What Is an FBC File?

This is a legacy format that holds a compressed backup of a family tree file

What to Know

  • An FBC file is a compressed backup of a family tree file created with Family Tree Maker for DOS.
  • It needs to be converted to a supported format before it can be imported into a modern version of the software.
  • You can order the latest release from Software MacKiev.

This article describes what an FBC file is and how to open one on your computer.

What Is an FBC File?

A file with the FBC file extension is a family tree compressed backup. The DOS version of Family Tree Maker (abbreviated FTM) compresses a "Family Tree Maker for DOS" file (an FTM file) and then changes the extension to .FBC to show that it's a backup.

Family Tree Maker is used to store ancestry-related research, create reports and charts, and more.

FBC files in Windows 10

The Windows version of Family Tree Maker saves files in the "Family Tree Maker" file format and uses the FTW file extension instead. Backed up versions of an FTW file use the FBK file extension.

How to Open an FBC File

Family Tree Maker originally belonged to Banner Blue Software with the first release being for the MS-DOS operating system in 1989. It's this version of the software that uses the FTM format and backs up files using the FBC file extension.

The program was then purchased by Broderbund in 1995 and was later owned by companies like The Learning Company and Mattel. Ownership then passed to Ancestry.com and was discontinued in 2015 before being acquired by MacKiev in 2016.

You can purchase the most recent version of Family Tree Maker for the Mac and Windows operating systems through the Software MacKiev Education Store.

FBC files can be opened with Family Tree Maker 4.0 or older software through File > Restore From Backup.

How to Convert an FBC File

If you need to convert your FBC file for use in Family Tree Maker through 2014, follow the instructions provided by MacKiev.com.

Family Tree Maker can convert an FBC file to a .GED (GEDCOM Genealogy Data) file via File > Copy / Export Family File, but this only works if the file is already open in the software, meaning that this can only be done if your version of Family Tree Maker can open the FBC file.

Still Can't Open the File?

If after following the directions above, your file still doesn't open properly, consider that you might be misreading the file extension. Some file formats use a file extension that closely resembles .FBC, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're related or can be used in the same program.

For example, FB2FBR, and BC! files have a very similar file extension, but they don't open in the same way that FBC files open. FCC is another that's reserved for Forms Credential Collector files, not family tree related files.

If you don't really have an FBC file, research the actual file extension to learn which programs can be used to open or convert your specific file.

  • How can I download Family Tree Maker?

    Only download Family Tree Maker from the official website. There is no free trial, so the only way to use Family Tree Maker is to purchase the program.

  • Why can't I open my old Family Tree Maker files?

    The current version of Family Tree Maker doesn't support FTW, FBC, GED, FBK, or AFT files created in Family Tree Maker version 4 and earlier. If you need to open an unsupported file, you must first convert it to a newer format using Family Tree Maker.

  • How do I open an FBK file?

    In FamilyTree Maker, go to File > Restore From Backup and choose the FBK file to restore your backed up files.

  • Can I import FBC files into RootMagic?

    No. However, you can convert an FBC file to a GED file in Family Tree Maker, then import the GED file into RootMagic.

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