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Is it possible to set your family tree to "view only"?

Is it possible to set your family tree to "view only"?

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  • Accepted Answer

    @erzielinski FamilySearch Family Tree is a public, open-edit tree. Only entries for living people in your portion of the tree are invisible to other users and therefore also not editable.

    If you would like to preserve your Family Tree on FamilySearch, but not have it open to editing by others, you can upload a GEDCOM file to the Pedigree Resource File. Others can view the information, but noone can make any changes. You will need to first create the tree using a different tool, such as personal software or as a tree on a different family history website. Then you can upload it as a GEDCOM to FamilySearch's Pedigree Resource File. When you are ready to upload, you will find instructions in the Help Center article: How do I upload my GEDCOM file?

  • Paul WPaul W ✭✭✭
    edited April 5 Accepted Answer


    You say: " will probably find that people stay remarkably stable for anyone born after about 1800." Sadly, I have not found that true of the individuals on my "Following" list. In spite the attached sources and my notes in the Collaboration sections of their profiles, I still find I have a lot of work to do in detaching incorrectly added sources, children, and dealing with incorrect merges, etc.

    I must still feel this is all worth the trouble, or I would have given up on Family Tree long ago!

    If the original poster does not want their "family tree" to be interfered with, the uploading of the GEDCOM file (as suggested), or simply sticking to ones personal software, would seem better alternatives to using the Family Tree program.


  • If you do this, DO NOT compare that uploaded tree and move those records into Family Tree as you will be risking adding a large number of duplicates to Family Tree that someone will have to merge.

    Also, you should know ahead of time, that if you upload a GEDCOM to FamilySearch, this is just for storage and viewing. Not even you can edit it. If you update your tree, then all you can do is delete the uploaded tree and replace it with your new version.

    Once you get used to the idea that you don't have a tree in Family Tree but that you are just contributing to our common tree and get everyone properly documented and sourced with full information, you will probably find that people stay remarkably stable for anyone born after about 1800. You will also probably find that the contributions of others with documents, photos, and sources you never knew about will offset any concerns about this being a joint project with others.

  • I know that I have not been on the website in a long time, but I understand and echo the concern and question of the Original Poster (OP). When I looked at my family tree here today, I noticed that there has been several erroneous entries made in my family tree by others who know nothing about my family. I have no idea where they got their information and why they decided that it should be on my tree, but the information that they added is flat out wrong. So, I would like to have this erroneous information removed so that I can make the corrections. Being able to make my tree "view/read-only" for those other than myself would help keep this from happening again in the future. If I cannot get this corrected and block erroneous information from being added in the future, then I would prefer that my family tree be removed from this site.

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