Will Shareable Drives work for what I want to do?


I’d like to create gift thumb drives for my children with RootsMagic and a TreeShare copy of my family’s Ancestry tree. The Ancestry account is not mine, but I have access to it at present. My goal is to give them a complete archive (with all the photos, documents, comments, etc.) that they can view in the future when there may be no Ancestry account to look at (one never knows), with the ability to connect their thumb drives to my computer and update the database file in the meantime. Will Shareable Drives do everything I want, or am I looking at having to buy multiple copies of the full app to do it?

I also wonder how much work is involved in getting the downloaded tree working 100% in RM8 or 9. Is a 100% accurate conversion achievable, or will something inevitably be lost/scrambled in the process? Does the paid version do anything more/better in this regard than the free one?

This would probably be done using a Win10 PC, but I’m seriously considering a new Mac in the near future so any Mac-specific issues would be good to know as well. Are both versions of RM equally stable? Would a database created on one be compatible with the other?

Am I on the right track with this idea, or is there a better/easier way to go about something like this? Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Shareable Drive would include media, where RM To-Go Essentials would not have media included. (Neither need a license key) The Shareable Drive database cannot be modified. You will want to download the Ancestry tree using TreeShare so it has all your data. If you were expecting them to get on TreeShare they wouldn’t be able to do that with a Shareable Drive. They also would not have access to your tree online unless you made them all editors of your tree. They will have everything they need with a TreeShare download. Keep in mind that Shareable Drive and RM To-Go Essentials are specific to operating system installed on. Meaning if you install either from a Windows computer only those on a Windows computer can use it. If you installed from a Mac it can only be used on the Mac. The database can be used either on a Mac or Window computer, but the program files for the Shareable Drive and RM To-Go Essentials are specific to the OS. You can put both on the same flash drive. First installing from one OS and then from the other.


Thank you for the detailed reply. That helps a lot. Shareable Drives sound like they’ll work. I’ll play with them and see how it goes. Thanks again.

Well, that was fast. Shareable Drives are available only in the paid version, so I guess I can’t find out if they’ll work for me unless I spend $40 first. Hmm. FWIW that detail doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere that I can find other than when I try to create one.

Also, the two underlined links in this screenshot (taken in RM9 free) need to be updated:

Specifically, “Learn more about…” is broken;
and “See all the extra features…” links to an RM8 list, not RM9.

What is the “info panel” that’s listed under Organize Your Information in the RM8 feature List? I don’t see anything called that in the application.

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Aha, thanks for the quick response! The RM8 feature list says that panel will “Display relationships to root person in info panel”, but I don’t see it appearing there.
Am I misunderstanding something?

You need to Set Relationships for that feature to display. It’s a menu choice under the Pen icon in the People Window.

Once set, the relationship will display under the b/d dates.
Screenshot 2023-07-13 at 5.44.14 PM
Note that the person being compared to can be different than the root person, though that generally makes sense. For example, highlight the root person, then go to set relationship as shown in the screenshot above and click the “Set relationships” button. That should do it.

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Set Relationships is also found among the functions within the Command Palette screen (painter’s palette icon upper right).

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Thank you both; I appreciate it. I can see I’ve got a bit of a learning curve, and a lot of reading, ahead of me.

I have gone a stage further, created a Roots Go USB drive which also contains a mass of other Family files like all the Photographs, PDFs of actual Certificates, images of medals, memorabilia, PDF booklets of Family History and stories. Videos and Slideshows are also included.

Cousins have USB drives with the above which also includes a Gedcom, images of census returns, war records etc. in fact stand alone versions of everything that is in the RM Media.

Closer family have on their USB drive the above but also my Raw DNA file with a digital letter allowing them to use the Raw DNA file as they see fit.

There is also a digital file detailing all my User Access information and Passwords.

These are part of what will be passed on to my Family


Confirming RM Essentials links needing to be updated have been noted.

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That sounds amazing. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get at least part of the way there. Thanks for sharing!

OK, I purchased the full version today, and created a Shareable Drive. That was very straightforward, but I have a question about using it. I noticed that the Descendants View, along with the views using the icons to the right of that one, are all disabled. Is this the expected behavior?

Here’s a detailed feature comparison of what’s in the free versus the full version. (See the People page section for your specific question.)
==> Feature List

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Thank you; I’ve bookmarked that. What I was wondering is whether the Shareable Drive is supposed to have the same functionality (aside from being read-only, of course) as the full version. In my first test of the Shareable Drive the Descendants View, People List and Couple List are disabled.

Since you gone through the process (I never have)… Yes, a read-only RootsMagic Essentials program installation and your data is theirs for the perusing. Essentials only has Pedigree and Family views.

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The full version of the program is not available until the license key is entered. The Shareable Drive and RM To-Go Essentials do not use a license key. You cannot share the license key with others.

This is a list of Essential vs Full Version Features

Seems to me that $40 is a small price to pay for so many presents to others you love – and it supports the company that provides us these wonderful services.

Oh, I wasn’t commenting on the price; not at all. Just that I had to purchase the full app before I could see if it would work for what I wanted. I would’ve preferred a short, free trial of the full app so I wouldn’t have to guess at the functionality I was interested in.

What I’ve found after spending the money is that the user interface is disappointing. While it may be good for editing a database, it’s far less so for someone just wanting to find people based on relationships. Let’s say I want to find, “Who are my second cousins?” You can’t search for that, and no display/view shows them, at least not that I can find (even in the paid version). And a Shareable Drive is even less functional. In Ancestry the view defaults to a GUI tree of (more or less) one’s entire family – not just a pedigree view, or an immediate-family view, or just long text lists of names. Like I said, disappointing – and I had to buy the app before I could learn that because so much of the functionality was turned off beforehand.

After testing it for a while now in my spare time, I’m not sure whether I’ll continue with this as something to share with others in my family, because I know for a fact that some of them won’t invest the time to figure out the interface. It’s not the easily accessible reference tool I was hoping for.

Not a search but:
Publish->Reports and Charts->Kinship List
Shows Relatives and Relationships

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