RootsMagic Downgrade

Hi, I see some of you are using RootsMagic 7 and/or 8 instead of 9 because they work better for you.

Have you ever downgraded RootgsMagic?

And did you pay for 7 or 8 if you downgraded and downloaded 7 or 8? Thanks!

There are users that have returned to a previous version for various reasons. They use a GEDCOM to move backwards. If you’re asking if they purchased RM7 or RM8 after moving backwards that would not be possible. Only the current version of the software is for sale. You cannot purchase an older key.

A user should use what ever version or company work best for them.
There is NO one piece of software that is going to work best for everyone for all scenarios.
However, the users decision to use one main software / versions should be based on objective measures and criteria vs subjective.

There is nothing wrong with using other software that works better for some scenarios. However, the user would need to understand the challenges and risks of moving between them.


Thank you for your help :slight_smile:

RM7 is so much easier to use for beginners to genealogy than versions 8 or 9. I wish the developers would consider making that version again available for purchase. I would be willing to buy several copies of version 7 myself to give to beginners. As the newbies become more experienced, they could then move up to the most current version of RM available. I began with Family Origins 2 or 3 that was then out of date but being sold in a discount bin. I liked the program then and have upgraded to every new FO and RM version since them.

There is an “Essentials” version of RM7 which is functional, but without some tools an experienced researcher might want, but you can no longer license it. Some folks bought and licensed RM7 and/or RM8 and then RM9 when it came out. They are likely the ones who returned to RM7. I have both 7 and 9; I use RM7 99% of the time but there is one function RM7 doesn’t have that I must use RM9 for - fixing my source citations. RM7 just works better for me. I don’t care for RM9 at all.

I see that all the previous versions of RootsMagic are currently available for download from the RM website. I assume these are intended for current users of older versions to be able to add one of these versions to a newly purchased computer and one would need the “key” from their earlier purchase to activate the newly installed older version they downloaded.

However, if a new user downloaded version 7 for example, could they install and use it in the RM7 essentials format just as new users did when 7 was the current version. That would allow the beginner to genealogy to take advantage of the simpler format before deciding to move on to version 9.

The RM7 download without entering a key is the free Essential version. I wouldn’t recommend getting a beginner started on a version that is obsolete. Have them start in the current version, that will lead to less frustration for them.


Thanks everyone for the input. I wish there were still options to download the full versions of 7 or 8 to see which I prefer.

Version 8 is very similar to 9. The big change came from Version 7 to versions 8 and 9. Personally I prefer the less cluttered visual features of RM7.This morning I “played” with the display features on RM9.

Choosing contrasting colors and removing the picture icon helped make the screen appearance less cluttered. For younger eyes the visual simplicity may not be an issue. For some of us senior users, we prefer simpler visuals. It is easier to adapt to new features than adjust to visuals in my opinion.

Is there any possibility of keeping the updated features and having the choice of a display mode similar to RM7?

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I had to change the screen appearance too. I basically did what you did but I changed everything to that steel grey. I’d like to get rid of that awful blue that highlights the current person. I would certainly support having the choice of a RM7 user interface screen. I might actually use RM9 then. :slightly_smiling_face:

RM7 is obsolete and only works on windows OS. RM8 was a very buggy alpha version of RM9. The latter is the current program and is supported. It works fairly well and the hope is that in a year or so it will be good. Other programs exist but only FTM has the excellent all data person display that RM sort of has which for me is an essential feature.

I have only used two programs for genealogy in my 30+ years of researching, Family Origins and RM. FO was “obsolete” when FTM bought it and killed it at version 8.2 some 30 years ago. However, until 2023, that program chugged along until an update to Windows made it unable to export a gedcom. Which is why I’m now with RM7. Until they improve RM9’s user interface, RM7 will be the version of choice for me and others as well.

FTM never bought FO. You might want to scan through this 12 part blog post on the history of RM. It details what happened to Family Origins and how it mutated to RM.

At one point, one company owned FTM and controlled the distribution rights to FO, but this company owned a boatload of other software, including several other genealogy programs, such as the now defunct Ultimate Family Tree.

There have been no comments from development that I have seen that indicate if there is any way they can provide the clean views of the RM7 program screens in RM9. That would be nice if that could be done. But assuming it is not, why cannot the RM7 program be sold, as is, with the explanation that TreeShare with Ancestry is not available since many researchers will never use that feature. There could be an explanation for the purchasers of the older RM7 that there would not be further enhancements and refer the user to the latest version for new features.

Users that are serious about their own work and accuracy will probably never download large sections of trees/databases from Ancestry and FamilySearch to their own databases.

I personally have added thousands of entries to RM7 with very few problems with error violations over several years. The program is certainly not obsolete for those who do lots of data entry by hand, one person/family at a time. Must admit I hope not to lose the FamilySearch hints when using RM7.

In my opinion the two versions serve different types of researchers. Please reconsider the decision to not sell RM7. Or perhaps, simpler, could one purchase RM9 but use the purchase key to activate the full version of RM7 in addition, and toggle back and forth between the two versions as the user finds useful.

I’ve read the whole bloody story before. When they stopped marketing and supporting FO altogether, FTM was offered as a replacement to FO. I kept using FO - I got what I needed from it - a place to keep my family members, and their history with a user interface that was easy to navigate. I used it for 30 Years. RM9 doesn’t work for me and believe me, I have TRIED numerous times to get used to that interface but I just can’t. At the same time I bought RM9, i also bought that other well know program that ranks, for me, between RM7 and RM9 with RM7 at the top. The original poster wants the same thing I (and likely others) do; a user interface similar to RM7, with the added functionality of RM9.

Nonetheless, FTM didn’t buy anything. I worked for the company at that time and did tech support for the genealogy group right up until the time when The Learning Company spun off the genealogy unit along with the church software they acquired from Parsons. If you knew the history already, then you shouldn’t have made a false statement.

As for the user interface, I am among those that dislike the RM9 UI. I still use RM7 and will only use RM9 when I dump my Ancestry tree and need to upload a fresh one. I believe that if one were to drill far enough back to the pre-RM8 previews, one might find my posts describing the then RM8 UI as cartoonish. I also describe it as being poorly laid out numerous times. That is unless Renee got busy and deleted the posts after the fact, which she has been known to do…a lot.

If I could figure out why FO won’t export a gedcom so I could fix it, I’d be using FO still. As for who killed “J.R.”, it’s immaterial. He’s still dead and knowing who killed him won’t bring him back to life. I hold FTM responsible, no matter the spin in a blog.

I am sure they appreciate the blame for what was Mattel’s decision when they spent way too much money buying The Learning Company and found themselves having to suck up to the shareholders.

I just today “upgraded” from RootsMagic 3 (yes, three) to 9, and so far I’m glad I got it for half price, as I don’t care for the new version (yet). I’ve been using version 3 since about 2006 and grew so accustomed to the way it worked that the new one is totally alien to me. For now I’m continuing with 3 until I get 9 figured out. I agree that it would be nice if a version 9 license would activate any previous version.