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    Carl Swanabck
    FTM wrongly syncingescalated
    Question posted February 8, 2013 by Carl SwanabckLevel 1, tagged Family Tree Maker, Member Trees, Sync/Syncing 
    703 Views, 7 Comments
    FTM wrongly syncing
    FTW is unable to sync and keeps re-adding the same people resulting multiple entries for the same

    This is my fifth FTM tree. each one is the last on-line down-loaded, renamed and re-linked. Worked fine for about a month and then it messes up. All of the media (stories and pictures) do not make it across to the new upload resulting in weeks worth of work having to be done all over again. If you keep running sync it adds the the dispuited synced people back in resulting in doubles, triples.... of the same people. filtering them out with doubles won't work since the doubles are not attached to someone in the tree and only caries over the simple information resulting in matching under 400. Compacting does not help nor does restore. Any suggestions...any better programs that sync?

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    • Moderator - LHiggins

      Hi Carl, 

      Many times the issue you are experiencing is due most likely caused by damage in the data file.  There are a number of steps that you can go through but we suggest that you try to compact your file first and see if that will resolve the issue you are experiencing. Please try the following steps:


      • With Family Tree Maker open, please click the File menu and select Close

             2.  Now, click the 
      Tools menu and select Compact File...

             3.  In the window that opens, browse to the location your file is saved to, select the file, and click Open

             4.  Click 
      Compact in the Compact File window

             5.  Your file will now be compacted. Depending on the size of the file and the amount the file is compacted by, this can take some time. When this process finishes, you will receive a window stating the compact is complete, and the file size was reduced by a percentage. Note the percentage and click OK

             6.  Repeat this process until the percent compacted is 0.00%

             7.  Open your file again and check if you are still experiencing issues

      If the above steps do not work, please click here for some additional steps in resolving the issue. 


      Community Moderator



    • Gerry Henningsen

      This Ancestry Support reply is useless and evades the problem described. 

      I started to have the identical problems with FTM2012 not syncing correctly with trees, and I have routinely "compacted" (simplistic reply above) my FTM file and have repeatedly done all the additional steps, but still get the same syncing errors with corruption of my data in my trees.

      I spoke with Ancestry and FTM support staff about a month ago, who said they would report details of this pervasive syncing failure to software engineers for a resolution, but I have heard nor seen nothing to fix this problem; it appears Ancestry and FTM have a major syncing problem with their trees that is NOT being fixed.

      In addition to all the Ancestry & FTM suggested solutions, none of which worked, I performed the following steps MULTIPLE TIMES (for confirmation of FTM2012 & Ancestry Sync problems) to try to restore a reliable syncing function on my new high-capacity Windows 8pro64 workstation (I'm an intermediate-advanced PC user & builder who knows hardware & Windows-based software):

      1) unlinked my FTM tree, and downloaded the tree as a GEDCOM file, after downloading all my media files from;

      2) uninstalled FTM2012, booted to a "clean" operating system with NO antivrus or firewall running (temporarily suspended internet access for safety);

      3) reinstalled FTM2012, restarted my internet access, allowed FTM to install updates, opened and closed FTM2012 (without any trees) to verify install;

      4) rebooted PC with "normal Windows OS startup" (all services and startup software enabled, including latest Norton 360 Premier antivirus & firewall;

      5) created new FTM2012 trees by either a) downloading tree on and linking it per instructions, or importing my tree GEDCOM file which I then linked to my online tree for syncing

      After doing the Ancestry troubleshooting steps and the above 5 extra steps on repeated occasions, SYNCING continues to FAIL; i.e.,

      - produces errors in data - changed info, duplication of entries, etc.

      - only syncs one-way from Ancestry to FTM tree, will not upload FTM2012 changes to tree

      - eventually quits working completely; when speaking with FTM tech support staff at this stage, even NEW small test trees made in FTM2012 FAIL to upload and Sync with! (the tech support staff said they would report all these errors and failed attempts to repair FTM to their engineers)

      I used FTM2012 regularly for nearly a year on the same PC system without syncing issues, until the failures started occurring a few months ago on a regular basis. According to online Forums, this is not an isolated problem but has also started to occur with many other FTM users; therefore, it appears that the software programming code that syncs trees between FTM2012 and is CORRUPT, rather than this problem being caused by users.  Some users report they have improved but not solved this syncing failure by removing all media links and carefully relinking minimal media to SINGLE individuals, since multiple links to the same media have been reported to result in sync errors and failures.  I tried this, but the syncing failures still occur. 

      I have not heard back from FTM or Ancestry support staff about their sync failures, nor have I seen any successful fixes on their websites; several patches have been issued to try to fix the recent syncing failures, but they obviously do not work for many users including my situation.

      Many users have expressed extreme displeasure from frustrations with syncing failures along with disappointing support from FTM and, and they stated they will abandon FTM software and and find other more reliable genealogy software that actually works and does not corrupt data of fail when syncing. 

      While I have used FTM and all updates for many years since the Broderbond DOS days, I am about to end my use of this substandard software and Ancestry subscriptions, due to the lack of aggressive resolution of syncing failures by FTM and  It would be nice if they would get serious about creating a solid genealogy software program, since their online databases are convenient and can be useful; however, users cannot be expected to constantly have to manually inspect and correct their family trees for FTM/Ancestry intorduced errors and frustrating syncing failures that have no current solutions.

      What are you going to do about this, and FTM?  If you don't come up with a better reply then this insultingly simplistic answer, then you will lose me and many other users by droves.  I'd rather you escalate the issue and provide a credible approach to a solid rapid solution to these sync failures.

      • Carl Swanabck
      • gerrard

        Thank you for your post, Gerry.

        It is excellent and describes the frustration I've been through the past couple of days with the only syncing downward problem. I’ve tried the customer support line, only to be placed on terminal hold and eventually disconnected (three times). I've tried every solution I could find at Ancestry - all of the same ones you tried above. "Useless" barely begins to describe the level of support from Interesting the moderator had no response to your post. That speaks volumes.

        While I’m impressed with the level of research material available at the website, I’ve decided not to renew my membership at the end of the six-month term. For the money I’ve spent on the membership and Family Tree Maker, I expect better support. And more importantly, I expect fixes to known problems.

        It is disappointing that Ancestry isn’t more concerned about their paying customers. They spend volumes on marketing. Too bad they don’t invest the same money to support their existing customers and products. They evidently haven’t learned that it costs far less to retain an existing customer than it does to attract a new one. 

    • Joesph Smallhoover

      I am having a problem with an ancestor who keeps up showing twice.  I have entirely deleted her and all references to her and the re-entered the data but she keeps coming back as having married her husband twice.

      I even deleted the children and re-entered them but there she is, once with children and once without but in the list of people in the family tree she only appears once.


      What to do?


      • Liz Crane

        If she's only in the list of people once, then there's only one of her but it sounds like you probably have a duplicate relationship in there somewhere.  I'd start by going to her overview page, click "edit this person", then go to the relationships tab and see if there are any listed there which are either incorrect or there in duplicate.  If you don't find anything wrong with her relationships, I'd also take a look at the relationships list for anyone who's directly connected to her.

      • Hannah L

        Hello Joseph,

        Liz has a great explanation of what could be going on. Also, just be sure you do not have any actual duplicates by going through this article. It does sound like you could possibly have duplicates in your tree. But, it also sounds like it could be a weird relationship issue as well, so click here for instructions on finding and  fixing relationship mistakes as well. 

        Thank you,

        Hannah L

        Community Moderator