What Is an FBC File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert FBC Files

Screenshot of several FBC files in Windows 10
FBC Files.

A file with the FBC file extension is a Family Tree Compressed Backup file. 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.

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

Note: 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

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

Family Tree Maker 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 the File > Restore From Backup option. If you have a newer version of Family Tree Maker, download the free Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition (it's a 14-day trial) to import the FBC file, and then use your new, Family Tree Maker 2005 created file as the source for importing to your updated version of Family Tree Maker.

Note: If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the FBC file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open FBC files, see our How to Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How to Convert an FBC File

If you need to convert your FBC file for use in Family Tree Maker 2008 through 2014, follow these instructions at MacKiev.com.

Family Tree Maker can convert an FBC file to a .GED (GEDCOM Genealogy Data) file with the File > Copy / Export Family File menu option, 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 Your 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 that 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.

However, if you do have an FBC file but it's not working like it should, see Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the FBC file, what programs or tools you've tried with it already, and then I'll see what I can do to help.

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