Running RootsMagic on a Mac

Do RootsMagic, Personal Historian, Family Atlas, or your other products run on a Mac?

Yes – but with help.  In fact, we have many happy Mac users of our software.  However, all of our software is currently designed to run on Windows operating systems.  That’s where “the help” comes in.

What do you mean by “Help”?

All Macs built since 2006 use the same microprocessors as Windows PCs.  This means that you can install the Windows operating system on your Mac and run any Windows software.  There area also other non-Windows options available.

How do I install Windows on my Mac?

There are three products available that allow you to install Windows on your Mac: Apple Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and VMWare Fusion.

All three install the full Windows operating system and allow you to run any Windows application on your Mac.  You get the best of both worlds!  All three also require that you have a fully-licensed copy of Windows to install.

What if I don’t want to install Windows on my Mac?

No problem.  There are two products available which allow some Windows software (including all of ours) to run on a Mac without actually having Windows: Wine, and CrossOver Mac.

Will you ever have actual Mac versions of your software?

It is certainly our intention.  We have many Mac users who would love this and we love to make our users happy.  We’re just waiting for the necessary tools and technology to become available (which will hopefully be in the near-future).


Apple Boot Camp – – Free

  • Tech Support by Manufacturer

Parallels Desktop – – $79.95

  • Run Mac & Windows at Same Time
  • Tech Support by Manufacturer

VMWare Fusion – – $79.95

  • Run Mac & Windows at Same Time
  • Tech Support by Manufacturer

Wine – – Free

  • Run Mac & Windows at Same Time
  • No Windows CD Required

CrossOver Mac – – $39.95

  • Run Mac & Windows at Same Time
  • No Windows CD Required
  • Tech Support by Manufacturer

RootsMagic products will also run on the Linux operating system under Wine.

Note: All of our software has been tested and confirmed to work on all of these products. However, we can only offer technical assistance with our own software and not with other products or operating systems.

37 thoughts to “Running RootsMagic on a Mac”

  1. Ooh. This is so cool. One of my daughters who has a MAC has a budding interest in her family history. I want to encourage it with RM.

  2. Good to know that there is some success in this matter. But, I’d like to see a version that will run on an iPad. The smaller form factor is much easier to take to a library than lugging my laptop and the rest of the accoutrements with it.

  3. Well, thanks. This helps. I’ll still be 83% happier when you have a Mac version…but this gives me some options to explore in the meantime.

  4. I have tried ‘Wine’ within a Unix environment called ‘Ubuntu’. The program works fine except for the link NewFamilySearch. There is an authentication problem that prevents access to NFs.

  5. Thanks, Renee. I get asked about this all the time in our RM User Group at the Southern California Genealogical Society. I’ll refer them to this post.

  6. I have the RootsMagic program and bought several copies for family members who I wanted to be able to share information with. (Not all are converted and I don’t live near them) One family has daughters who are in the YM program and are wanting help getting their Family History going. When I gave them the RootsMagic program, they had PC’s. Now they have MAC’s. I don’t know how to get them going. Where do I start?

  7. Always had RM and loved it. Got a Mac and tried Crossover, but it didn’t seem to work, then trial expired. Just bought Crossover @ $39 and am waiting for the webinar!

    Thanks, Bruce!

  8. I have installed Roots Magic on my iMac using Boot Camp Windows 7 and VMWare Fusion. It is very solid and runs well. I agree with Kerry Scott that I’d be much happier for Roots Magic to run natively. For now the Windows 7 running in a VMWare window will have to do.

  9. I am wondering if you could get the shareware cd to run on a mac. My neice wants to see it, but they are mac people. Can it operate on the Windows special program. I also am interesed in the ipad. It is an abolutely beautiful machine, but I would want to be able to take rm with me on my computer when I travel.

  10. Fran,
    Not unless they have Fusion, Parallels, or something which lets the mac run Windows program. To our knowledge the iPad does not have a Windows emulator program to allow you to run RootsMagic on it.

  11. I’m excited by the possibilities of CrossOver as well as a future version of RootsMagic for Mac. One question though: On CrossOver site, they mention an issue with RootsMagic/newFamilySearch and how it crashes the application. Is this something being investigated by both parties?

  12. Bernard, it is a bug in CrossOver / Wine, but we are putting in some code to work around that bug. We have it working but are testing it before we release it.

  13. There is another program that installs a copy of Windows on a Mac and has the advantage over Parallels and VMWare Fusion of being free. It is Virtual Box.

    I haven’t run Roots Magic under it, but when I tried to run another genealogy program on a Mac using Parallels (which I had bought) and VMWare Fusion (a trial copy), the program would not run. It would run under Virtual Box. Before I bought one of the other programs, I would try Virtual Box first.

  14. A MAJOR advantage of a native RM on MAC is the use of metadata jpg files for multiface photos. This is a much needed capability in all genealogical programs. Picaso on Windows is a nice program but a disaster when problems arrive. I have lost 30,000+ faces twice on this program and just wrote it off. It uses a separate DB file that is difficult to transfer and backup.

  15. I’d like to add my scream for an iPad version. I do not wish to convert to another platform and RM4 does it for me (but not when travelling)!

  16. I love my Mac and I love Roots Magic, so I installed Parallels, just to use Roots Magic. It works just fine, and Roots Magic is by far the best (of many) family history software Ive ever used. But I still look forward to the day when I can put Roots Magic directly on my Mac operating system!

  17. Type your comment here.The webinar was great yesterday, thank you.
    Am going to try Crossover but would like to see a webinar on Mac usage VERY SOON, PLEASE!

  18. There’s another product I’d recommend for running Windows on your Mac, VirtualBox. It’s open source, produced by Sun, now Oracle. I’ve used Parallels and VMWare Fusion and have found this to be the most stable. It’s also free. You do need a copy of Windows though.

  19. Type your comment here.
    I too love my Mac and love Roots Magic. I am using
    VMWare Fusion to run Windows and find it works fine but the ONLY reason I use Windows is to run Roots Magic. I am anxiously awaiting a Mac version of Roots Magic and when it becomes available I plan to buy several as gifts for family members who also love their Macs. Then we can share information easily. And I love the webinars!

  20. I have been running RootsMagic on my Mac’s for over a year. I finally settled on VMWare Fusion. The reason being is that with VMWare Fusion you can use your Thumb Drive with it in the Windows mode.
    The only problem with this setup, is you muse load a copy of Windows in the virtual machine (VMWare Fusion) It did not require me to activate Windows XP Pro which is what I use. In addition VMWare Fusion can be run on more than one machine using the same license key. RM4 runs very well in this setup. NO problems.
    Virtual Box will not let you use a thumb drive with it, that’s why I dropped it.

  21. Thanks Bruce. Really appreciate having a fantastic program like RootsMagic for all my family history data. Our family has recently converted from PCs to Macs and now use Rootsmagic 4 with CrossOver Mac. It works! But looking forward to any advice from you. I am not sure if I should continue updating RM4 while using CrossOver because it works and I don’t want to break it. I am currently using RM

  22. I just downloaded the demo of CrossOver. Installed RootsMagic 4 … and all appears to be working fine. It may be ok until a Mac version comes out.

  23. I’m also a mac user and really don’t want anything to do with Microsoft. I’ve had so few problems since I switched over to Apple. Sadly, I think I’ll be waiting for the Mac version of Roots Magic. Anyway to be notified when it’s ready?

  24. Have to agree with Anita Stout. I have a new Mac – my first – and absolutely love it. Although a free copy of Parallels was included with the package, i didn’t install it because i prefer to avoid any integration of microsoft/windows.
    Just tried Roots Magic 4 at a local family history center and it’s a great program and easy to understand.
    Can we be notified when you have a Mac-based version? Hopefully, soon?? I’d buy it in a heart-beat if it was available right now. x

  25. Another Mac user that would love, love, love to see a Mac version as good as the window’s version.

  26. I use VMWare Fusion and Windows 7 on Boot Camp to run Roots Magic. It works like a charm. The nice thing about the Boot Camp solution is that you can run all your other Windows software as well.

  27. I am one of your dedicated users who is also a Mac user. I love my Mac and would love to have Roots Magic run natively on it rather than using my separate pc (which I rarely use otherwise). It’s great news to hear you are developing a Mac product! Please know that many of us “out there” are ready to purchase it. Please keep us posted on that progress. Thanks.

  28. Wonderful news that you are developing a Mac version of Roots Magic. My old PC only used for RM died and I don’t want to put Windows on my MAC.
    Please let me know as soon as it is ready so I can buy it and work on my family history again. Roots Magic will kill the other software available.

  29. I recently switched from Windows to Mac. The only program that wasn’t able to be converted over was RootsMagic. I guess I could have done CrossOverMac but to be honest I didn’t want to spend another $40 much less $80. So I tried Wine.

    I followed a tutorial I found (google – Installing Wine on Mac OS X) and went to work. I even have an icon that I click in Applications to run it. It works fine. I use Rootsmagic 3 so I haven’t tested 4 but it’s worth a shot.

    For the record. When RootsMagic come out with an offical Mac product I’ll buy it but until then I’m good.

  30. I am currently using RootsMagic on my Mac with the help of Fusion and it works flawlessly. Given that, I still desperately want a Mac OS native version of RootsMagic so I can avoid the memory crunch of running MacOS and Windows XP at the same time. It would also lend itself to helping me keep my Mac “Microsoft” free. Please do what you can to give us RootsMagic running in MacOSX. I have many Mac customers that also are pleading for this to happen sooner, not years from now!

  31. Like everyone else in this forum I made the switch from PC to Mac. I am using Parallels for now, but it would be really great if there was a native Mac version of Roots Magic. I have tried several genealogy programs, and RM is the best.

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