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Frequently Asked Questions

Upgrading to Ancestral Quest 16

What are the System Requirements for AQ 16?

Visit the System Requirements page of our website.

I downloaded and installed the latest upgrade for Ancestral Quest, but can you tell me...

Why cannot I access the new features? When I try, it says I am running Ancestral Quest Basics. I had purchased an upgrade with a new 16 key, so why is this happening?
You just need to enter the new AQ 16 Registration Key into the program:
  1. Within Ancestral Quest 16, go to the menu bar and select Help, then Register Ancestral Quest.
  2. Type in the new 16 key. Use all capital letters and be sure to include the hyphen (-) characters.
  3. Then click the Register and Continue or Save and Continue button. You will receive notice that the key was entered correctly, or to try again.
  4. With the AQ 16 Registration Key successfully entered, the new features of AQ 16 will be unlocked, and you will be good to go.
I have installed and registered AQ 16, but the Color Coding and Tags tools are grayed out. Why can't I access those features?
If those items are grayed out, you may be editing a Personal Ancestral File (.paf) database in AQ. While this is a convenient feature of AQ, there are limitations on using a .paf database in Ancestral Quest. These limitations as well as the instructions for converting the .paf file to an .aq file are found on the Database Formats FAQs page of our site.
Why is my previous version of Ancestral Quest still on my computer after installing the upgrade?
Like many Windows programs, when you install Ancestral Quest 16, it does not replace or remove your previous version. It is installed in addition to your previous version(s).
Where is the new version I just installed?


If you look carefully on your Windows Desktop, you should see an icon for your newly installed version of Ancestral Quest in addition to the icon for your previous version. You will also find both programs listed when you click on the Start button to view All Programs.


Within your Dock along the bottom of the screen, click on the Finder icon (the smiley face). Once you are in Finder, click to open the Applications folder. If you do not see Applications, go up to the menu bar and select Go, then Applications. Your Ancestral Quest app should appear amongst your other apps on your Mac.

Can I uninstall my previous version?
You can simply delete the icon for the previous version of AQ from your Desktop, or, you can uninstall your previous version, as desired. To uninstall, use the following steps, where xx represents your previous version number:
  1. Click on the Windows Start button
  2. Point to All Programs
  3. Point to Ancestral Quest xx
  4. Click on Uninstall Ancestral Quest xx.
  5. Within the InstallShield Wizard, select Remove and click Next
  6. Complete the process.
How does the upgrade affect the collaboration feature?
The format of the collaboration database file used in AQ 16 is different from the earlier versions of Ancestral Quest. The database will need to be converted, and everyone accessing your collaborative file must also upgrade to AQ 16 when you upgrade the database to version 16. There are some specific instructions available that will help to make that conversion smooth and hassle-free. Please refer to the special Tip on Upgrading your Collaboration files found on this page of our website.
Do I need to re-enter my data in the new version?
No. While the databases that you had used in your earlier version of Ancestral Quest will need to be converted to a new format, you do not need to re-enter your information.
How do I get my custom reports, field filters, custom timeline entries, and/or web search sites into the new version?
Some of the customization that AQ creates is stored in files saved to the program folder. You can copy these custom files over to your newly installed version of AQ.
  1. Open up your Windows Explorer and go to the Program folder for your previous version of AQ (where xx, below, represents your previous version number), which is probably either:
    • C:\Program Files\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx for 32-bit Windows systems, or
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx for 64-bit Windows systems
  2. Then locate and select the desired files:
    • any Custom Report Layouts, which are files with an extension of .lyt,
    • any Field Filters, which have an extension of .fld,
    • your custom Timeline entries (events or people) that you have added, which are stored in a file named AQTLEventsU.txt, and/or
    • the Custom Internet Searches file, named websites.txt
  3. Note: If you do not see the files there, then you should find them in the virtual store, which is typically found at: C:\users\your-windows-username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx.
  4. Now copy those files.
  5. Use Windows Explorer and go to the Program folder for your new version of AQ, which is probably either:
    • C:\Program Files\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 32-bit Windows systems, or
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 64-bit Windows systems
  6. Paste the files here
Your custom items will now be available in your new version of AQ.
How do I update my copy of the program on my removable device (AQ2Go! - Available only on Windows).
Simply copy the entire program folder of the new version of AQ, which is probably either:
  • C:\Program Files\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 32-bit Windows systems, or
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 64-bit Windows systems
over to the removable device.

For more information about this feature, visit the AQ2Go! page on this site.
I have an older Registration Key that I had purchased for version 12.x or 14. I was able to install AQ 15 and my older key worked to unlock the premium features of that older version plus the free new features of AQ 15. That does not seem to work the same way in AQ 16... Why?
Ancestral Quest 15 was very unique in the way that upgrades were handled: If you had previously purchased an AQ 14 or AQ 12.x Registration Key, you could download and install AQ 15, and all of the features you have had access to within your paid version of AQ 14/12.x would still be available in AQ 15 with your older Registration Key, and you found new improvements and enhancements of version 15. You would also see the new premium features (items in menus and other options), but were not able to use those major new features of AQ 15 unless you purchased an upgrade to a version 15 Registration Key.

With Ancestral Quest 16, this soft upgrade is no longer available. If you want to continue to use the premium features of your older version you paid for in the new version 16, you will need to purchase the upgrade to AQ 16. (If you choose to not purchase an upgrade to version 16, Ancestral Quest will run as AQ Basics.

To find out about the new features in AQ 16, and access the order screen (if desired), visit this page on our website.
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