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Backup & Restore - how to backup Legacy files

Author: Jim Terry Reference Number: AA-00868 Views: 22321 Created: 2014-02-17 04:53 PM Last Updated: 2016-06-06 11:45 AM 0 Rating/ Voters

It is very important that you make regular backup copies of your family files as you work on them. All computers eventually fail in one way or another. Sometimes the hard drives fail, sometimes the memory goes bad, sometimes the motherboard goes out. And we have had users loose family files in hurricanes, house fires and other disasters. When one of these things happens, you will be very happy if you have a currently backup of your important files (or you will feel terrible if you don't). This goes for all of the information that you keep on your computer, not just your family files. Make regular backup copies of anything that you don't want to lose.

Legacy makes two kinds of backup files, data (family file) and media (pictures, video, documents and other attached files). 

There is a backup video demonstration you can watch at

To backup an existing Legacy Family File and/or Media Files (pictures, documents and other files attached to people in your family tree):

1. Select the File tab on the Ribbon bar. 

2. Next click on Backup File.


3. The Customize Backup dialog appears. You can backup some or all of the files associated with a family file.  These include files that are used to record what you are doing in Legacy as well as any multimedia files that you have attached to individuals, events, or sources in your family file. 

Legacy Family File -  This is the main data file where all your family information is stored.  You gave it a name when you started the file and it has an extension of .fdb.  This file is the most important data file to preserve.  All the other files can be reproduced from the family file but the family file itself is the main file and you will never want to lose it.

Research Guidance result files - These are created when you ask Legacy to show you where to search next for more information.

Relationships - This file contains all the relationship calculations in your family file.  It is used to display the relationship terms (Father, Grandfather, Cousin, Niece, Sister-in-law, etc.) when you are navigating around your file and printing reports.  It can be rebuilt an any time but is nice to have backup up.

Clipboard files - These are to-do items, sources, and events that you have placed on the clipboards built into Legacy so they can be quickly pasted into new items to save time.  These can be re-copied onto the clipboards but are nice to keep.

Focus Group settings - If you have set up any Focus Groups to use for searching, reporting, or exporting, the groups are stored in the settings file.  You can create Focus Groups again but it is nice to keep the ones you have spent time creating.

4. Next click the Select Name and Location for Data Backup button and choose where you would like to create the backup file and what you would like to name it.  We recommend that you indicate in the name of the file that it contains the Data from your family file, as opposed to the multimedia.  

5. You can backup to whatever drive you wish. In the above example, the Sample family file is being backed up to a Cruzer USB flash drive. Legacy uses a standard Windows screen for selecting the backup location, which in the above example is Computer > Cruzer (H:). 

Your backup file can be put on your hard drive, or a flash drive (thumb drive) or even a rewritable CD disk.  (If you create a copy on your hard drive, you should copy it to a CD or transfer a copy to a different computer or upload it to an Internet backup service, or in some other way get a copy off of your computer.  Sending a copy to a family member or close friend is also a good way to make sure that you will have access to it if your computer goes down.)

If you do not know how to navigate to the place where you want your family file saved, please Click Here.

6. When the name and backup location of your data has been set, click the Save button. Note: This only saves the information about the name for your backup file and where it will be created. It does not do the actual backing up at this point. That does not happen until step 10.

7. You will then be prompted about setting the location for your Media backup to the same location as your family file.

8. Including the date and time of the backup is also helpful.  For example, "Anderson Family Legacy Data, 12 Dec 2013". Click the Options button and make sure these options are check marked.

9. If you are backing up Media files, make sure this option is check marked.

10. You are now ready to backup. Click the Backup button at the bottom. Legacy then collects all the needed files and compresses them into a ZIP file in the location(s) specified. (You will see a progress indicator move in a line from left to right as the backup files are being created.)

11. If you are backing up to a CD, there will be some additional things to do, like putting a CD into your CD drive, etc. You computer will first put your backup files into a temporary folder where you must complete the steps to actually burn them to the CD. You may see a message in a "balloon" that there are files waiting to be written to the CD. Click the balloon and complete the steps to finish the process.

Click Here for the steps to restore a family file.

Click Here for the steps to restore a Media Backup file.

Note:  The settings for the Customize Backup screen are saved in a file called Backup.usr in the [My Documents]\Legacy Family Tree\_AppData\Usr\ folder.