Geni 101

NOTE: This guide was put together in my free time – If you have questions regarding please use the official outlets for support.

This tutorial will walk you through some of the basics of It was initially created to help my family, so if you think something is missing, just let me know.  You can also get more help from Geni on their official help page or by watching any of their great video tutorials.

In This Guide

Get Started

Your Homepage

  • Your home page is customized to you
  • On the left hand side you will see a series of links
  • This provides you with shortcuts to common actions like adding photos or updating your profile
  • Under your quick links on the left hand side you will see statistics regarding your family and news from (this is where you can see new features)
  • Across the top, tabs direct you to several features of your family tree including your timeline, photos and profile
  • In the center you will find the most recent changes made by yourself and your family members.  You can also add a news item of your own.
  • If you haven’t completed your profile, above the family news you will see a box with a link to ‘Complete your profile’
  • On the right hand side you will see your inbox and a form that will allow you to invite more family members.  To see all family members that need to be invited click ‘more’ next to ‘Complete Your Family’
  • Below these forms you will see who is online and who has been online recently

Editing Your Profile

  • Click ‘Edit Profile’ to the right of your basic profile information
  • The first screen will ask you for basic information such as birth, baptism, name and email address
  • Clicking Save & Continue will bring you to the next section of your profile, where you can update your relationships
  • Next you can enter a small description about yourself (for the deceased, I’ve been using this field for obituaries).
  • Personal includes information about your appearance and beliefs – this is of course optional.
  • On the next section you can enter your contact information, remember that only family will see your information
  • The next two sections let you enter work and school history – this is useful when trying to find people down the road
  • The last section is for favorites and is really just for fun
  • In addition to editing your profile, you can edit the profiles of those who have not registered or are deceased.  Including as much info about these people as possible makes it easy to research them in the future.

Adding Photos

  • You can add photos in many different ways
  • You can click on the Photos tab on the top and then on ‘Add Photos’ to the right
  • You can click ‘Add Photos’ on the left hand menu on your homepage
  • Or you can click ‘add photos’ on an event’s page
  • Using one of the first two methods will bring up a form that will allow you to pick files to upload from your computer
  • You can use a simple upload form
  • Or a more advanced upload form
  • At the bottom of both forms, you’re given the option to create a new album or use an existing album
  • After uploading, you’re asked to identify people in the pictures.  You will be presented with a list of names of people on your tree
  • Click Save when you’re done tagging pictures
  • When adding photos to events you’re offered one more option – to pick from existing photos

Editing Photos

  • When you view photos that you uploaded you have options for editing below the image
  • You can click on ‘[edit]’ next to any of the categories to make edits.  When you click ‘[edit]’ next to ‘Event’, you’ll see a pull down of events you attended or are a fan of
  • To add yourself as a fan or attendee at an event, see the Events section below
  • Lastly to tag people in photos after uploading you click the identify button above the picture
    Identify Button
  • Then you click on the faces you want to identify and search for their name in the box that appears
  • When you’re done you click the ‘Done identifying’ button above the picture to save your changes
    Done Identifying


  • An event is created for every life event on your profile.  If you are married there will be an event for your marriage, if you put in your work and school history, those too will show up as events on the timeline on your profile.
  • The above events are created just by adding information to your profile – see Updating Your Profile in this guide for more info.
  • Below is an example of how not to add these events
  • If you’ve added events this way you can easily delete them by clicking ‘delete’ in the top right of the event
  • Why do you want to delete the event?  Because it will show twice on the family timeline and that can be confusing to other family members.

Adding Photos to Events

  • You can add pictures to these events by clicking the event and then choosing ‘add photos’
  • TIP: If you have pictures for an event that might be on someone else’s timeline (such as someone else’s marriage) you should go to their profile and find the event on their timeline instead of creating a new event.
  • By default all people tagged in images associated with an event will be added to the list of event attendees.  If you were there, but there are no pictures of you – you can add yourself as an attendee by clicking ‘I was there’
  • If you weren’t at the event, but still want it to appear on your timeline, you just have to become a fan of the event

Invite Family

  • You can invite family by entering their email address on the family tree (if there is no box for an email address, this is because the family member has already been invited)
  • You can also invite family by clicking ‘invite’ in the top right of your screen.  This will open up a window with everyone on your tree

Merging duplicate family members

  • Sometimes duplicates are added to the tree, but this is simple to fix.
  • Go to the tree view for the person in question.
  • Click More under the person’s profile
  • A menu will appear with options for this person
  • Click Move this person to merge them with the other occurrence of their profile.
  • A box will appear to the the right of your screen with a copy of the person
  • Click and drag the person on the right over the person on the tree view that you want to merge him with
  • A menu will appear asking how the two people are related
  • If you want to merge two people, choose ‘They’re the same person’ from the list and it will then prompt you to confirm the merge.
  • You can also use this functionality to move people that were put on the tree in the wrong place.

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