RootsMagic is one of the FamilySearch partners that allows you to download your FamilySearch tree and create a GEDCOM file. RootsMagic has free and subscription options and both allow you to download your tree from FamilySearch.


Here’s FamilySearch’s statement:

“Currently we are not able to export data from Family Tree to a GEDCOM file. Use one of the Family Tree certified programs, i.e. Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, or RootsMagic to import data from Family Tree into one of the programs and then create a GEDCOM.”


First, you’ll need to download a free version of RootsMagic or purchase a version here.

  • At, next to RootsMagic Essentials 9, select Download
  • a new page will open, filling in your name, address, and email are optional; Select Downloadwhere you’ll need to type in your First Name, Last Name, email address, and verify your email address, then select Download.
  • a new page will open, read the Windows and Mac specifications to make sure your computer will run this version of RootsMagic (they don’t support the most current version for Macs). Select the appropriate download for your Windows or Mac computer.
  • Go to your Downloads folder on your computer and open and install RootsMagic to your computer.

How to Export a FamilySearch GEDCOM with RootsMagic.

  1. Select File, select New
  2. Select Download from an Online Tree: create a new RootsMagic file using data from an online tree
  3. Select FamilySearch: Download from FamilySearch Family Tree
  4. Select the Default Folder suggested by RootsMagic or at the bottom of the page, use the Browse for Destination to find a different folder on your computer where you’d like this FamilyTree to be stored
  5. A popup window will appear asking you to give the folder a name. Name the Folder.
  6. A New File Options pop up window will appear, select the options you want, then select OK
  7. An Import a Tree from FamilySearch window will appear, type in a the ID number from your FamilySearch tree for the person you want to be the Start person for your tree (often, this is your ID number)
  8. A FamilySearch Sign-In pop up window will appear asking for you to login to your FamilySearch account, type in your login credentials and select Sign In
  9. An Import a Tree from FamilySearch window will appear, possibly with a warning that *This import can take awhile if you have a large tree on FamilySearch

  10. You may get warnings like “FamilySearch is not responding to your request, Read timed out.” You can hit OK to get rid of the warning The import is working if you continue to see the People and Families count increasing. Just let the system keep running.

  11. When the Import is complete, the message on your Import a Tree from FamilySearch will say Import Complete. Select Done.
  12. Now a Pedigree chart will appear with the information you imported from FamilySearch
  13. Select File, select Export Data
  14. Select  GEDCOM File
  15. Select where you want the file to be stored, either the Default Folder they suggest or use Browse for Destination at the bottom of the page and choose a different location
  16. A pop-up window will appear, with the name of your file and the destination. Select OK.
  17. A Gedcom Export Options popup window will appear. Select the options you want and hit OK.
  18. As you close the RootsMagic program, with the red x close icon in the corner of the window, you’ll be prompted to either Backup this Database or Skip backup. It’s good practice to always backup the database and it only takes a few seconds. Hit Backup this database, begin backup. If you’ve backed up this database once already, it will ask you if you want to Overwrite Existing Backup, select Overwrite backup
  19. RootsMagic will automatically close when the backup is complete.
  20. Now you have a GEDCOM file with your FamilySearch family tree in your computer files. The GEDCOM file ends with .ged, the RootsMagic tree file ends with .rmgc.

You can upload this GEDCOM file to any other family tree program or genealogy site that allows GEDCOM files, which is most of them. It’s the standard file type for family trees.

Best in your research!


Here’ a pinnable image to save for future reference. You can follow the OnGenealogy Pinterest boards for more tips from other genealogy bloggers and companies!

13 responses to “How To Export a FamilySearch GEDCOM with RootsMagic – updated 12/1/23”

  1. THANK YOU!!! This worked wonderfully! I actually downloaded a FamilySearch tree with over 11,000 people — it took 24 hours, but was worth it! I would have spent months typing in all those people!

    1. Terrific! I’m so glad this helped you. Best with your research!

  2. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, I have RMv7 Free version, followed everything up to Importing, and each time it only imports 1 record, Me.
    I tested starting with “Me” or starting with my Family Search record ID number, same result.
    I tested with only 5 Ancestors, 0 Descendants, no change.
    Anyone else run into this? Any known solutions?

    1. Jesus,

      I would suggest you join the RootsMagic Users Group on Facebook. They offer support and suggestions for RootsMagic users and address issues that RootsMagic developers create software patches for. They’re working on an RM7 issue right now for some Mac users. Hopefully they’ll have the expertise to help troubleshoot your RM problem.

      Best with your project,


    2. I am new to the software. Don’t start with Me. Pick an relative and copy the ID number and pick like just 3 generations on either side to test that first export.

  3. This saved me SO much time — thank you! I had to send a GEDCOM file for a family tree wall art and only had a Family Search file. I am doing this for both my mom and mother-in-law, so I saved the time twice. Thank you!

    1. Lisa,

      I’m so glad it worked for you. Thanks for letting me know and I hope they LOVE their gifts!


  4. Been importing for well over an hour now. Up to near 19k people and over 10k families.
    so far so good

  5. I selected Start Person: Me, Generations to Import : 6; Descendants:2. This method only imported my wife and I.

    1. Dan,

      I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. You’re trying to do this during a big, worldwide virtual event (RootsTech 2021) and that may be taxing the systems at FamilySearch, where RootsMagic pulls the data from. I would suggest you either wait for RootsTech to end OR contact RootsMagic at 1-800-766-8762 and ask for their assistance (in case it’s a problem on their end).

      You might also try importing two generations to see if that works. If it’s able to import two generations, the only reason I know of for it not importing 6 is the FamilySearch servers are overloaded right now. The conference ends on Saturday, February 27th, but the demand on their servers will be high on Sunday the 28th and possibly for an entire week. Again, you can also call RootsMagic and ask if they have any reported bugs in their system or any recommendations.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Best with your research!


  6. After downloading the trial, I get a message

    RootsMagic cannot be opened because Apple cannot check it for malicious software.
    This software needs to be updated.Contact the developer for more information.

    Can you help with this please.


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