College of FAA: FileMaker Pro: Converting A Database

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This article applies only to Faculty, Staff and Students of the College of Fine and Applied Arts (FAA).
For more information, please contact Technology Services Managed IT Services via:


This document explains how to convert an older Filemaker Pro database so that it may be opened by a newer version of the software.

Impacted Systems

  • Any Filemaker database that is not hosted on a Filemaker server


Technology Services at FAA ensures that the databases hosted on our Filemaker servers are kept up-to-date so that they may be opened by current versions of the Filemaker client software.

However, if you are storing an older Filemaker database on your own computer, in a Box folder, or on a server share, it may have fallen behind the version of the Filemaker software installed on your computer. You’ll know this is the case when you try to open the file and instead receive a message that the database needs to be converted. Fortunately, Filemaker itself will walk you through a simple conversion process.

  1. When you try to open a Filemaker database and receive a 'Convert this database' message, it’s time to convert. In the message window, check the box to ‘Rename old file as’, and click OK. Filemaker will append ‘Old’ to the original file name and keep a copy.
  2. In the ‘Name converted file’ dialogue that follows, select a filename and location, and click ‘Save’. It’s OK to select the same location as the original, since the new .fp12 file extension will distinguish the new file from the original, even if you skip the renaming step above.
  3. The conversion should take very little time; the larger and more complex the database, the longer it will take, but most will complete within a minute or two. Once it completes, you'll have two copies of the database: the original but renamed "Database XXX Old.fmp7", and the new "Database XXX.fp12", which will automatically open.The new .fp12 file format of your converted database means that it can only be opened with Filemaker 12 or above, but not by Filemaker 11 or below.By the same token, files with the older .fp7 extension can only be opened with Filemaker 11 or below, and Filemaker 12 or above can only convert them.
  4. You’ll find a file called ‘conversion.log’ in the same location as the new database, which lists everything that was done during the conversion. You may safely delete this once you’re satisfied that the conversion went well.

While Filemaker makes every effort to provide a seamless transition, there may be functions or features that are deprecated between software versions. You may also notice that fonts and spacing have changed from one version to another. For this reason, we strongly encourage that you investigate all database functionality as soon as possible after an upgrade.


Keywords:file maker   Doc ID:72345
Owner:FAA-IT W.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2017-04-05 15:03 CSTUpdated:2020-09-24 14:57 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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