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You Are Not Recognized as an Online User

When you install Family Tree Maker and run it for the first time, it creates a Unique ID Number and stores it in the FTW.ini file. When you use the Online button, Family Tree Maker not only launches your browser, it also passes this number on to the web site. Several things can happen now:

1 - If you are doing this for the first time, the web site will not recognize this number yet and assume that you are a new user and display the Welcome! page. Scroll to the bottom of this page and select New Online User if you have never registered as an Online user. Please don't confuse this with the customer registration, they are unrelated.

You'll be prompted to fill out a form with some basic information so that the web site can store the information associated with that unique ID number and recognize you in the future. It will also store a cookie on your hard drive with that number inside which it uses for verification on future visits so that you get automatic access.

2 - If you have gone Online through Family Tree Maker before and are already registered as an Online user, and are using the same computer and browser, the web site should be able to match your unique ID number against its database. It will recognize you, makes sure you have a cookie on your hard drive with that number stored in it, and gives you access to the members-only areas, such as user home pages etc.

3 - If you have gone Online through Family Tree Maker before and are already registered as an Online user, but are using a new computer, reinstalled Family Tree Maker after reformatting your hard drive or installing a new hard drive, a new unique ID was created and the web site will not recognize this new number and display the Welcome! page. Since you have already registered previously as an Online user, you need to select the Verify Old Account option. Do NOT select New Online User! If you do that, you will end up with multiple Online user accounts and have difficulties being identified by the web site.

When you select Verify Old Account, you will be prompted for your Zip Code and the last four digits of your phone number. Enter those and then click the Submit button. Make sure you use the same phone and Zip as when you logged on and established the account the first time. If you entered your Zip Code with five digits during registration, you'll need to enter it that way again for verification. If you entered it with nine digits, you'll need to enter nine digits again for verification.

The web site will compare this information against its database and try to identify you. If it finds your record, it will update your record with the new unique ID number, reset the cookie on your hard drive and grant you access as you had before.

If it returns an error that it was not able to verify you, you either entered the information incorrectly, or there are more than one account that match these criteria and it cannot make a positive ID. In this case, you need to contact Tech Support at 1-510-794-6850 to get this issue resolved.

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