How to download images from those I have personally added to my Ancestry.com tree? I currently do not own or plan on purchasing the now discontinued FamilyTreeMaker.

As mentioned in this "What do FamilyTree Maker users do" question one way is to purchase and utilize FamilyTreeMaker to download the images using TreeSync; but Jan Murphy pointed out TreeSync may not download all media one has uploaded.

FamilyTreeMaker is being end of life'd and no longer supported at the end of 2016, so what are the alternative ways to download a GEDCOM with associated images vs. manually doing it for each image.

The existing Download your GEDCOM function does not contain images, even the ones I manually uploaded myself and did not get added via Ancestry.com and all I get is a .GED file.

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The GEDCOM itself has a file location that is a URL pointing back to Ancestry.com vs. the media file itself (this example I added to Ancestry.com and did not come from another location).

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But when you re-import it into a local program I still get prompted (MacFamilyTree) for location of the referenced media files as it does not seem to be able to automatically download them and haven't found any program that will.

Directly taking the list of URLs in the GEDCOM file and putting them into a browser does not open them, even if logged into Ancestry.com with a paid subscription. All I get is the following spinning icon for several minutes and I have tried several different browsers.

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As far as I am aware as of 01/28/2016; there are also no third-party application that supports the Ancestry.com TreeSync API or other browser plug-in that can scrape the images from your trees; which is less preferred as they would have to be manually re-associated but that is better than losing them all together.

  • 1
    Update: Family Tree Maker is only being discontinued by Ancestry.com - they've spun/sold it off to Software MacKiev who will be continuing to maintain it. There definitely was a period there where it looked like FTM was going away, but it now looks like it will be with us a while more.
    – Frizbog
    Aug 7, 2016 at 2:17

6 Answers 6


In response to the comment about there being no third party app to download the Media (pictures and stories). Now there is a Chrome extension. Not an amazing one, but at least something. It uses screen scraping, so there is no guarantee how long it will work for, but it is free.

You can find it on my blog here.

Similar to neRok's answer, there is a chance this is outside the ancestry.com's terms of use. The difference between his script and this one is that this script is automating your browsing of the website, it is not a script running in the background.

Disclaimer: I am the author of the Chrome extension recommended above

  • 1
    I have edited your reference to one of the other answers to remove the word "below" and added a link to the answer. On SE answers can be sorted three different ways, and if the reader sorts by votes, the order of answers can change as answers are up- or down-voted. We can't depend on the answers staying in the same order on the page as they were when we last edited our answer.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jun 6, 2017 at 5:54

Several years ago, Randy Seaver wrote an article on How Best to Download Ancestry.com Images to RootsMagic?

Randy said that RootsMagic has a WebSearch feature that can be used to search for your images on Ancestry.com.

When you find one you want, you click on Ancestry's "Save" to save it to your computer. Then in RootsMagic, you go to the fact of the person you want to attach the picture to, and click on the Media button for that fact to attach it. Then you can go back to the RootsMagic Websearch view for the same person and get another image.

I think this is the best that is currently available.

However, on Ancestry's blog follow-up after their announcement, they indicated that they may be making their API available to software developers. So it is possible that in the not too distant future (a year or two?), some programs will appear that will be able to directly download your data from Ancestry including images.


There are no built-in methods to download large numbers of images from an Ancestry tree.

I made a script that 'scrapes' the relevant images from Ancestry, but note that using scripts is against the Ancestry Terms and Conditions. You can find the script here: Ancestry Image Downloader.

As you mention, you will have to 're-associate' the downloaded files with the gedcom after using this script, but the script outputs a CSV-file that will be useful in creating another script that does this to suit your desired program/gedcom-file/folder-structure/etc.


The only way I have found to download the images or media from Ancestry.com to my computer is to right click each image and save as a picture image. First I highlight and copy the title, then right click the image and go to "save picture as" (chose your file destination) and control-V to paste the title in the File Name box and save. It will take a while but you can do it. The only thing is it does not come with the reference information.

  1. Download and open CHROME web browser
  2. Download ANCESTRY MEDIA DOWNLOAD'extension
  3. Follow provided instructions
  4. Easy as clicking each Photos or Stories page and it'll auto-download to your computer's download folder.
  • 3
    This is the extension described in Jerome's answer (the author of the extension)
    – Harry V.
    Jun 5, 2017 at 19:01

As of 2019 it is possible to download all of your Ancestry Tree with support to the current version of Roots Magic.

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