biggest Con: Everything

Family Tree Maker Review by Barbara,  Sep 1, 2017

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

Have been a user of FTM and for over 10 years. I am disappointed in Ancestry’s decision to not support FTM and equally disappointed in MackIev’s 2017 Release. FTM has errors and does not function the way FTM 2014 did. I reported these during the test phase and after the release; nothing acknowledged. Some of these errors - filters on place (residence, birth, death, no longer support adjacent state, or adjacent county, it is now either broad or exact. And the exact doesn’t work. Software often freezes when trying to save a document to your tree. Often not able to get back to ‘all categories’ after selecting something specific (will, vital record, etc.) Searches done within FTM don’t match the same search using Ancestry directly. My biggest complaint is the requirement to HAVE to upload to Ancestry in order to get a leaf/hint (I have dozens of tree done for others that have never been uploaded).. And at that the hints only appear on individuals that have been synced. Thus the software is no longer helpfu/proactivel in doing your research.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Requirement to HAVE to upload your tree to ancestry to get leaves/hinnts

Family Tree Maker Review by Patty Low,  Aug 30, 2017

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

I upgraded from FTM 2014 (have used FTM versions for several years) This new version, although it looks promising…continues to shut down after 3 o 4 minutes. This has been happening now for over one month. I have complained and have yet to hear from anyone.
Sorry I upgraded!

Biggest Pro: None that I know of.
Biggest Con: Keeps crashing!!!!

Family Tree Maker Review by S J,  Aug 29, 2017

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

Have owned FTM for years. FTM2017 WORST SOFTWARE EVER!!! Won’t sync. Zero support. Stay away from this software. How I wish Ancestry would just get out of genealogical DNA. They don’t have all the tests. The way it works now. YOU have to (or should) create a dedicated tree for tester. THEN you have to go to a different company ( to truly establish/confirm surnames. You work your FTDNA matches on Ancestry on your full research tree. Then you have to download that tree and open it in FTM, create a for that dedicated tree and then just try to upload any update.

It is SO easy to use FTDNA’s pedigree (FAMILY TREE) feature. YOU can upload and overwrite as often you need and your work is not lost. You can even build specifically using their Family Tree feature and you will know you are working from DNA matches. Ancestry is backwards, subpar and selling FTM instead of fixing it was a huge mistake. And MacKiev has never turned out a decent edition - kept claiming they were fixing things. Had us all waiting - or doing some of their work for them for free- AND then rolled out 2017 which has never worked.

I alerted them to the inability to sync right away. WHY ELSE would one buy ANY software these days? IT has been months - multiple error reports supported and emails sent - ZERO from MacKiev.

Buy Legacy - I owned both. Until recently only Ancestry’s FTM would sync. And they have a relationship chart I liked to use. That was it. Now it doesn’t sync and the relatioship chart is available elsewhere.

I am so iritated about wasting so much time, jumping through so many hoops, and having ZERO to show for it.

Biggest Pro: ZERO, NONE, NADA
Biggest Con: ALL OF IT - won’t sync, won’t work with DNA, buggy, glitchy, and ZERO TECH SUPPORT

Family Tree Maker Review by Marilyn,  Aug 29, 2017

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

When I think something is not working, I express that concern to the company. When the situation gets better, I feel the improvement should also be noted. Initially, my tree files would not sync after terrible problems and unlinking of all trees during the winter with FTM 2014. I downloaded FTM 2017 last week and had trouble syncing trees again. My second attempt was much better. On the second try a few days ago, I was able to link all 3 trees with no apparent problems. But one tree has disappeared from my list of Ancestry trees in FTM and I do not know why. Also, that tree indicated I had not invited anyone to the tree which is not the case. Although the situation is much better than it was several months ago, these particular glitches make me nervous about whether the sync is actually complete. Today I ran the co-pilot program, which only took a few minutes, and completed the survey sending my comments above to FTM. I have been such a loyal user over the years, I am rooting for FTM but it has been a rugged road thus far. Here’s to the future.

Biggest Pro: Sync seems to be better
Biggest Con: Some glitches cause anxiety about entire process

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