Frequently Asked Questions

What is BackupMyTree?

BackupMyTree is an automatic backup service that is focused exclusively on genealogy files. By focusing directly on family trees, BackupMyTree is exactly what you need and nothing you don't (plus it's FREE!).

How does the service work?

You install the BackupMyTree software and it automatically detects all your family tree files, and begins uploading them to our servers for backup. The upload occurs in the background, automatically, so you can truly forget about backing up your tree. If you want to exclude a file, you can do that at any time. However, by default and for your protection, BackupMyTree automatically backs up all new and existing tree files unless you specify a tree to be excluded.

What makes BackupMyTree better than other backup methods?

We've built BackupMyTree to be the gold-standard in family tree backup. Because it's focused just on family trees, it has a few significant advantages over other methods:

  • Up to 25 previous versions that do not time-out. Many online backup services only keep previous versions for 30 days — we have no limit for how long we keep your previous versions. This is a critical difference since you may not realize you've corrupted your tree for days or weeks and that previous version is critical to get back.
  • We keep deleted files beyond 30 days (indefinitely at the moment but will always be at least 6 months). Almost every online backup service in existence destroys deleted files after 30 days. If you didn't realize that one of your less popular family tree files had gone missing, you would hate to find out on the 31st day that the file is missing and now can't be restored.
  • Because BackupMyTree only focuses on your tree files, the backup of your tree is never being held up by the backup of music, photos or other files. Standard online backup services can take days or weeks to catch-up if you add a lot of files, and they will not prioritize your tree files.

The above advantages are comparing the service against typical online backup services. Compared against other solutions, the list grows much longer. External hard drives can crash, CD's get scratched, and worst of all: people just plain forget to back-up.

How secure is BackupMyTree?

BackupMyTree protects the security of your tree in many ways. First, all communications of the Windows application and your web browser are encrypted with 128-bit SSL encryption. Second, we store your tree files using Amazon's S3 storage infrastructure so you can be sure it's safe and secure. Amazon stores multiple copies of all data so there's no risk that a file will be destroyed.

How do I install/uninstall BackupMyTree?

To install:

  1. Make sure you've downloaded the application at Download Application
  2. Click on Download and follow the download instructions.
  3. Double-click the downloaded installer and follow the instructions.
  4. Click Finish on the install and leave the box checked to launch BackupMyTree now.
  5. BackupMyTree detects your login and launches a new browser window within a couple of seconds.
  6. Log-in, if necessary. The installation is now complete.

To uninstall:

  1. Go to the Windows Control Panel and select Add/Remove Programs.
  2. Select BackupMyTree and click Uninstall.
  3. Complete the uninstall and you're done.

Can I use BackupMyTree without installing software?

Absolutely! You can upload files using our manual upload system, and we will store them for you with all the same protections as if you're using the software. For larger files, we accept ZIP uploads as well.

What are the system requirements?

Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 (it's unsupported but known to work on previous versions of Windows as well)

How do I know that BackupMyTree is working?

You can log into My Trees at any time and see the last time your software checked in. If your Status is set to Up-to-Date, then the software is working perfectly. However, if you're not using the software and just uploading files manually, then your files are protected and this question doesn't apply.

Will this program slow down my computer and/or Internet connection?

BackupMyTree uses minimal resources when it's running. When the program is actively backing up a tree, it will use only slightly more resources. We compress all data transferred between the program and our servers so the bandwidth will be less than the size of your trees.

How long will it take to back up my trees?

It depends on the size of the tree files. However, for most users, it will only take a minute or two. Larger trees may take up to 30 minutes.

What happens exactly when BackupMyTree is installed?

When you install BackupMyTree for the first time, it scans all your disks, locates your family trees, and begins backing them up automatically. BackupMyTree starts every time you boot your computer, running in the background and looking for changes to your tree files so it can protect them when they're added or modified.

Which genealogy programs does BackupMyTree support?

Right now, BackupMyTree supports Personal Ancestral File (PAF), Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Legends, Family Tree Builder, GenoPro, version 4 of RootsMagic and many more.

What if my computer's Internet connection goes dead or I'm offline?

If your computer goes offline for a while, BackupMyTree will resume backing up your files when you come back online, automatically and without any need for you to do anything. BackupMyTree is designed to run in the background, all the time. However, if you shut the program down, it will not back up your trees until you restart it.

What happens when a file is deleted from my computer?

When a file is deleted from your computer, we keep a copy of the deleted file just in case the deletion was made by mistake. If you don't want to protect the file anymore, you can always Exclude it.

What happens when a file is overwritten?

BackupMyTree handles file versioning. When a file is overwritten, the old version and the new version are both kept. In fact, up to 25 previous versions of your file are kept for you to be able to access. This is critically important to our service to help you in a situation where your family tree program introduced a corruption several weeks back. You can easily try the previous versions until you find one that doesn't have the corruption. You can access all of your previous versions in My Trees by selecting the tree, and clicking the Previous Versions button.

What if I want to exclude or delete a file from backup?

Go to My Trees and select the tree you'd like to exclude or delete and click the Exclude button. If you exclude a tree, you are basically telling the system: I don't want any protection of this tree in the future, and the server should destroy all backup copies of the tree. Understand that if you exclude a tree, we completely destroy our copy of it and you will have no protection for that tree by our service.

How do I restore or download a file?

Go to My Trees and select the tree you'd like to download and click the Download button. Select Save As, if you're given the option by your browser, to put the tree file back in its original location. Otherwise, copy the file from your Downloads folder. In the future, we will offer an option to have the file directly delivered back to its original location.

How many trees can I back up?

You can back up as many trees as you like. We currently don't have any limits. If we impose some sort of limit in the future, it will be a very high limit, and we will let all our users know.

Do I keep control and ownership over my tree?

Absolutely! We do not take any control or ownership of your tree and its data. At any time, you can exclude and delete any tree we're currently backing up for you. You can also email us to request that we destroy/delete your account and remove all trees. Your data is just that: your data.

What if I forget my password?

If you forget your password, please visit our password reset page.

Will I get spam email?

No way! We do not send you spam or sell your email address to marketing companies. We will only send you email associated with your membership (such as an email to let you know your backup is out-of-date, etc).

How does BackupMyTree make money?

In the future, we will offer a Pro version of our service for a small yearly fee. This version will offer more features but we will always keep the free version the way it is.

Do you back up photos included in my family tree?

Not right now, but we plan on adding this in the near future.

Do you have a version for the Mac?

We’ll consider adding one if we receive enough demand for it.

How do I delete my account?

If you'd like to delete your account, please Contact Us and we will take care of deleting your account and all your associated tree files.

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Are you sure you want to exclude these  from backup?

WARNING!
This action will delete your stored copy of the file files on the server, and all theirits revision history. You will not be able to download this file these files or any previous version of this file,these files, after the action is completed.


Your filefiles will be uploaded to the server and monitored for changes. This may take a few minutes. Thank you for your patience. The stored copy and all previous versions of your filefiles were deleted from the server. This file These files will no longer be monitored for changes or backed up.
Are you sure you want to exclude these  from backup?

WARNING!
This action will delete your stored copy of the file files on the server, and all theirits revision history. You will not be able to download this file these files or any previous version of this file,these files, after the action is completed.


Your filefiles will be uploaded to the server and monitored for changes. This may take a few minutes. Thank you for your patience. The stored copy and all previous versions of your filefiles were deleted from the server. This file These files will no longer be monitored for changes or backed up.

You have enabled multiple selection mode.

In multiple selection mode, the download of files and the viewing of previous versions, is not possible. Use this mode to select multiple files and include or exclude them from backup. If you wish to download or view previous versions, please deselect the "Allow Multiple Selections" checkbox.

Enter your email address below to reset your BackupMyTree password.

Note: The password reset link that we send to you will expire after 6 hours OR after you have successfully reset your password, depending on which comes first.