Posted by Ancestry Team on November 12, 2010 in Family Tree Maker

An update for Family Tree Maker 2011 is now available. It contains a number of user requested improvements and fixes of reported issues. Some examples are:

  • Improved performance throughout the program
  • Improved performance of Web Merge
  • Right-click functionality in Web Search has been re-enabled
  • The option to enable or disable enhanced image download (from has been added
  • Media merge issues during Web Merge (from have been fixed
  • The inability to modify references notes in the Source workspace has been fixed

A detailed list of all the enhancements and bug fixes in the update is available. For instructions on installing the update for Family Tree Maker 2011 access the Program Updates page; to download the update, click here.

A special thanks to all of you who take the time to report bugs and request enhancements; we appreciate your feedback. If you have a suggestion that can improve Family Tree Maker, you can submit it using the enhancement request form.


  1. David S C Wilson

    Please be warned that this update is NOT working correctly and Ancestry are aware of some problems with its loading etc.
    Regards David

  2. Tana L. Pedersen

    David is correct that some people have been having issues with downloading the update when using the auto-notification process. Downloading the patch directly to your computer (using the link posted above) and running the .exe file should take care of this problem.

  3. Anya

    My biggest problem with the 2010 version was that it couldn’t import my data from because they file/tree was too big. How big of a tree can you import from into the new version 2011? I would only buy the new program if it allows me to either import the full tree or let me choose what lines to import.

    Would be great to hear about the import possibilities and whether there are still limitations like in v2010.

  4. David S C Wilson

    Tana. Sorry to dissappoint you but despite the efforts of the Tech Support team, it has NOT worked yet again. Still using the basic 2011 version.

  5. James

    Thanks for the update notice. Manually downloaded the patch then updated program. Performance is much better than before.


  6. Ron

    I used the auto-update feature, worked fine.

    I see improvements in the Web Merge downloads from

    I have a rather large family tree file, and still see very slow response when changing a “Fact Data Option”, ie. from a default “Census” fact, to a user defined fact such as “1920 – US Census” …I am talking like 15 seconds before you can continue entering information.

    Though my update worked fine, I question why does always release updates on Friday?

  7. David S C Wilson

    James and Ron.
    Could you both please advise me which version of Windows you are using as I am still unable to load this Update. I am using Windows XP sp3.
    Regards David

  8. Tom Plocinik

    I was able to load the update just fine. FTM 2011 still runs slow and it still takes a long time to merge using the web merge wizzard. Some of the othere changes seem to work but the “big problem” is still the same.

  9. Gerry

    I’m having trouble trying to download the update. It keeps saying I have to log in as administrator, but I am the administrator in my user profile.


  10. James

    #12 Gerry,

    If you are using Win 7 or Vista right-mouse-button select the program icon as select “Run As Administrator.”


  11. Charles Semenko

    My Family Tree Maker 2011 tells me I don’t have the administrator rights needed to look for and / or download updates.

    I’ve created an admin acccount on my computer and it still won’t work logged in as that user.

    On the tool bar I use the “Help” then “Check for Updates.”


  12. James


    Same process. If you right-mouse-button select the program icon and select “Run As Administrator” the program should allow you to update.


  13. Alana Rutherford

    I have a large data base…performance is still very, very slow…much slower than my 2010 program.
    The program is so slow that I don’t use it….to collect anymore data. After merging more data, the program seems to take minutes to sort for me to continue. I have a very powerful computer so I know its the program, because the problem started after converting from 2010 to 2011. Any suggestions, and no I don’t want to split up my data base, that would be senseless. Thanks

  14. Anna

    The bug that produces dollar signs is back in my ancestry tree again.
    Many of my sources are gone leaving the timeline with notes to sources that aren’t there. There are places saying Marriage source and there is nothing there (and there used to be) or it is under residence. Many of the marriage and military citations bring up the wrong page from the source.

    It won’t let me write anything under timeline items such as residence. Links are missing. Ancestry family trees that I would never have added are listed. This time it is so bad that I cannot see how my trees can ever be repaired.

    Fortunately, I already had all the really important things for my family printed and filed but this looks to be a serious sabotage against my tree, obviously not by the company ancestry itself. My guess is this is the work of someone who doesn’t like the existence of family trees.

    And of course it is on the weekend when no one is at ancestry. I had backed things up on family tree maker and problems there too. The only good news is that because of my work so many of the other trees have the same sources I found so the work will go on.

  15. David Ives

    Some problems do indeed seem to be fixed with this update, but it still is at least twice as slow as 2010. Adding a single source record will take 2-4 minutes depending on the complexity of that source record. Backing up will take in excess of 10 minutes. Version 2010 was slow enough (I’m working a database of 30,000 people), but 2011 is mind numbingly slow. I am so sorry that I converted my database to 2011; if I could “unconvert” and go back to version 2010 I would in a heartbeat.

  16. Wayne Detjen

    The update did fix many of the problems with the origional release of 2011. However, it is still a slow dog if you have more than a teeny-weeny tree.
    I went back to 2010 and will wait for more improvement. 2010 version is slow, but I have to take naps when adding anything in 2011.
    Before you do an update to a new version you should always backup your trees to another disc/memory stick/DVD. That way if you don’t like what the new version does or it messes up your data you can always go back.

  17. Carol A. H.

    David Ives # 18:

    I don’t use FTM so I’m just guessing. Can’t you make a GEDCOM file of the 2011 verson and import it back into your 2010 verson? GEDCOM ability is a absolutely neccessary utility for any genealogy program.

    From what I have been reading I don’t think I want to own version 2011. I do own several previous versions up to 2008, but don’t use them.

  18. Rob Fleming

    Unfortunately I have not been able to download it.
    It comes up with the message:
    Missing or invalid Registry/INI entry
    – then
    Old file does not exist
    It will not go beyoun this point

    I saved it to file but was still unable to open it.

    How do I resolve this?

  19. dave brown

    Is 2011 worth a crap? I use 2006 to put tree and everything together , then import it to 2010 to add pics and print. 2010 is not as user friendly as 2006 but has added features that 2006 should have had.
    My biggest concern is that i am going to go out and buy something that is even more difficult to use!

    Please send comments to my email as ancesrty thinks im a guest again for some reason!

  20. paul williams

    I click PUBLISH, then GENEALOGY REPORT, then CREATE REPORT—everytime that shuts FTM 2011 down. I use windows XP and have tried all the patches updates and nothing will cure this problem.
    any idea on how this can be cured???

  21. Tana L. Pedersen

    # 4
    Anya, unfortunately some people had issues downloading large trees from Ancestry when using Family Tree Maker 2010. In 2011 many improvements were made to overcome this; downloads are now processed in batches or parcels to not only increase the speed but also to allow larger trees to be downloaded.

    # 21
    Carol, yes you can create a GEDCOM in 2011 and then reimport it into 2010. But Family Tree Maker also lets you create a 2010 version of your tree so you won’t lose any media items in the export; no need to create a GEDCOM.

    # 22
    Rob, your error message seems to indicate that there is a problem with your original installation disk. I recommend that you contact customer support at 1-800-ANCESTRY and see about getting a new copy.

    Several of you also mentioned that you were having speed and performance issues with large files. Because each tree is so different, it is hard to troubleshoot this using the blog. However, our developers are always interested in improving the product and resolving these types of issues. If you would be interested in sharing your file with us so we can test it and perhaps resolve your problem, please let me know.

  22. Loose my pictures when return ftm 2011,Slow opening program, Locked up if you type fast,I still like ftm 2006 I have had ftm sense foppy dish were is ftw going 2011 ???????????

  23. Tom Plocinik

    Tana, where do I send my file for you to look at. I only have 11,000 people in my tree and it is slow especially on the merge of data from


  24. Tana L. Pedersen

    # 28
    Tom, thanks for responding. I will contact you through the email you used to post your comments.

  25. Greg Burton

    The update has made some improvements.

    Still some problems with making books. With a large book it never finishes.

    The same file in FTM 2010 the book will work.

  26. Charles Willford


    I’d like to help debug this issue also. Please contact me. I have 24,290 people. File size 108 Mb

    Chuck Willford

  27. Tana, thanks for the book. FTM 2011 is the only software I’ve ever tried; I have some work done on a public tree at and some done in FTM 2011 on my hard drive. I’ve downloaded from my public tree and imported that as a new tree into FTM 2011. Now I’m going to merge the two. Then when finished, I intend to upload back to the public tree so my family members can access easily. I would rename it the same thing as the public tree name now, so it would overwrite. Will I loose my Member Connect connections? or any media? Concerned. When I called the help desk they had no clue. Help please, Tana. It’s not in your book. Thank you!

  28. Any time you upload to Ancestry member Trees it makes a completely new tree-even if you use the same name. Member trees are *never* overwritten.

    Thus- unless your media is attached in your FTM file that you upload then yes- you will loose it.

    Also any invitations you sent to view your old tree will have to be sent so that the invitees can view the new one.

  29. Tana L. Pedersen

    # 31
    Thanks Charles, I will forward your email and file information on to the appropriate developers.

    # 32
    Susan, thanks for your kind words. I hope you’re enjoying Family Tree Maker.

    Let me try to walk you through a quick explanation of your trees. Let’s call your Ancestry tree A and your Family Tree Maker tree B. Once you merge A and B together, you can up load the “new” combined tree (AB) to Ancestry. The AB tree will not merged with or replace tree A that you already have on Ancestry; the AB tree is uploaded as a completely new tree. You can choose to keep tree A and AB on Ancestry or you could delete tree A. Be aware that if you delete tree A, anyone you’ve invited to your tree will be lost and you’ll have to reinvite them to your new tree. You will not lose any media items.

  30. Tony Knight


    I fear that taking the speed problem down the road of people with larger databases have a bug in their file is the wrong one and running away from the problem.
    The speed issue is there whether you are working with an established file or pulling in the same data from a gedcom.
    The question Mark LeMonnier has to answer is why the developers of say Legacy 7 or RootsMagic4 do not have these problems with speed. Why can those programs load my 59mb gedcom in a few minutes while FTM takes up to two hours depending on which machine I use. Even my iPhone 3GS can do it minutes.
    I hope that Family Tree Maker for Mac does not demonstrate the smae problems when I get my pre-ordered copy when it is finally released in the UK.

  31. Thank you, Tana, for your quick response! Yes, I’m loving FTM2011 and – totally hooked! Please encourage developers to work on a live sync option in the future for owners of FTM (between a FTM tree and an Ancestry tree.) Since FTM is pulling in hints now over the internet, it feels like I am just that close – but no cigar. Thanks again!

  32. Dan Wilmoth

    I would like to thank those individuals who posted messages 8,11,16,18,19,28, 31 and 35 for continuing to bring FTM to account for the slow response with large family files.

    Tana, you continue to ignore are complaints and so does the rest of your organization.

    Is FTM only interested in new family researchers with only a few hundred relations? If so, maybe the rest of us should just move on to another program and quit trying for any speed improvements.

  33. Lisa

    I’m using FTM 2011 and I keep getting this message in the Web Search/Search result detail box, “You have so much to discover…”. It keeps telling me to log in or register, which I have and keep doing and it does no good.

  34. Thomas J. Pruchnicki

    Have just installed FTM 2011 today. I have been using 2005, which works fine. I was lacking the ability to insert foreign language symbols, that 2011 advertised could do. Well, after playing with the program for hours, I find out that the aymbols available are VERY, VERY limited. Useless. All I want is the symbol set available in Windows. Maybe other suppliers have the option available?

  35. Tony Knight

    Jamy #42

    This is a patch for FTM2011 (Windows)

    The Mac version is FTMM2010 to align with it having the functionality of FTM2010

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