Upload DNA to Ancestry

By ⁠Dr. Brandon Colby MD, an expert in clinical genomics, genetic testing, and DNA analysis.

Ancestry does not allow people to upload raw DNA data. The only way to access Ancestry’s information is to purchase a DNA test from them. After a person’s DNA has been tested, their DNA data file can be downloaded from Ancestry to use on other DNA sites such as GEDMatch and ⁠Sequencing.com

About Ancestry’s DNA Site

Ancestry.com is a DNA testing company known for family history research to help users complete a family tree, much like 23andMe offers. Ancestry.com’s DNA testing service is called AncestryDNA.

In addition to being available through Ancestry’s website, they also offer account access through their mobile app available on Apple’s App Store for iOS devices and the Google Play App Store for Android. 

How AncestryDNA Works

ancestry logo

Ancestry prides itself in having advanced autosomal DNA testing technology for genetic genealogy research. The service provides ethnicity estimates along with DNA matches with other people who have taken their test. Since the DNA site does not allow people to ⁠upload DNA to Ancestry, their database for matches is limited to their customers. 

Ancestry.com users can purchase a DNA test from the website or on Amazon. This DNA kit contains everything needed to collect a DNA sample, which is then sent to the company’s lab.

Customers can use their iPad, iPhone, or Android device to register their testing kit. They simply download the Ancestry DNA App, scan the barcode, and provide basic information. Within a few weeks, customers will receive a notification their DNA data has been uploaded to the site and their ancestry report is ready for review.

Similar to FTDNA’s Family Finder and ⁠Sequencing.com’s Relative Matching, Ancestry also provides matches of potential family members. For example, it will identify if anyone else who has taken an AncestryDNA test and opted in for their matching service is related to you based on your DNA.

The good news is while AncestryDNA doesn’t allow uploading of a raw data file, they do allow customers to download their information. With so many free DNA upload sites available, Ancestry DNA test results can be much more valuable to customers. 

The disadvantage to choosing Ancestry for DNA testing is that it’s not as comprehensive as other DNA tests, such as Sequencing.com’s ⁠Ultimate DNA Test or its ⁠whole-genome sequencing service. This may not be much of a problem for getting results from Ancestry, but it can be an issue when trying to get the DNA data further analyzed.

For example, Ancestry’s DNA test does not test the mitochondrial chromosome or the Y chromosome. This means that the data from Ancestry’s DNA test will not contain any data from the mitochondrial or Y chromosomes, which are very important for determining maternal and paternal lineage.

Despite the limitations on the type of DNA test Ancestry provides, the data can still be used in a chromosome browser, which is offered by ⁠FamilyTreeDNA (FTDNA), MyHeritage, and GEDMatch, as well as ⁠Sequencing.com’s Genome Explorer. This makes it possible to dig into the raw DNA data provided by Ancestry, although it likely won’t impact the ability to find unknown relatives.

The other benefits of uploading DNA from Ancestry to other DNA sites such as LivingDNA or Sequencing.com is that it’s possible to learn more about oneself, such as disease risk, medication side effects, and other wellness-related information. 

How To Upload DNA from Ancestry

upload dna to ancestry

It’s easy to access and use your AncestryDNA data.

Ancestry.com makes it easy to download your raw DNA data from your AncestryDNA test. Once downloaded, you can then upload your data to Sequencing.com and use it with our wide variety of DNA analysis apps in our DNA App Store. These apps allow you to use your DNA data for far more than just ancestry.

How To Download Your Ancestry DNA Data And Then Upload And Use It With Apps

  1. Sign in to your Ancestry.com account.
  2. Click on ‘Settings’ on the right near the top of the page.
  3. Click the ‘Download your raw DNA data’ button.
  4. Enter your AncestryDNA password and click the checkbox. 
    • This will trigger an email that will be sent to your AncestryDNA email address, which will include a link to confirm you want to download the DNA data.
    • Open the email from AncestryDNA and click the ‘Confirm data download’ button in the email.
  5. On this download page click the ‘Download Raw DNA Data’ button.
  6. Your ⁠Ancestry raw DNA data file will then download to your computer.
    • If your AncestryDNA account contains genetic data for two or more people, repeat the steps above to download the raw data for each person.
    • Please make sure to open the zip file and rename the file inside.
      • Since the filenames are all the same, it is difficult to determine which file belongs to which person unless you rename the file immediately after it is downloaded to your computer.
      • This is necessary because all files downloaded from AncestryDNA have the same exact filename.
      • This should be done immediately after downloading each file to your computer so you can identify which person that file belongs to.
  7. Go to the ⁠Sequencing’s DNA Upload Center.
  8. Choose the upload option under ‘Upload from My Computer’ and select the AncestryDNA file that was recently downloaded to your computer.
  9. Click Upload. 
    • Your AncestryDNA file will be securely uploaded to your Sequencing.com account.
    • It may take up to 15 minutes before your file appears in your account.

What You Get with the Ancestry DNA Genetic Test

ancestry dna test results

The ancestry report includes genetic information along with ethnicity estimates and information that can be used to identify unknown family members. Test results include genetic data from the maternal and paternal line, which can greatly help those seeking to understand their lineage on both sides of their family. 

The website has a database of individuals’ DNA results. This database can be used by members of the site to identify DNA matches. which can then help contribute to a family story. Census records from the United States as well as other documents are stored on the site to be used by members for data collection. 

Ancestry.com, like many other DNA companies such as ⁠MyHeritage and Sequencing.com, uses the field of genomics to bring DNA research directly to the consumer. 

Try FREE DNA Upload Sites

Ancestry.com may not allow you to upload your DNA data to its site, but there are many other sites that allow DNA uploads. Just read our article on ⁠Free DNA Upload Sites for a complete list of companies you can upload your DNA data file to right now. 


About The Author

Dr. Brandon Colby MD is a US physician specializing in the personalized prevention of disease through the use of genomic technologies. He’s an expert in genetic testing, genetic analysis, and precision medicine. Dr. Colby is also the Founder of Sequencing.com and the author of ⁠Outsmart Your Genes.

Dr. Colby holds an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and a degree in Genetics with Honors from the University of Michigan. He is an Affiliate Specialist of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (⁠ACMG), an Associate of the American College of Preventive Medicine (⁠ACPM), and a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (⁠NSGC).


AncestryDNA is a registered trademark of Ancestry Operations Inc. dba Ancestry. The use of the name and logo are for compatibility information only and do not imply approval or endorsement of Sequencing.com by Ancestry Operations, Inc. dba Ancestry.

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