Why Do I Need a Backup of my RootMagic Database?

One of the biggest heartaches we have in tech support is when we receive an email or phone call from a user whose computer has crashed, and they are without a backup copy of their database. Think about how much time you have invested in your database, and how long it would take to re-create that database from scratch. Having a backup copy of your database protects you if your computer crashes, or you accidentally delete your file, or your database somehow gets corrupted.

A backup is a compressed copy of your RootsMagic database and has a .rmgb extension. It is less likely to become corrupted when emailed or transferred to another computer than a database file (.rmgc) is. A backup is better than a GEDCOM file because it will save all your RootsMagic specific settings, and ensure you have the same record numbers assigned each person.

By default each RootsMagic backup has the date assigned to the file name (YYYY-MM-DD). Having the date for each backup is important. This will allow you to have multiple backups going back in time, and will show you which backup is the most recent. There may be times you need to return to an earlier file in your database, i.e. file corruption, incorrect merging, deleting of individuals or facts unintentionally, etc. You can keep as many backups on your computer as your hard drive space will allow. We have some users with backups going back several years.

It is best to get into the habit of creating a backup each time you exit the program after changes have been made. When you have been working in RootsMagic for several hours at a time, stop and make a backup at whatever point you would hate to recreate your work if you computer suddenly failed. Simply add a letter after the date in the backup to denote your work throughout the day.

Once you have made a backup it is good practice to store that backup somewhere other than your computer. Backups can be stored on external hard drives, flash drives, and CDs. Saving to the “cloud” will give you access to your backup away from home. Check into services such as Mozy, Carbonite, Backblaze and Dropbox. Don’t let the cloud fool you into a false sense of security if it is only saving a copy of your database file (.rmgc). There will be times you need to restore from a backup and it won’t be there when you need it. Have your database (.rmgc) and backup (.rmgb) file both saved to your computer hard drive and then use a cloud service to protect yourself.

Web based email services, such as GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc can also act as a cloud service. Simply email your backup (.rmgb) to yourself and access it later from anywhere.

If you haven’t made a backup of your RootsMagic database, stop and do it now!

Win a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card

We would like to know more about which online genealogical services you use or are interested in.   You would like that pricey genealogy book you’ve been eyeing on Amazon.com.   We have a solution that could benefit us both.

We’ve created a brief survey to get your opinions on various online genealogy services and your interest in having RootsMagic work with them.  And when we say “brief”, we mean it.  Really, seriously.  It should only take you a minute or two.

In appreciation for your participation, one respondent will be randomly selected to receive a $100 Amazon.com gift certificate.  The winner can use the gift certificate towards anything they want from the world’s largest online store!

$100 Amazon Gift Certificate

Click here to take survey!

Official Rules: Must be 18 or older to win. Limit 1 entry per person. To enter, complete the survey and include a valid e-mail address. One winner be will be randomly selected on May 1, 2011 at 12:00 MDT. Winner will receive a $100 Amazon.com Gift Certificate via e-mail. Winner is responsible for any taxes or fees associated with the prize.

Free RootsMagic Classes for April

And the free RootsMagic classes don’t stop.  Here are 4 new classes scheduled for the next month.  Each class will be limited to the first 1000 people to sign up, but if you miss out or can’t make it, don’t worry because we will record the class for you to download and watch later.

To sign up for the free classes, or to view past recorded classes, visit us at:


Here are the upcoming classes for April:

  • Places and Mapping in RootsMagic
    Wherever you go, there you are!  Places and geography are an integral part of our lives and the lives of our ancestors.  Join us for a look at the many tools in RootsMagic which help you accurately record the places in your family history, clean and standardize names, and even view them on a map!
    Wednesday, April 13, 2011
    2pm MST See In Your Time Zone
    90 minutes
  • Ask the RootsMagician!
    This is your chance to ask your questions and get the answers straight from the source!  Bruce Buzbee, the author of RootsMagic will be answering your questions about the software in this special, open-topic webinar.
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011
    5pm MST See In Your Time Zone
    90 minutes
  • Google Search Tips and Tricks
    Frustrated by thousands of irrelevant search results in your recent Google searches for your family history? Do you want to achieve better results in a shorter amount of time?  Learn the art of online search with Google expert and genealogy podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke, author of the new book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox. In this webinar you will expand your Google search repertoire and learn techniques, tricks and tips to achieve better genealogical search results.
    Thursday, April 28, 2011
    6pm MST See In Your Time Zone
    90 minutes
  • Creating and Printing Wallcharts with RootsMagic
    Ever wish your family tree wasn’t confined to a computer screen or a small sheet of paper?  Wallcharts let you see the “big picture” of your family history!  Join us for a look at RootsMagic’s wallcharts and how to customize them.  Also joining us will be Janet Hovorka of Generation Maps to show us how to easily and affordably print our charts and some special services which they provide.
    Tuesday, May 3, 2011
    5pm MST See In Your Time Zone
    90 minutes

Here are the recorded webinars already available for you to view or download:

  • Getting Started with RootsMagic
  • Publishing a Family History with RootsMagic
  • FamilySearch Made Easy with RootsMagic
  • RootsMagic To-Go: Running RootsMagic on a Flash Drive
  • Sources, Citations, and Documentation with RootsMagic
  • Working with Files and Folders in RootsMagic
  • Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic
  • Personal Historian: Bringing Life to Your Life Stories
  • Creating Custom Reports with RootsMagic
  • Map and Explore Your Family Tree with Family Atlas
  • Adding and Editing Information in RootsMagic
  • Lists and Reports in RootsMagic
  • Writing Your Personal History (and Living to Tell About it)