Last week we introduced adding facts and images to events directly from LifeStory, this week, we are introducing better Media experience.

Media Upload

We have overhauled the media upload experience to make it easier than ever to add photos and stories to your tree. With this update you can choose files from your local drive, by dragging and dropping files into the uploader, or even just pasting in content from your clipboard. Below are some examples of how it is even easier to add content.

The new upload screen is shown whenever you select “Add Media”

Upload Photos

When you select “Choose Files” you are able to select photos and stories from your local drive.

Upload Photos2


Once you have selected at least one file (you can select multiple if desired) you are then able to edit the details about each uploaded item.

Upload Photos3

Drag and Drop is new to this update and it allows you to upload media to an event or person by dragging items from a folder and then dropping them on the upload area. It is particularly nifty when you have multiples photos or stories you want to upload.

Upload Photos4

When multiple photos and stories are uploaded in a single action you can now view the progress and edit details of photos and stories while they upload, saving time in a much faster uploading experience.

Upload Photos5


Optimized Media view on LifeStory

When you attached multiple photos to an event before, they would stack up on top of each other and take up extra space. Now photos will dynamically tile and align to reduce the space while making it easier on the eye. Whichever device you are on, Media will appear more compact and clean on LifeStory.

Upload Photos 6

We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to keep submitting it. What do you love about the new website? Did you find a bug? Something doesn’t quite work like you think it should? Please submit it via this form. Thank you. We will be providing more updates over the next couple of weeks.


  1. The ability to watermark media; the ability to lock selected media; and the ability to tag people in photos would all be additions that I’d request be considered and hopefully added.

  2. Deloris

    This may be good at some point, but right now, I suspect it may be the cause of lots of problems people have been reporting in uploading files and attaching records to their trees. Have been unable to attach anything because the scrolldown menu with the name of the tree and individuals has been awful these past couple of days. Also, have been unable to attach a media file to more than one person at a time, it requires you to go back to the file, and attach each additional person individually. I hope you guys are going to fix that, it has been almost impossible to work on my tree the past 2 days.

  3. Claricia

    Most of the reasons people do not add or share images is because they are taken without permission. There does need to be a watermark to link each image to the tree owner who downloads it. This would help with both getting more people to share images and finding who actually knows something as opposed to those who “collect names” and snatch and grab everything remotely related. It would also help individual accountability for copyright infringements etc

  4. Mdubuc

    When you’re working in LifeStory on enhancements, how about providing a way to turn it off, for those of us who don’t want it in our trees? We have asked for it repeatedly.

  5. Bahto11

    Thank you for the drag and drop feature and adding details during upload. It is great for efficiency.
    I agree that I would like the option to keep certain uploaded media private unless I give rights to view things to a guest in the tree. Since this feature is not already available, I created a duplicate private tree and that is a hassle.

  6. Cathy

    I love being able to drag and drop. But finding it difficult to add details. I have to go back in and edit in order to add the details instead of adding them when I add the photo. Am I missing something?

  7. ancestry_daig

    I appreciate all the hard work trying to improve the site. We’re having trouble adding in Census records while the “upload photos” function is being implemented.

  8. Bonnie

    I would still like to see some way to mark individual people as DNA verified through tree matches in the tree view. It would be really nice to see a line of the tree that was a different color all the way through the point where the DNA match ends.

  9. Deloris

    Cathy, your question about having to go back and add the details is correct. That is what you have to do, and it is making extra work rather than making it simpler. There needs to be a way to include the photo details as we are uploading it the way we used to. And the tiny space that we see in that section for editing is not easy to work with. We can’t see past a few words, this whole section needs to be re-thought because while it looks great, it’s not easier for us to work with.

  10. Gloria

    I, too, would like to see watermarks. One user has taken ALL of my images and distributed them under his own name. I’m starting to hold back images just for that reason. If no watermark, how can we make sure that our user name is listed with our images for as long as they are posted. Thanks!

  11. Ani

    Is anything being done to lessen the inordinately long amount of time it takes for photos to load under New Ancestry. What used to take seconds now takes several minutes if things load at all and one isn’t given an error message. Additionally one can often not upload photos to various trees using the iPhone as the individual’s name will not appear on the list of individuals. I assume it is having trouble accessing the tree in question from one’s primary tree. I have multiple trees. This was never an issue until the roll out of New Ancestry. nor was speed ever an issue under Old It’s been months now, these are basic issues that need to be addressed. I would like to know if anyone on the tech team plans on ever doing anything about them?

  12. Paula Jolly

    I thought it was just me having trouble adding pictures. I wish you would just leave things ALONE until you get all the bugs worked out!!!

  13. oma2004

    From Claricia comment above: Most of the reasons people do not add or share images is because they are taken without permission. There does need to be a watermark to link each image to the tree owner who downloads it. This would help with both getting more people to share images and finding who actually knows something as opposed to those who “collect names” and snatch and grab everything remotely related. It would also help individual accountability for copyright infringements etc
    100% agreement… we must have a way to force users to adhere to the Content Submission Agreement in very fine print at the bottom of the Upload screen. Help please Ancestry IT!

  14. dmarshall511

    I definitely like the new Gallery uploaded and editing tools! Now, PULEEZE, Ancestry, give us something that appears on the Facts/Profile page to indicate that there are photos, stories, or whatever, in the Gallery (not including record images). Thank you!

  15. RSF161

    Agree with oma2004 and Clarice and any others who have posted re watermarks. Until something like that is done the photos from my extensive collection will remain removed from my galleries. If Ancestry wants us to share then provide us some protections. I have family members who do not want their family photos online and those will not be shared of course but I do have others that I will share under the right circumstances.

  16. Vivian White

    You can add details at the same time you drag and drop. At the bottom of the screen is a bar labelled “Details”. Click on it and you can add all the info you wish. I watermark all my photos using the text feature of Picasa before I upload. If I want something not to be shared, I mark it Private in Family Tree Maker. It needs to be an option on Ancestry Trees as well.

  17. Vic


  18. Vic


    • Jessica Murray

      Vic, We currently allow 400 characters to be typed in the details box, but are open to feedback to raising the character limit.

  19. Deloris

    Another issue is that when you upload an image, and try to ADD it to another person at that time, it only shows a list of names, with no dates beside them. This is unacceptable since many of us have more than one individual with the same names. I have dozens of people with the same names, and its particularly annoying when trying to attach a Marriage record.

  20. MIke

    One thing that is important to me is the relationship indicator, at the top middle (under the death date of the person). Part of the preceding function of this was to be able to manually update, when you have to disconnect a person and place them with the correct parents. I would like to see this returned. I just updated a major line in my large family tree but now the relationships showing are incorrect for this one person and his family. Please have IT address this. It will create much more interest in working the family trees. Thank you. Mike

  21. Grettta

    What happens to our Family Trees which are in your control after the end of the year? Will they be removed and destroyed, or will we be able to continue working on them and add information? If not I will end my membership for Ancestry.

  22. Anne Deibert

    I have not received any DNA matches in almost two weeks – why post that complaint here ? Because twice I have been told by Customer Service that this product update is the root of the problem. That makes zero sense to me. Does any one know what is going on? It’s happening on two accounts. Frozen matches. Argh.

  23. Ani

    Are you kidding me, enhanced? It takes several minutes for photos to load, one can’t upload photos from their iPhone to multiple trees. Please do something about these issues. The Life Story feature is incompatible and non reflective of census data. New Ancestry is utterly flawed now and no one at the company seems to be addressing the multitude of issues besieging users. I adored Ancestry prior to New Ancestry. It was quick, intuitive and highly effective and did everything I needed it to do. The only thing I would have wanted from the program was an increased amount of characters that could be added to fact section and possibly to have the great indexing you have added, but the ability to turn it off at will. One’s photos always loaded, no matter which device one was using and one could always upload photos and one rarely received error messages. One could view census records without design features such as heavy letter boxing and pop up NRA sources additional page icons obstructing the document field. One could enlarge photos fully to see every detail they needed to see and photos could be placed directly next to one another so that facial and anatomical features could be visually compared, now there is a 4″ to 5″ inch border between them. I loved that I could see 4 images of each person exhibited on their profile page. Now one can’t add spouses without doubling them and other nightmare issues. Come on guys. Give us some relief. The features we have received via New Ancestry do not compare to all that we have lost via the transition.

  24. Lydia

    Uploading pictures is finally working. I still do not like not being able to load more then one item at a time. NOW…I cannot upload any of the hints. Keep getting “this feature is unavailable at this time”….AAARRRUUUGG

  25. Sharon

    I agree with others. I am paying to have hints that are usually “unavailable”, records that cannot be saved, photos of records that supposedly save but are not viewable (yet the “hint” disappears as it was saved). The only option to save a record someone else found is to download it to my computer and re-upload it, but in so doing, the source information is lost, which is not fair to the person who originally found the record. For the 1st time in over 10 years, I am unhappy with my membership.

  26. DeDe

    Please fix the ability to add new records. Each time I try to save new records to my tree, I get “Some tree features are temporarily unavailable. During this time you may not be able to add new information to your tree. Thanks for your patience while we resolve this issue.” or “We’re sorry, this page is temporarily unavailable. You can try reloading the page, or come back later.” I am paying for service that I am not receiving. Stop messing around with the interface and fix what is broken.

  27. kehnhunter

    Has this update caused the problems so many users are having now. Not being able to update or add records? been like this since the 21st off and on, now it all the time

  28. Jeff Wells

    When you add a place to a media item it no longer accesses the place database. Also it does not keep track of previous entries so everything has to be typed in over and over. This most definitely is not an improvement!

  29. Wayne Farmer

    So you’re improving the view of uploaded images; what about uploaded stories? My experience has been that PDF files can’t be browsed; I have to download them and then launch them.

  30. MDubuc

    It seems that the Ancestry moderator will only comment if it somehow reflects positively on Ancestry, ‘working on it’, etc. If it’s something like a pet project at Ancestry, like LifeStory, don’t expect any comments from Ancestry to critical comments from users. All is ‘good’ as far as far as LifeStory is concerned, from an Ancestry mgt point of view, or so it sure seems.

  31. Seems the LIFESTYLE is going to be forced on us anyway since they have taken the liberty of adding when relatives were born and died………..and one cannot EDIT them in any way

  32. Jade

    New uploader is junk. After 1/2 to 3 seconds it quits and says the upload timed out. I can’t upload any photos, including filesizes much less than 1 MB.

  33. soon as one adds a name now, there is a long list of relative’s births and deaths and then if you add anything it takes longer to be sure it is there. A lot of unnecessary clutter in profiles now. I suppose we are not to think for ourselves

  34. P J Evans

    I suspect this is why the site is broken. Again. Or STILL. It would help if you could fix the bugs from the last ‘enhancement’ before adding another one.

  35. P J Evans

    I can’t even access the list of all people. I think I’m going to be *relieved* when my subscriptions runs out in a few weeks. I’ll be spending the next year fixing all the records that are inconsistently formatted. (Thanks so much for THAT misfeature!)

  36. I realize NOW that the family events can be NOT SHOWN but it would be nice if this could be done for my entire tree at one click rather than having if forced on me and necessary for me to turn off on each individual

  37. Mary M Zashin

    I agree with the comments that media descriptions boxes need to be larger because the 400-character limit is often not sufficient. There also need to be a little “drag bar,” such as the one on this comment box, so that one can view the entire media note at a glance. Right now you can see only about three lines at a time, which makes editing the description difficult. Also, when the media item is a headstone, it used to be the case that the name of the cemetery appeared in the description panel. Now, to see the cemetery name, you have to click “edit” for it to appear. This makes correcting mistakes or assuring uniformity of names difficult. These two things – a larger or expandable description box, and the ability to see the name of the cemetery with the other information about place, etc., were features of old ACOM. I don’t understand the reasons for removing these small conveniences from the program.

  38. Mary M Zashin

    The troublesome Lifestory could actually be an interesting display page if it were more workable because it can show larger-sixed photos than the Gallery. But the computer-generated sentences are banal and often wrong. To remove them, one cannot simple delete them, one has to replace them with something. I sometimes just put a . in the space. . .but to edit thousands of people and probably tens of thousands of computer sentences is not feasible. I would like, if not a “turn-off” button, an ability to edit the sentences globally on a page. . .that is, have a option to delete the often redundant facts. I don’t want a sentence saying “so-and-so was born at such-and-such. . .” when that information is automatically given under the Lifestory event anyway. . .

  39. Mary M Zashin

    Another annoying thing about Lifestory is that if you have a photo taken recently of, say, an ancestor’s home, and that photo is dated recently, it shows up on LifeStory with that recent date and the circular purple event marker then ends up saying that so-and-so was X many years old at the time. For example, the photo of my GGGF’s house is dated 1987, and so in Lifestory it appears with 1987 and “age 179” in the purple bubble. . .also, there’s no way to get rid of the often-inaccurate map, nor to eliminate the confusing “family tree,” which is often very incomplete when there are multiple marriages, etc. . .having the ability to edit these things out. . .or making them default to “off” with the ability to “opt in” for individuals when you want to see the information would be useful. . .also on the fact page I would like the option NOT to show the profile picture of the spouse when I don’t want to see it. . .having a tombstone pop up on the marriage fact is not very appealing. In general, give us the ability to edit everything. . .so we can make what we see look like we want it to look.

  40. Susan M

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only person having trouble viewing records or getting messages about “tree features…unavailable”, “page temporarily unavailable – come back later”, etc. Thought it might be a problem with my computer but now I think it’s Ancestry. Sent a message to them over a week ago and got a response saying someone would get back to me shortly but so far nothing. I used to be able to spend several hours doing research and now I’m lucky if I get 15 minutes of work done. All their wonderful upgrades seem to have incredible problems. I believe “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

  41. Marciel Gilmore

    Is anyone happy with the New Ancestry? Is it working properly for anyone? My answer to both questions is a resounding, “NO”!

  42. Dottie

    Wow ! I look in my timeline where I have added photos and they are not there. I check the gallery on the profile and there they are. They show as added already. what gives ? I had added some again before thinking of the gallery as it is my habit to add to the timeline (especially burials) I sure hope this is straightened out soon.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Dottie: We’re sorry to hear that you’re having issues with this. Are you adding media directly to facts via the facts page or are you adding them via the media gallery and then to the fact itself? It would be helpful if you can please send an email to and include an example so we can have a closer look at this.

  43. Two days ago a new feature appeared “Save and Create a Tree” and it takes the place of “Save”. I only want to add the record to an existing member of my tree. I DO NOT WANT to create a new tree! This is ridiculous-what is going on with Ancestry? Also, I would appreciate it if somebody in the IT department would explain why the need to always break something that works perfectly fine, seems to be the norm. It is most frustrating.

  44. MDubuc

    Sorry Linda… Ancestry IT and Ancestry management doesn’t care about your problems or the wants of any customer for that matter. Their lack of addressing issues and requests proves that. They do as they darn well please…..

  45. Vince

    I’d like to point out an impressive new feature in Ancestry I discovered just yesterday (9 May 2016) that makes the LIFESTORY pages much more palatable:

    From the Pedigree or Family views of the on-line member tree, choose “View Tree Settings” in the drop-down box under the name of the tree. (In the profile page of an individual, the drop-down choice under the tree name is just “Settings” for some unknown reason). That brings up the “Tree Settings” page, and in the “Tree Info” view on that page, there is a new check box titled “Automatically build stories for this tree”. The explanation under the box says, “Ancestry will automatically create stories for events shown in a person’s LifeStory.” I don’t know how long the check box has been available, but yesterday I found that clearing the check mark and then clicking on “SAVE CHANGES” removes the computer-generated narratives from the beginning of the LIFESTORY pages and from all the facts shown on those pages, leaving just whatever text the tree owner has entered on the associated FACTS pages. The change affects not just the one individual that may be in view but also the LIFESTORY view on the profile pages for ALL individuals in the tree.

    I regard this development (if it remains in effect) as a significant and very welcome response from Ancestry to the thousands of complaints voiced since last June about misleading or inaccurate text automatically added to the LIFESTORY views. With the new option deselected (it seems to be selected by default), those views show only what users have have entered, instead of trying to regurgitate and embellish the user-entered data from the FACTS view. I see that invited guests can still choose to view or not view Family Events and/or Historical Insights via the SHOW drop-down menu at the upper right of the LIFESTORY pages. But, as before, no Historical Insights will appear for invited guests or other Ancestry members unless the tree owner or a designated editor has activated them. Hoorah!

    The map presentation of the LIFESTORY view that many people have criticized as sometimes being wildly inaccurate still appears even with the new option deselected, so that criticism will probably continue. But I personally don’t mind just skipping past that feature. Overall, this option to turn off the computer-generated narratives across an entire tree goes a very long way toward convincing me to return my trees to public view from the private settings I put in place last summer to prevent dissemination of the redundant and sometimes misleading or often downright false data displayed on the LIFESTORY pages by Ancestry’s automatic computer algorithms. I will keep checking to see whether this option remains available to tree owners.

  46. BEE

    Unfortunately, the “photos” are still there, and have to be “ignored” one at a time for each person. – WHY would I want a photo of “The End of Prohibition” inserted into the history of a man who died in 1939?? I will continue to “ignore” “Lifestory”……………

  47. Mary M Zashin

    VINCE!!!! Your discovery of the “turn-off” feature for the canned narratives is terrific! I don’t know if that’s new or not, but I sure didn’t see it until you pointed it out. THANK YOU!!! But, I wonder WHY no one from ACOM ever thought to mention this option given all the complaints about the issue? DID the company mention this in some obscure document or other? Astonishing. I continued to be amazed at ACOM’s terrible support services. And, although the “turn-off” feature is really helpful, it’s not perfect. . .it didn’t for example, remove a narrative under “divorce.” BUT it works apparently 95% of the time. . .so OK then!

  48. Anne Scott Frankland

    Vince – Thank you! And Mary M Zashin – thank you as well for posting this to Facebook. The narrative was really the main thing I wanted gone. I hope it stays gone. The rest of the Lifestory page can just sit there – unwanted and ignored

  49. Monika

    Yes, thank you Vince. But I want to take the opportunity to also thank MADELEINE who, on May 9 at 7:03 p.m., was the first one to mention this in the “Maps can reveal more than meets the eye” blog. Who would have thunk? 🙂 Thank you both for sharing that. I would not have thought of going to look for help on that page and clearly ACOM kept it a secret from us or we would not have had to find out this way.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Spencer: Unfortunately there’s currently no way of doing this but we’ve passed on your feedback to the relevant department in relation to this.

  50. Jim

    Media Experience is a BLANK PAGE. When clicking on a photo hint – the MEDIA EXPERIENCE is EMPTY. I HATE the NEW FORMAT – it is clunky, i was FORCED to use it over the old format. You may lose another account!

  51. Jeffrey Goldstein

    Media Experience is coming up blank. I am using the latest version of Firefox as my browser. How can I fix this. It was working fine two days ago.

    Also, how can I use a source that is on a tree I was invited to (I am trying to be able to save that source to my tree for a shared ancestor).

  52. Jean Frost

    Why can’t I bring up Family view and Pedigree View? Also I no longer have MemberConnect Activity? What is happening? Tried 3 times to do a quick edit of a name and it just wouldn’t work. I am paying a subscription for a service that is falling apRt. Please reply.

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Jean: What happens when you try to open your tree in either pedigree or family view? Do you get any error messages?

  53. Cheryle

    I would like to know how to move the photos up or down so that they will be in chronological order when I imported them from my computer to appear on the Life story?

  54. Laura Higginbotham

    First …Vince! Thank you re Life Story. Now, I wonder if there is a way to sort/organize photos in the media gallery that others view when they come to our tree (or I visit theirs) in alphabetical order (when labeled with names.) Some trees have thousands of photos with images of countries and coats of arms and of course family pix from other lines of their family. There may a gem there, but I’m not going to plow through all that. I would happily label my pix by last name if there were a “sorter.”

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Laura: We don’t currently have this feature unfortunately but it’s a great idea and we’ve passed this on to the relevant department for consideration. Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it.

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