In Family Tree Builder, the main storage unit for your work is a Project. A Project is equivalent to a single GEDCOM file, plus all related photos, documents and files. It's up to you to decide whether to store your genealogy research in multiple projects (by splitting up your family tree into branches and storing each branch in its own project), or to keep it in one large project.

Projects are saved by default below the Data subfolder of MyHeritage Family Tree Builder, but advanced users can modify this location in the configuration options. For example, if your project is called Smith, it will be saved by default in the following project folder: C:\Program Files\MyHeritage\Data\Smith

If you are interested in understanding how things are stored at the file level, the following explanation is for you. Below each project folder, you will find the following subfolders:


The project file is saved here. We invented a format called ZEDCOM which has a .ZED extension. It is really a zipped GEDCOM, much smaller in size than a GEDCOM and easier to send around. Our native format is a superset of GEDCOM in that it allows data fields to be saved in multiple languages


Photos associated with this project are copied here and stored here


Project-related configuration is stored here


Not in use


Automatic backups are stored here. Just like in Microsoft Word, if you experience a crash while working on your family tree, the next time you start it you will be offered to recover the latest automatically saved backup. This will be very useful in case of a power breakdown, or a bug of ours


When you delete a file, such as a photo, the file will be moved here and will not be actually destroyed. This will allow you to change your mind even if you deleted some of your photos accidentally

If you wish to back up a project, such as the Smith project in the above example, make a copy of this folder:

C:\Program Files\MyHeritage\Data\Smith plus all of its subfolders. This info is also useful if you intend to transfer a project from one computer to another.

The GEDCOM format, among its many deficiencies, calls for storing multimedia files with an absolute path. This prevents moving them around and makes it much more difficult to send a family tree with photos to another person. In our ZEDCOM format the paths are relative so your project will work wherever you place it, as long as the subfolder structure is preserved.

Of course, Family Tree Builder supports the capability to export your projects to GEDCOM. But you will lose some of the functionality. For example, because GEDCOM files support only one language, if your project on Family Tree Builder is multilingual, you will need to select just one of its languages for inclusion in the exported GEDCOM file.

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  • Luwam
    How to export a branch of myheritage family tree builder?
    8 years ago

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