Frequently Asked Installation Questions

All Versions:

Version 5:

Version 4:

Version 3 only:

Version 2 only:


I am trying to download a file from the Downloads page (or an upgrade link) but it isn’t working

There are a number of possible reasons for this. It may just be unlucky timing (too many other people trying to download at the same time). Try leaving it for a few hours, and trying again later. If the problem persists, it may be a firewall issue. It may also be related to security settings on your web-browser. If you have any software that is designed to manage downloads for you, try disabling that. If you have more than one Internet Browser, try using a different one. If you have another PC (e.g. a laptop) try using that. It may just be a question of persistence.

I got an error when I tried to upgrade to version 4

See Upgrading to Version 4.

I can’t find the registration key/code

If you bought a boxed copy of Family Historian, the installation program will tell you to look for the registration key (or registration code – it’s the same thing) on a leaflet inside the box, or on a piece of paper inside the CD envelope. However, in some cases the registration key may be printed in a third location – on the front cover of the booklet “Quick Start Tutorial” at the top.

The installation works but Family Historian won’t run

This can occur if DEP (“Data Execution Prevention”) is enabled for all programs on your PC. In that case, you can solve the problem by simply adding Family Historian to the list of programs for which DEP is not enabled. To do this, open ‘System’ within the Control Panel, and click on the Advanced tab. Click on ‘Settings’ in the Performance area and choose the ‘Data Execution Prevention’ tab. If ‘Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select’ is selected, click the Add button and locate the Family Historian executable (usually located at “c:\program files\family historian\program\fh.exe”). Save the changed settings.

I can’t access the Help

This problem can occur if you have version 3.0 or earlier and are running any version of Windows from Vista onwards. If you have version 3.0, the best solution is to upgrade to the most recent version of Family Historian. The Help has been updated to use a newer and better technology which solves this problem, and the content has been much improved at the same time. However, if you don’t wish to upgrade, you may also be able to solve the problem without upgrading by downloading and installing an extra Help program from the Microsoft website, at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607. We have heard reports that this web page only works properly if accessed using Internet Explorer.

I can’t open the book “Getting the Most From Family Historian”

“Getting Start with Family Historian” is installed as an electronic document. You should be able to open it on your PC by clicking on the appropriate command on the Help menu when running Family Historian, or by clicking on the appropriate command on the Family Historian sub-menu, accessible (under Programs or All Programs) from the Start menu. You need a special program called Adobe Reader to read it. Often, this program will already be installed on your PC. If it isn’t, you need to download and install it (it is a free program). You can download the latest version by clicking on the button below:


Get Adobe Reader

I have version 2.3 or earlier, and I can’t open the user manual

The version 2 user manual is installed as an electronic document. You should be able to view it on your PC by clicking on User Manual on the Help menu when running Family Historian, or by clicking on User Manual on the Family Historian sub-menu, accessible (under Programs or All Programs) from the Start menu. You need a special program called Adobe Reader to read it. Often, this program will already be installed on your PC. If it isn’t, you need to download and install it (it is a free program). You can download the latest version by clicking on the button below:

Get Adobe Reader

I am trying to install version 2.1 or earlier, and it isn’t working

Some very early editions of version 2 will not install on 64-bit versions of Windows or if your 16-bit subsystem is not working. You can get round this problem by downloading a ‘CD-backed Installer’ – see Special CD-Backed Installers for more information. The most common error is “cannot find installation languages in \FH\SETUP.LID”

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