How can I convert a Family Tree Maker file (.ftmb) to GEDCOM?

I was emailed the file from a relative who couldn't export a GEDCOM file from his version of Family Tree Maker.

I'm interested in what software is needed and the process within the software.

  • Hi, welcome to G&FH.SE! It wasn't clear to me whether you wanted to restore the backup file and export a GEDCOM file yourself, or whether you needed instructions so you could walk your relative through the process of exporting a GEDCOM remotely. If the information in these two answers isn't sufficient, could you let us know, or edit your question?
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 17:43
  • 1
    @Jan Added note below your answer to let you know how I made out Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


The file your relative has sent you is a Family Tree Maker backup file.

Using Family Tree Maker

If you have a newer copy (2008 or later) of Family Tree Maker, you should be able to do a restore from backup.

In a post dated 14 Feb 2009 11:33PM GMT in this thread titled FTMB files on the Ancestry Message Boards, Russ Worthington said:

A FTMB is a Back Up file for Family Tree Maker version 2008 or 2009. If you have either of those versions, File, Restore from Back Up will open that file.

Later posts in the thread say that the *.ftmb extension is also used by FTM 2010 and FTM 2012.

Instructions on restoring from backup can be found on MacKiev's website:

Using other programs

Some other genealogy programs offer the ability to import a *.ftmb file directly.

Once you have imported the backup into a new program, you can follow the process in your new program to export to a new GEDCOM. The process should be similar to the instructions linked to in the previous answer.

  • 3
    RootsMagic successfully imported my *.ftmb file, Family Tree Builder did not (it had an unspecified error). I ended up buying a copy of the latest Family Tree Maker from MacKiev and restored the file to my computer that way. Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 0:36
  • 1
    Which version of Family Tree Builder did you use? (For many years, MyHeritage has distributed FTB on free coverdiscs, so there are lots of copies floating around. If we can narrow down which versions work and which don't, it might be useful info for someone.)
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 7:53

This may or may not depend on the version of Family Tree Maker that your relative is using but it looks like exporting GEDCOM from Family Tree Maker should be straightforward:

Instructions are provided at https://support.mackiev.com/572636-Export-and-Import-of-GEDCOM-Files-in-Family-Tree-Maker?r=1#Exporting a GEDCOM file

Consequently, there should be no need for you to import the *.ftmb file and then export it to GEDCOM. However, if you do need to do that, then the latest version of Family Tree Maker would seem to be the first software to consider.

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