Family Historian Installation Advice


The installation and upgrade information on the Family Historian website is the place to go for information on installing and upgrading ƒh as the program authors have a complete guide that answers the majority of the questions.

In the simple case of an upgrade on the same PC, just install ƒh over the existing version. All your Project data and customisations should be inherited automatically by the new ƒh version. However, it is always worthwhile performing a full backup of your data on your PC if you have backup software and also use the Backup and Restore Family Historian Settings plugin to store all the ƒh configuration settings.

If you wish to install ƒh on an Apple Mac or Linux system with or without a Windows Licence then see Family Historian & Ancestral Sources on Mac or Linux as this is not covered on the ƒh website.

ƒh licence information
ƒh support overview

Questions can always be asked on the FHUG Forum if the answers cannot be found on any of the links on this page.

Post Installation

Think about where you will store your FH data

Once you install Family Historian (ƒh) it will create a Family Historian Projects Folder in your Documents Folder. This is a sensible default for your information as it should be a folder that you backup on a regular basis anyway.

However, if you want to change the location you can do so by clicking on the Project Location link at the base of the Project Window and selecting the folder you want to use instead.

Once you have changed the location, you can delete the original Family Historian Projects Folder.

If you want a copy of the Family Historian Sample Project either

  • Move the one from the default folder to your new folder, or
  • Click on the More Tasks… button then select Samples then Reset Sample Project.

Backing Up

As with all your other information on your computer, such as photographs, documents, etc, you should ensure your backup systems include your Family Historian data, see Backup and Recovery for detailed instructions on backing up Family Historian.

Creating an Installation Archive

One frequent problem when reinstalling ƒh is not being able to locate the software or the licence key. If you make an ‘Installation Archive’ as soon as you have completed an install or upgrade, you should be able to find the licence and software again with ease.

First, create an archive folder such as …\Family Historian Archive\ in which to save all the Software Downloads and Licence Details.

For each Full Version or Version Upgrade that you have purchased, save its installation Software Download file. The delivery Email from Calico Pie says:

(5) After the upgrade has completed, you no longer need the file you downloaded. You may keep a single backup copy of it, however, and you are recommended to do so, in case you need to reinstall Family Historian, and re-apply the upgrade, in the future.

Ignore the first sentence, and make an archive backup copy.

Also export each associated Licence Details E-mail as a text file, or type in the Licence Details from a CD boxed set, and save them too. This makes it easy to Copy & Paste the details during the installation process and avoid typing mistakes.

Since ƒh V5 you only need to keep a few details and can delete earlier versions:

  1. Latest purchased installation Software Download file such as:
    • Full Version install_fh6.0.0_dl.exe with only one ƒh version number
    • Version Upgrade upgrade_fh_v5_to_v6.0.0-dl.exe with two different leading version digits
  2. Its associated Licence Name & Registration Key in the E-mail
  3. If it was a Version Upgrade then the previous version Licence Name & Registration Key in the E-mail

You could also save the Latest Free Upgrade Download to avoid the need to download it again. They have filename format upgrade_fh6_to_6.2.6_dl.exe i.e. free upgrade fh6 to 6.2.6 with same leading version digit.

Include this archive folder in your regular backups, or save it to an external drive, CD, DVD, or cloud storage, in case of disk failure.

If you do lose your Software Download or Licence Details then the Family Historian Licence Problems section may provide a solution.


Last update: 31 Jan 2021