Convert Your Family Tree Maker PC files to Mac?

“How do I convert my Family Tree Maker (for Windows) file so that it can be read on my new Family Tree Maker for Mac?” … this is a question that I’m being asked regularly, so I feel that a blog post is needed.

As Family Tree Maker (the Windows version) has been around for around 20+ years, with a new version released pretty much every year, there are different methods of transferring depending on what version of FTM you are currently transferring from.

Family Tree Maker Versions 1-4
If you have .fbc files and files from versions prior to version 4 need to be converted on a PC using Family Tree Maker 2005 SE software, which you can download free here. Once downloaded and installed, you bring in your current .fbc or .ftw file into the program, then save it. This will save as a .ftw file which you can then load straight into FTM for Mac.

Family Tree Maker Versions 5-16
If you have .ftw or .fbk files files that were created using a Family Tree Maker version between 5 and 16, these files can be read directly into FTM for Mac without needing any conversion.

Family Tree Maker Versions 2008-2009
If you have Family Tree Maker 2008 or 2009, you will need to save your file as a Gedcom (.ged), so then it can be imported into FTM for Mac.

Family Tree Maker Versions 2010-2011
The Family Tree Maker File Migration Utility converts Family Tree Maker 2010 and 2011 Windows (.ftw) files so they can be opened on a Mac and vice versa. For more information, and step-by-step instructions on how to do this click here.

Family Tree Maker Versions 2012-2014
To transfer a file from Family Tree Maker 2012 or 2014 to Family Tree Maker for Mac, you first will need to export your file to a format that the File Migration Utility can convert into a Mac file. Please follow the instructions the article titled Export your Family Tree Maker file and make sure in Step 3 to choose the output format of 2010 or 2011. You can then use the File Migration Utility to convert your newly exported file to the Mac format.

14 thoughts on “Convert Your Family Tree Maker PC files to Mac?

  1. […] don’t have to retype everything … in fact you shouldn’t have to retype anything. Here’s details on how. Previous post […]

  2. I just installed MacFamily Tree 7 and thought from what I had read that I might be able to open or import PC Family Tree Maker 8.0 files (.ftw) into the MAC version. I am not finding a way to do that. Need help.

  3. Hi Kathy, thanks for your query. Now Mac Family Tree won’t be able to read your Family Tree Maker .FTW files, so you will need to get them saved into a gedcom format (.GED) so that they will then come into your new program.

    The MacFamilyTree website FAQs does have this question:
    Q. I want to switch to Mac Family Tree from Family Tree Maker, Legacy, RootsMagic etc. How can I transfer my information?
    A. You need to export your tree file from your previous application as a GEDCOM file. These files can be imported from the start screen or the file menu in MacFamilyTree.

    If you have any further queries please email

  4. […] Mac and PC compatible files Now you can open your Family Tree Maker tree on a Mac or PC without needing to convert it. (Note if you have files from FTM 2012 or earlier (the PC version), you will still need to convert them, and here’s details on how). […]

  5. I have an IMAC computer and would need to purchase Family Tree Maker via the internet.
    Is that service available or still in the pipeline?
    Sue Lareky


    Convert Your Family Tree Maker PC files to Mac? | Genealogy & History News

  7. Peter Bateman says:

    Hi help please have family data save to Ged com from family tree 2005 on my old XP computer,now I have a a Mac computer which family tree do I need to run also link to ipad

  8. I want to transfer my Windows 8 family tree maker files to an iMac with Gedcom. However, Windows 8 tells me i cannot do this until I download Windows 8.1
    I have tried twice to download Windows 8.1 (this takes a few hours) and Windows 8 will not download.
    Can you please help me with this.
    Thank you.

  9. I meant Windows 8.1 will not download.

  10. I have windows 7 on my Mac computer OS 10.6.8 – Snow Leopard. Windows is set up in a partition/windows parallel on same computer, as I originally had a windows computer when purchasing the FMT 2008 program.
    I only ever use Windows to access my Family Tree Maker 2008 version I would very much like to transfer all the information onto my Mac as accessing it is very tedious and slows my computer own substantially with updates and backups.
    Please advise what programs I need and how to do do this. I would be VERY grateful. My computer knoweldge is fairly limited so I will need clear instructions!
    Many thanks.

  11. Robert L. Hallam says:

    UGLY. Trying to transfer a family tree with all the verbiage, photos, and links from a PC to a iMac 3 is supper ugly. I can not believe this crap. I have no idea why FTM has not settled on a universal set of GEDCOM files. To complete the transfer here is how I understand it. The snarky comments are directed at Ancestry/McKieve software gurus, and for assistance purposes only for those non-suspecting family genealogists with little or no computer background, who have been sucked in like me into believing that could take over from Ancestry.

    STEP 1. To get FTM 1012 from a PC to a iMac OS v3 you first have to figure out what files (media, text) you want to export over to your iMac. Once you have that decided, you then export them in FTM 2010 or FTM 2011 format to a new file location on your PC. Do not export them in 2012 format. So you can tell right away by stepping back a couple of versions you are going to be loosing something.

    STEP 2. You would think that you could export them to a flash drive, and ready to plug into your new iMac, but no. Nothing so easy for learners like me. No. You have to place these newly exported files somewhere else on your PC. There is a reason for this, which is that they have only written a conversion program that works on a PC. Don’t forget where you put them.

    STEP 3. Once they have been placed in a new file location on your PC as FTM 2010 or FTM 2011 format they have to be converted to a format that the iMac will accept, and this apparently can only be done on your PC. You have to use a program called File Migration Utility. They tell me that File Migration Utility converts Family Tree Maker 2008 – 2012 PC Windows files so they can be opened on an iMac and that this application can be run only on a PC.

    STEP 4. So now you have to go and find and install the File Migration Utility on your PC. If you received your FTM program for iMac as a CD, then you will find it on the CD. If you received your FTM program for iMac as a download via and e-mail then you have to go and get the File Migration Utility on the internet and download it on to your PC. Great eh? They tell me that it will launch automatically once you successfully download it.

    STEP 5. Once you download the File Migration Utility you will be given a choice. The program will convert PC Windows files to iMac OS files and visa versa. Choose the former to get the PC Windows files into a format acceptable to your iMac OS. Now go looking for your FTM 2010 or FTM 2011 formatted files that you saved to a new location on your PC. Remember, the ones I suggested you don’t forget where you put them.

    STEP 6. Now there is a whole bunch of options here on which files you want to convert. Having a choice is not good for people like me because as sure as bread falls jam side down, I’ll select the wrong ones, and have to do it all over again. But anyway be careful because some options may not include your media files. Now you have to select a location where the newly converted files which are supposedly acceptable to the iMac, can be stored. This is called the Output Field. Again, remember where you put them. OMG

    STEP 7. They don’t tell you what to do next but I assume that you now take these newly converted files and copy them on to a flash drive. And plug that sucker into the back of your iMac. This is physically migrating the files over to your iMac so you could be called a File Migration Utility. There is lots of other ways too, such as sending the info over by WiFi but I don’t trust something I can’t visualize in my minds eye, and the flash drive seems the safest to me.

    STEP 8. Open your FTM program on your iMac, and on the first page it has a choice where you can import a tree from somewhere else. You can also import one from Ancestry, or start making one of your own. So I believe all you have to do at this point is bring the FTM files from the flash drive into the FTM program on your iMac. Good luck. I hope this helps a bit, and works for you.

  12. Where on earth can I get the File Migration Utility? The reason I have a Mac now is that my PC got old and non-functional, so I have to find a PC, put the old FTM files on it as well as the File Migration Utility, do the conversions and then move it to my Mac?


  13. Have FTM2005 on old PC (FTW files). Purchased FTM for Mac some time ago….version 2010. How to get FTW files into FTM format so conversion software will see it?

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