Posted by Tana L. Pedersen on March 4, 2013 in Family Tree Maker

A free update for Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 is now available. It contains improvements to TreeSync and a number of new features. When you open Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, you should be notified that an update is available. If you aren’t, go to the Family Tree Maker 2 menu and select “Check for Updates.”

TreeSync Improvements

  • Private media items. If you have personal media items like birth certificates and photos of living family members that you don’t want to include in your online tree, you can keep them private on an item-by-item basis when you sync (or export) your tree.
  • Improved backup and restore. It’s easier to keep your online and desktop trees synced if you encounter an issue; previously, if you had to use a backup file, your tree wouldn’t sync anymore and you’d have to upload a new version. With this update, you can back up a synced tree and restore it if you have any problems.
  • Synced Web links. If you’ve added Web links for individuals or URLs in source citations, these will now be included when you sync your tree.
  • Printable sync log. Now you can print a list of all the changes that will be made to your online tree.

New Features

  • More reports. This update includes a number of new reports: an index of individuals that lists every individual in your tree and their birth, marriage, and death dates; a notes reports that lets you display person, research, relationship, or facts notes for an individual; and a surname report that lists the surnames in your tree, including the total number of individuals with that surname.

  • New report options. The descendant and Ahnentafel reports have been updated and the descendant report includes additional numbering systems. New sorting options have also been added to the custom report.
  • Organizational tool for places. The larger your tree gets, the more locations you have to keep track of. On the Places workspace, locations are now grouped together by country, state, county, and city to make them easier to look at and sort through.





  1. Morten Aasberg

    The new update is stalling the application when I click the button “Install and Relaunch” I have tried to perform the update procedure on a number of occasions, but the same thing happens every time, and I have to force quit the procedure and restart the application, which then opens again in Version 21.2.5487. I’ve sent Support an e-mail regarding the issue five days ago, but no one has replied, so I try leaving a comment here on the blog, hoping that someone will notice it, and forward it to someone who can help me out on this.

    Best Regards
    Morten Aasberg, Oslo, Norway

    • Trevor Thacker

      Your email was received, Morten, and we’ll send a response as quickly as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  2. michelle

    When will you release a coupon usable for the mac version? All the coupons have been PC only! I’m waiting to buy but not without a coupon.

  3. Morten Aasberg

    Hello, Trevor
    Thank you for notifying me – looking forward to the response. Just to let you know: I really enjoy working with FTM2 for Mac, and I am looking forward to further development of the application.

    Best Regards
    Morten Aasberg.

  4. ejg25

    I was able to install the update successfully. But Family Tree Maker 2 isn’t syncing the person Web Links that were already in my Ancestry online tree. I could add them directly in FTM 2 manually (after which presumably they’d sync), but I don’t want to have to check through my tree person by person.

    Will this be fixed? Is there a way to force the sync to recognize existing Web Links in the online tree? (My sync status for the online and FTM trees is showing as synced.)

    • Trevor Thacker

      ejg25, If some of the web links are not transferring to Family Tree Maker, please contact our member services team toll free at 1-800-262-3787 and we’ll verify the issue for you.

  5. Elizabeth H.

    I had no problem with the update to FTMM2. However, the first time I used the Tools > Compact File after I did the update, the message I got was that the file size was reduced by something like 44%. Why was that?

  6. Morten Aasberg

    Hello, Trevor

    Thank you for the response. Repairing disc permissions solved the problem, and the updated app seems to work fine.

    There’s one thing I’ve been thinking of, and that is whether there is a place where users can give feedback to the development team. As mentioned, I think FTM2 is a great program, however functionality like being able to assign source citations to groups of people in one operation would, in my opinion improve the work-flow of the program a great deal.

    Best regards
    Morten Aasberg

  7. John Donaldson

    # 7 Elizabeth H

    Compacting does a number of things, one is to remove unused space in the database (family file.). This unused space can be created by FTM as you add and delete items in your database.

    Think of it this way

    Imagine you have a row of books on a library shelf. You remove some books randomly from various places along the row and you leave ‘holes’ or gaps in the row. Now you want to reclaim some space to put more books in at the end of the row. So you ‘compact’ the row by pushing all the books together from one end to make room for more books. Effectively you have compacted the row.

    Compacting in FTM does something like that ie it removes the holes and makes the database run more effectively because it is more compact.

    There is a lot more to it, but this may give you an idea.

    It is worth compacting the database regularly as it makes it more efficient.

    It also reindexes the internal tables which also makes it work better

    John D

  8. Elizabeth H

    Regarding compacting the file: yes, I have been doing it regularly and see that my file size is usually reduced by less than 1% each time, so when I saw 44%, I wondered what aspect of the update caused that. Hopefully it’s all good.

  9. JoAnne Kahnk

    Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 won’t open. Hasn’t for quite some time. I had given up on it. I would like to do the update, but it won’t open. Is there another way to do the update?

  10. FTM for Mac 2 has now decided to unlink my FTM tree from my tree, and each time I try to re-upoad my FTM tree to, it gets unlinked and says “unable to validate tree” and then states that there are no trees uploaded/synced. Have reported the problem via email, but is this a known issue?

  11. Denita P

    I’m having an issue similar to the one that Karen K is having. I have deleted my tree and re-downloaded it from Ancestry, only to continue to get the message that FTMM is “unable to validate tree”. Any suggestions?

  12. Morten Aasberg

    I’m also having the same issue as Karen K and Denita P. I’ve discovered that shutting down FTM2, and restarting it again, reestablishes the link to my ancestry tree. However the same issue comes again every time I close my lap-top. I find the whole scheme quite annoying in the long run, and hope there’s a solution to this somewhere…

  13. John Shires

    The upgrade didnt work properly and kept unlinking my tree and many of the new features didn’t work. Helpdesk (after a week’s delay) advised that I uninstalled the program then re-insatll and ren the update which I did. This resolved some issues with the missing features but syncing takes forever and usually crashes. Is there a solution?

  14. Word

    Have tried to download the Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 update – 21.2.3 by using the “install update” button within the program. It will not download – have tried multiple times. Would you please provide a web link so I can try the download from there.

    Or…….After reading posts on this site, should I NOT update? Seems like there are problems!

  15. Katie Rowland

    Had the same problem as JoAnne where I could not open Family Tree Maker at all after running the update. I’ve just tried uninstalling only to realize that my install disc must be at the house I have just moved from and I won’t be able to get it for a few days! Frustrating!! Everything had been working fine for me until I tried the update.

  16. Katie Rowland

    I posted earlier but I uninstalled and reinstalled FTM and tried to install the update again but the same thing happened. FTM crashed repeatedly, so I re-did the whole process and decided NOT to install this update. Now my FTM will not connect to the internet. Is there a way to connect back to the internet without it? I tried picking “Go Online” and nothing happens.

  17. Lainie

    I have Family Tree Maker for Mac version 19.2.4.

    I see there is a Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. Can I update to that?

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