RM File Structure Defined

I’m upgrading to RM9 on my iMac. Is there a discussion of file management for RM? I’m new to RM, and would like to better understand how RM stores data. as I think I may have erred in my setup(s).

In my “Documents” folder, without a sub-folder, there are two sets of <MillerFT (‘date’).rmgb> files. MillerFT is my basic file, my 1st one named “Miller FT” and the second, a new one “MillerFTApril21”. I assume these are my data sets. Then there is a <MillerFTApril21.rmgc> file…not sure what this is.

Also, under a sub-folder named “MillerFTApril21_media” in Documents, there are ~260 media files.

There is a second sub-folder “RootsMagic8” containing a file <MillerFTApril21.rmtree>.

I did originally buy the RM8 older version, then upgraded to the new fully MAC upgrade. And now, getting ready to install RM9.

The different file types to me, a “newbie” wishing to use RM more extensively, are confusing.

Do I set up a sub-folder for my upgraded RM9 tree? what is the difference between .rmgb and .rmgc files? Will a new Media file get set up for RM9. What is the .rmtree folder?

I wish there was a dissertation on how these structures are setup and what they accomplish. I am a bit cautious to setup RM9 before I go ahead and possibly make things even more messed up!

There are only really three things to worry about. The .rmtree file(s) are your database(s) for RM8/RM9, the .rmgc file(s) are RM7 database(s). The _media folder is where you media should be (to keep things simple, although it’s not mandatory). Last is the .rmgb/.rmbackup files which are backups of your databases from RM7/RM8-9 respectively. If you’re using RM9 now the .rmgc/.rmgb files won’t be updated any more but you may want to move them somewhere for safekeeping.

I personally have a layout like this:
Documents:Rootsmagic:mainrmdb.rm8 (copy of RM8 db renamed to .rm8 before conversion)
Documents:Rootsmagic:mainrmdb.rmgc (kept for safekeeping)
Documents:Rootsmagic:mainrmdb (yyyy-mm-dd).rmbackup (save one per month indefinitely)
Documents:Rootsmagic:mainrmdb (yyyy-mm-dd).rmgb (save one per month indefinitely)
Documents:Rootsmagic:mainrmdb_media: (media folder used by all versions)

Important to update the folders in the Settings panel to point to the right places.

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The folder name is indicative of how media from ancestry.com gets stored when downloaded via treeshare. The format is Ancestry Tree Name_media. If you use treeshare that would explain how that folder got created.

Also, it’s common to store backups in a subdirectory labelled “backups” or some such thing to avoid confusing them with database files. Just be sure to define the subdirectory in Settings as Keith suggests.

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I use:


I copied my v8 data to the 9 folder and Then coverted it. This way I can still use 8 before I dive into 9.


Thanks for the speedy response! Here is a before/after structure based on your advice:

Documents/RootsMagic8/MillerFTApril2021.rmtree (subfolder) from Ancestry treeshare
Documents/MillerFTApril2021_media (subfolder) contains 260+ media files
Documents/MillerFT (2020-10-30).rmgb. (no subfolder) my 1st RM7 backup?
Documents/MillerFTApril2021 (2021-04-21).rmgb. (no subfolder) RM8 backups?
Documents/MillerFTApril2021 (2021-04-29).rmgb. (no subfolder) RM8 backups?Documents/MillerFTApril2021 (2021-04-30).rmgb. (no subfolder) RM8 backups?

As you will observe, I’ve just been experimenting with RM…heavily into Ancestry…but very interested in using RM more. I have not used RM since April, 2021, and then just to see how it works. I used Ancestry Treeshare to bring in my Ancestry file and browse RM capabilities. My Ancestry data is far advanced from the view back in 2021! So, I’m wondering, maybe I should just delete the .rmtree file, the .rmgb and .rmgc backups, and the media folder. Then set up a new file structure in RM “Setup” and initiate an Ancestry Treeshare…basically starting over. I am not worried about losing the backups as I have not been actively using RM (I want to change that!).
Will all the media be brought in again? I don’t want to lose the files. In a new “Treeshare”, are they all brought in again, duplicating what is already there?

New Structure if I “start over”:

Documents/RootsMagic9. datafile
Documents/RootsMagic9/Backup. backups
Documents/RootsMagic9/Media. media

I’m assuming a new Treeshare will drop a new file in the datafile, and media to the media file?

Thanks in advance for your advice! Am I the only one struggling with this? I’d love to see a detailed writeup on how this works…perhaps it is there, and I’ve missed it!

Be aware that when you Download from Ancestry via TreeShare, the Media will reside in the name of your file plus _media (ie: Smith_media)

Ancestry & RM don’t know YOUR file structure so they will default to something generic as above.

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Just a minor suggestion - I would have used


for the datafile so that your folder naming structure was consistent across all the RM folders.

Then when we get to RootsMagic10, …….


Thanks for the help!

If I delete all RM7/8 files, including <Documents/MillerFTApril2021_media> which has 260 or so media files, and “start over” with an RM9 Ancestry Treeshare, will all the media come over? Can I set up a file in Settings-Media called <Documents/RootsMagic9/Media> which receives a new media file (eg “Smith_media”) as you noted?

Thanks, JP!

You are suggesting I do it like this:

Documents/RootsMagic9/Data. datafile
Documents/RootsMagic9/Backup. backups
Documents/RootsMagic9/Media. media

I’ll initiate a brand new Ancestry Treeshare, and actively use RM9 for future updates.

I would NOT delete anything.

The “Smith_media” folder is automatically created by RM when you TreeShare from Ancestry. Here are some of mine -

You probably have media connected to Events for people already. When you download from Ancestry, the media may not be connected to Events the way you’d like. Keeping your older files will show you how they are connected. You can make adjustments with the new file.

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  1. What are definitions for file extensions:


  1. All one needs for default RM9 folders would be:


These need to be entered in Folder Settings

  1. Brand new Ancestry Tree Share Data is brought in to the default file above

I am assuming the Tree Share brings in a whole new Media Set? Can I assign default folder:


Entered in Folder Settings

  1. I won’t delete any old, obsolete files…in effect, I’m starting fresh, anew, with RM9. Have I got this correct? I’ve been reading a bit all the Community comments which seem to cast some doubt…are these just a few, or is discontent an issue? I want to get off Ancestry, but will have to learn a new GUI! Most software comparisons are positive…maybe it’d just that on MAC!?

Footnote: NOT using my old outdated RM8 file, not converting to RM9

I do appreciate the advice, I must sound like I’m in left field!

RMTREE is the extension for v8 and v9

RMGC is the extension for v7

RMGB is the extension for Backups of v7

RMBACKUP is the extension for Backups of v8 and v9

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So I successfully setup an RM9 file in Documents, with Data, Backups, and Media. Using Ancestry Tree Share, my new .rmtree file came into the Data subfolder, as did the new set of media in a Subfolder Data/mytree_ media. I backed up the new file and it is in the new Backup folder. Evidently, you don’t need the separate “Media” folder as the media just slides into the Data folder.

Thanks for all the advice! Now I can move on learning how to use RM! I do believe a detailed dissertation on how these file structures work would be extremely helpful to newcomers! Maybe as a YouTube, of Wiki instruction.

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Well not if the only media comes down from Ancestry via Treeshare. But if you were to add some media from elsewhere, or, say, download from Ancestry independently of Treeshare, then I would suggest that the Media folder would be a good place to store it. Keeping the 2 sets of media separate is probably a good idea.

Some users further sub-divide their media but putting it in subfolders.

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