Repairing a genealogy GEDCOM (Genealogical Data Communication) file may be necessary when you encounter errors, inconsistencies, or missing data in your genealogical data. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to repair a GEDCOM file.

Note: Before you begin, make sure you have a backup copy of your original GEDCOM file to avoid any data loss.

Step 1: Identify the Issues

  1. Open your GEDCOM file using a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (macOS).
  2. Look for any error messages or unusual characters within the file, such as missing or mismatched tags, incorrect line endings, or unexpected symbols.

Step 2: Use GEDCOM Validation Tools

  1. One of the most effective ways to identify and repair GEDCOM file issues is by using validation tools. Two popular options are:
    • Gedcheck ( This is a free online tool that can analyze your GEDCOM file for errors and generate a report with suggested corrections.
    • GEDitCOM II ( This is a paid genealogy software for macOS that includes advanced GEDCOM validation and repair features.

Step 3: Analyze the Validation Results

  1. Upload your GEDCOM file to the validation tool and follow its instructions.
  2. The tool will generate a report highlighting errors, inconsistencies, or missing data in your GEDCOM file. Review this report carefully to understand the issues.

Step 4: Manually Edit the GEDCOM File

  1. Open your GEDCOM file again in a text editor.
  2. Refer to the validation report and locate the specific lines or sections of your GEDCOM file that need corrections.
  3. Make the necessary changes based on the tool’s recommendations. Be cautious while editing to avoid introducing new errors.
  4. Save the edited GEDCOM file.

Step 5: Revalidate

  1. Re-upload the edited GEDCOM file to the validation tool you used in Step 2.
  2. Ensure that the tool no longer reports the issues that you addressed. If there are still problems, continue editing the file until it passes validation.

Step 6: Import and Test

  1. Import the repaired GEDCOM file into your genealogy software or platform to ensure that it works as expected.
  2. Verify that all individuals, relationships, and other data are intact and correctly structured.

Step 7: Backup Your Repaired GEDCOM File

  1. Once you are confident that the repaired GEDCOM file is working correctly, make a backup of it.
  2. Store the backup in a safe location to prevent data loss in the future.

Step 8: Share Your Repaired GEDCOM

  1. If you intend to share your family tree with others, upload the repaired GEDCOM file to your preferred genealogy platform or service.

Remember that repairing a GEDCOM file can be a complex process, and it’s important to exercise caution to avoid unintentional data loss or corruption. Always keep backups of your original file and any intermediate versions you create during the repair process.