Run Legacy from Dropbox | Legacy Family Tree

Legacy Family TreeThere’s no such thing, technically speaking, as running Legacy from Dropbox.

Dropbox is a storage location; it’s not an operating system.

There are many ways of running the same Legacy Family Tree database on multiple computers but this is probably the simplest way to run Legacy from Dropbox, meaning using the database stored on Dropbox.

  • Install Legacy on all your computers. If you have the Deluxe version, enter your Customer ID in all of them.
  • Sign up for a free Dropbox account and install Dropbox on all your computers.
  • Make a folder in your My Dropbox folder for Legacy Backups.
  • Before you close Legacy on your computer, make a backup by clicking the Backup button. Make sure your settings point to your Legacy Backups folder in My Dropbox.

Legacy Backup

  • When you go to your other computer, instead of opening the FDB file as usual, use the Restore Family File option instead. It will ask to close the presently open family file. Then browse to your Legacy Backups folder in My Dropbox and choose the most recently dated zip folder.

Restore Family File, Legacy

  • When you leave Legacy on this second computer, do the same thing again. Back up to the Legacy Backups folder in My Dropbox.
  • Set the Legacy backup path on all your computers to the same folder in My Dropbox.
  • From now on, you’re always using the Restore Family File option no matter which computer you’re on and choosing the most recent file.


When you’re moving between computers make sure your Dropbox is fully synced before you switch. Look for the little icon in your system tray and make sure there’s a green tick on it, not two white arrows twirling around.

If you have other folders containing files linked to Legacy, you can keep them in My Dropbox and set the file-paths to them on each of your computers. In Legacy look under Options/Customize/Locations/View Current List of Multimedia Locations:

File-Paths, Legacy Family Tree

Next to this box is a ‘Change’ button that will allow you to browse to the location you want.

Or you could have them linked locally on each computer in some other way. You can use the Multimedia backup in Legacy. It depends how you do your backups.

I back up from my desktop to an external hard-drive and then from the external hard-drive to my laptop. So they both have the exact same files. If you don’t have enough room in Dropbox to keep all your genealogy files, something like this would work.

Anything I put in Dropbox is also backed up to several external hard-drives daily. I don’t keep a single copy of anything on a cloud service.

Or, you could run Legacy from SugarSync. Just right-click on the Legacy folder at C:/Legacy and add the whole thing to SugarSync. I don’t recommend running your genealogy database from any cloud service or keeping your files on them because ultimately you don’t have control. A site may shut down suddenly or have security breaches. People do it and have done it for years but user beware.

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