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
Overall701.77 out of 51.77 out of 51.77 out of 51.77 out of 51.77 out of 5 1.77
2017611.79 out of 51.79 out of 51.79 out of 51.79 out of 51.79 out of 5 1.79
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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70 Reviews of Family Tree Maker     RSS 2.0 RSS     Showing 1 - 20                   Add Your Review

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

Family Tree Maker Review by Jenna Smith,  Aug 25, 2017

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

CUSTOMER BEWARE !!! I ordered (and paid for) a Family Tree Maker USB drive on 3-30-17 .. and I still have not received it. I’ve sent inquiries to MacKiev and FastSpring software service, and neither has responded. Yesterday, I filed a complaint with the BBB, asking them to investigate. I’m tired of waiting !

Biggest Pro: ?????
Biggest Con: No customer service ! Unable to contact company.

Family Tree Maker Review by Glen Williams,  Aug 23, 2017

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

I ordered the new version of FTM 2017 on July 10, 2017. As of today, Aug 23, 2017, they have not sent my order and cannot tell you when they will ship. They claim the product has been in fabrication since 17 Jul 2017, and yet they are not shipping orders. I strongly suggest that if you are looking to purchase this software, about $90.00, you hold off and see if they are even going to hold up their end of the sales, or just leave everyone out.

Biggest Pro: Nothing I can find
Biggest Con: Company is happy to take your money and then stiff you.

Family Tree Maker Review by Thomas Luter,  Aug 22, 2017

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

After many years of frustration using FTM, I was excited to purchase the newly re-worked 2017 version. My first sync worked ok and then I received an “Unexpected error”. I added aa few items in Ancestry and did a sync and only one item sync’d to FTM. The second sync wasn’t any better. I absolutely will not spend any more time and frustration trying to use this terrible program. I will try one more time and if I continue to have issues, I will need a refund. I can’t expend any more energy on this. I am an “expert level” user and been using macs since 1985. This is one of the worst programs ever. I have asked for a refund.

Biggest Pro: None
Biggest Con: Doesn’t work!

Family Tree Maker Review by Marilyn,  Aug 22, 2017

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

I had trouble with FTM 2014 not syncing 3 trees I have had on Ancestry for years and in the process, unlinked all of them. Received an e-mail 7/13 that I had TWO DAYS to get the upgrade at $29.95 or have to pay $79.95 after that. I had been hanging on with them since Feb so I ordered that day then never received the message with download instructions. Wrote to them weeks ago about that with no response. Just downloaded FTM 2017 -
getting it from their website made me go through screens as if I was a new customer rather than a loyal FTM one for over 10 years. After today’s download, one small tree was able to sync with Ancestry easily and my hopes built. But another unlinked tree could not connect to Ancestry at all. So I deleted tree from FTM, uploaded brand new GEDCOM file from Ancestry - still not linked. When I went to upload, did not recognize tree on Ancestry, so wants to make new tree - not doing it - Ancestry folks advised against that months ago. And I noticed that the small tree that just went through FamilySync no longer appears in the list of Ancestry trees. My most precious large tree is not going anywhere near this process. I am starting to worry that any connection between FTM and Ancestry will be disastrous for my research work over many years. For those going through this process, create a GEDCOM file from Ancestry quickly and hold onto it. MacKiev support wanted to take over my computer as part of their help steps in Feb - no reputable company ever asks that! At least I did not have computer problems yet - will see what happens when the co-pilot program goes on in 48 hours. I want my money back.

Biggest Pro: None today - wanted to sync my trees to Ancestry
Biggest Con: Poor product and deplorable support

Family Tree Maker Review by Dan,  Aug 15, 2017

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

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