Family Tree DNA Now Accepts All Ancestry Autosomal Transfers Plus 23andMe V3 and V4

Great news!

Family Tree DNA now accepts autosomal file transfers for all Ancestry tests (meaning both V1 and V2) along with 23andMe V3 and V4 files.

Before today, Family Tree DNA had only accepted Ancestry V1 and 23andMe V3 transfers, the files before Ancestry and 23andMe changed to proprietary chips. As of today, Family Tree DNA accepts all Ancestry files and all contemporary 23andMe files (since November 2013).

You’ll need to download your autosomal raw data file from either Ancestry or 23andMe, then upload it to Family Tree DNA. You’ll be able to do the actual transfer for free, and see your 20 top matches – but to utilize and access the rest of the tools including the chromosome browser, ethnicity estimates and the balance of your matches, you’ll need to pay the $19 unlock fee.

Previously, the unlock fee was $39, so this too is a great value. The cost of purchasing the autosomal Family Finder test at Family Tree DNA is $79, so the $19 unlock fee represents a substantial savings of $60 if you’ve already tested elsewhere.

To get started, click here and you’ll see the following “autosomal transfer” menu option in the upper left hand corner of the Family Tree DNA page:


The process is now drag and drop, and includes instructions for how to download your files from both 23andMe and Ancestry.


Please note that if you already have an autosomal test at Family Tree DNA, there is no benefit to adding a second test.  So if you have taken the Family Finder test or already transferred an Ancestry V1 or 23andMe V3 kit, you won’t be able to add a second autosomal test to the same account.  If you really want to transfer a second kit, you’ll need to set up a new account for the second autosomal kit, because every kit at Family Tree DNA needs to be able to have it’s own unique kit number – and if you already have an autosomal test on your account, you can’t add a second one.

What will you discover today? I hope you didn’t have anything else planned. Have fun!!!



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107 thoughts on “Family Tree DNA Now Accepts All Ancestry Autosomal Transfers Plus 23andMe V3 and V4

  1. Nice to finally see it fixed because for a while I’ve seen folks talk about Family Tree DNA not being able to accept more transfers.

    Roberta, by chance do you or anyone else know why is it that FTDNA is able to accept transfers at all, and the other big companies, 23andme, Geno.20, do not?
    I’m glad that FTDNA does accept transfers
    (the new myHeritageDNA does too, but it will only provide relative matches and you’d have to buy and submit a sample if you want the full feature, which I think is good marketing since they claim that they will have the best ethnicity testing with their “founder population project”), but exactly why don’t the other companies? Is it because FTDNA just has access to some kind of technology that enables them to do it, and the other companies don’t have the technology, or is it because the other companies just don’t want to?

    • It’s a business decision. Both 23andMe and Ancestry have custom chips and sell DNA results, so I would wager than results run on other chips and transferred in aren’t very valuable to them. As for MyHeritage, I have seen the claims and I’ll believe it when I see it. It’s easy for a company that has nothing in terms of ethnicity to claim they will be the best.

  2. WOW!!!

    Was not expecting this but SO happy I can share with my local crowd of DNA enthusiasts!!!

    Very happy

    On Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 8:29 AM, DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy wrote:

    > robertajestes posted: “Great news! Family Tree DNA now accepts autosomal > file transfers for all Ancestry tests (meaning both V1 and V2) along with > 23andMe V3 and V4 files. Before today, Family Tree DNA had only > accepted Ancestry V1 and 23andMe V3 transfers, the files befo” >

  3. Oh, Roberta – Every time you tell us about cool new stuff, hundreds of folks write to tell how it’s not working! I hate to be one of those, but it’s not giving me the option you got! I want to transfer 23andMe; have already done Ancestry a few years back. Are we only allowed one autosomal transfer, perhaps? Here’s the message, no matter how I do it:

    You currently have Family Finder (autosomal) results for this kit. Please sign out of your account (kit) if you wish to upload an autosomal transfer file for another person. For additional assistance, contact Customer Support.

    • Yes, you can only have one autosomal test associated with your account. There is no benefit of having two autosomal tests there. If you do want the second test, you’ll have to set up a separate account so the second test can have it’s own individual kit number.

      • I tested with FTDNA a year ago. Just tested with Ancestry and found several close cousins that did not test with FTDNA. I need those first 20 matches on Ancestry viewable on FTDNA. So, in order to get the 20 matches to FTDNA, I have no choice but to setup a new account to upload my Ancestry kit into. Is there a fee for the new account?

        • The only way to get your Ancestry matches to be viewable on FTDNA is if they transfer their results to FTDNA too. FTDNA cannot look “across” to Ancestry, they can only look in their own data base.

  4. Hi Roberta, I can’t figure out how to pay the fee to unlock fee. I clicked on “upgrade” and all I see is how to order mtDNA and Y-DNA kits. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thank you.

  5. I manage multiple kits. It’s been so long I forget – do I have to first create an account for the kit being transferred? Then, add that account to my group?

    • Yes, you will need a separate account, because you need a separate kit number for each kit. The only way you don’t need to set up a separate account is if you have NOT taken the Family Finder test and you are transferring the kit into an existing account WITHOUT a Family Finder test. If you have a project set up, then you’ll add the new kit to the project.

  6. I don’t find any way to download raw data from 23andme. How have they hidden this capability from their customers?

  7. That’s good new Roberta. Will the transferred raw files be looked at for the equivalent SNPs as the in house FF tests, or will they be limited to just what 23&Me and AncestryDNA test for?

    • They can only look at what 23andMe and Ancestry test for. On the newer kits, meaning the Ancestry V2 and the 23andMe V4 kits, they have only about half of the SNP locations that Family Tree DNA does, so you’ll probablu get your closest matches, but you clearly won’t get all the matches you’d get if your transferred an Ancestry V1 kit or a 23andMe V3 kit, or tested at Family Tree DNA.

      • Roberta Does the fact that Ancestry and 23 and Me test fewer SNP locations imply that, if one is searching for deep ancestry, that FTDNA is a better option to go with? Ancestry seems to win out because of its connection to an very extensive group of family trees. However, I have found that these are of most benefit if looking for American relationships, which I am, for the most part, not. I have found FTDNA to be a bit more focused on Europeans, which is where my main interests are.

  8. Was anyone actually able to do this if they already had an FTDNA account? After signing in, I got a pop-up box that said, “You currently have Family Finder (autosomal) results for this kit. Please sign out of your account (kit) if you wish to upload an autosomal transfer file for another person. For additional assistance, contact Customer Support.”

    So, how do we add AncestryDNA and 23andMe raw files to our accounts if we already have our DNA at FTDNA? Or is this just not possible?

    • You don’t if you already have a Family Finder test already. There is no need or benefit to have two autosomal kits at Family Tree DNA. If you do want to do this, you would need to set up a new account for the transfer kit if you already have taken a Family Finder test.

  9. Roberta, as I’ve said before, these DNA testing companies need to pay you a fee – you’re their best salesperson! 😉

  10. Please note that if you already have an autosomal test at Family Tree DNA, there is no benefit to adding a second test. So if you have taken the Family Finder test or already transferred an Ancestry V1 or 23andMe V3 kit, you won’t be able to add a second autosomal test to the same account. If you really want to transfer a second kit, you’ll need to set up a new account for the second autosomal kit, because every kit at Family Tree DNA needs to be able to have it’s own unique kit/account number – and if you already have an autosomal test on your account, you can’t add a second one.

    • I finally figured something out. This is NOT a way to see which of your FTDNA matches will match up with your AncestryDNA or 23andMe matches, like I originally was hoping it was. This is just getting onto FTDNA (if you have not previously done so) without submitting swabs, if you’ve already sent spit into the other two DNA sites.

      I keep hoping for ways to get around having to beg people to upload to GEDmatch, I guess I saw what I wanted to see in today’s blog post.

      • If your matches have uploaded to FTDNA or tested with FTDNA, you will see them as matches if they match you. If they are not in the FTDNA data base, then you won’t see them.

  11. Is there any point transferring results from other companies if you have already tested with ftdna?
    Similarly any point transferring multiple results from different companies to gedmatch

    • No, not to FTDNA. At GedMatch, I really don’t think so either. I transferred all 3 of mine to GedMatch, but I marked two of them for research so they don’t take up valuable slots in the 2000 matches we are allowed. You might get slightly better matching if you are matching an Ancestry V2 kit to an Ancestry V2 kit, for example, but I’m not sure it’s enough to matter.

      • my friend is having these problems
        any suggestions

        I’m also thinking of having them do a Y-111 for my father, so I’ll load his raw autosomal DNA test from ancestry as well.

        Sounds like I can load my own raw autosomal from ancestry with just a small fee so I’ll do that too.

        My problem is that when I log into that site, I have to do so under my son’s KIT number, so it seems I can’t have a ‘master’ account to put us all in; instead it seems to require that each person’s account/membership is separate?

        I tried to be the account holder but then it kept loading my profile photo onto my son in the family tree; and kept naming him Robyn McIntyre!! So I was in effect, mother to myself!

        I finally gave up and made my son the account name.


        • Every kit must have its own kit number, which is the same as the account number, so yes, they must all be separate. To have your friend upload his OWN kit, he needs to set up a new account and just click the transfer link, in the first screen shot in this article. If your friend signs on as the son, they are in essence the son, so they do NOT want to upload their autosomal DNA to their son’s account.

  12. What additional benefit, if any, would you get by transferring an Ancestry Kit to FTDNA over just transferring the Ancestry Kit to GEDmatch?

  13. I just downloaded my ancestry data (a zip file) and then uploaded it to FTDNA, apparently ok, no error message, but don’t see anything new on my Family Tree page. Does it take some time – hours – days before the ancestry data shows up?

  14. Pingback: All Matches Now FREE at Family Tree DNA for Transfer Kits | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  15. Roberta – Do you know if the referral scheme through which you could unlock your transfer by getting 4 other people to use your individual upload link is still available?

  16. good evening. if I understand well, people who have taken the adn test at 23 and me can now upload their results in family tree. is this possible the other way round? that is to say, people from family tree leave it in 23 and me? thank you very much for your help.

  17. Roberta, About 3 or 4 years ago I transferred from either Ancestry or 23andme to Family Tree DNA. I just went on there to see which one is on there and to see if I could transfer the other one, but I cannot find the information on where my DNA came from that Family Tree DNA has. Do you know either 1) where I find that info on their website, or 2) which one would have been the only one I could get in 2013? Thanks for any guidance . . . .

    • If you do the transfer, you don’t “receive” anything. You upload your DNA file from either 23andMe or Ancestry to FTDNA. Then the results are on your personal page. You can unlock all the features for $19. If you ordered the $59 DNA kit AFTER you did the unlock, then you will receive a swab kit in the mail. Usually it takes about a week.

      • On Feb 18 I paid the $19 on line to Unlock all the features. Sorry I did not make that clear. When can I expect to get all the features unlocked? Thanks Jim

  18. I just transferred my paternal aunt’s 23&me v4 data, but have not yet unlocked it. I’m seeing more than 20 matches in her list, but a lot fewer than I would expect for her to have in total. I have about 430 matches, and she has 78. My maternal side is all descended from 20th century immigrants from Lithuania, whereas my paternal grandmother (my aunt’s mother) has at least some colonial American ancestry. So I assume most of my matches are on my paternal side. Since my aunt is a generation earlier, I would expect her to have at least as many matches to those lines as I do. She does have more matches than me on both 23andMe and Gedmatch.
    Has anyone else seen more than 20 matches on a locked transfer? Did you get more matches when you unlocked it?

    • I have the same issue. I transferred both my parents from 23andMe. They each have 200, but I have 1000 for my own kit (I tested at FTDNA). Is there data lost in the transfer?


      • It’s not that data is lost in the transfer, it’s that the 23andMe V4 chip and the Ancestry V2 chip only test about half of the locations that their earlier chips tested that overlap the FTDNA chip. You will get the matches that match on the common locations, and there’s no way to get the ones that don’t.

  19. Hello Roberta

    I have a question from the other side so to speak. I have been encouraging my 4th cousin and above matches at Ancestry to take advantage of this offer. I know if they only do the free bit, they only get their top 20 matches. How does it work from our side? Do we see them if they match us even if not in the top 20, or will I only see them if I am in their top 20?


  20. FamilyTreeDNA use to promote that if you had 4 autosomal DNA transfers that it was free to unlock them. Is this available anymore?

    • I don’t believe it is. That feature was used very little and caused a great deal of frustration for people attempting to obtain the 4 additional transfers. Instead they made all the matches free and reduced the unlock price to $19 for everyone.

  21. I encouraged people to upload, but a first cousin and a more distant match only had 65 to 70 matches, none remote. The close matches were ones people had in their trees already. So the upload may not offer unless looking for adoptive parents. I asked FTDNA about this and got this reply:
    The match lists for transfers with Ancestries V2 and 23&Me’s V4 will be fewer, as distant matches cannot be determined due to the newer testing version including less data.
    Thomas H
    Information Specialist

    So it appears if you want to see remote matches on FTDNA it’s best to do it by suggesting that the person take the FTDNA test, if their test at the other sites is on the newer chip. My hope is that somehow FTDNA can unlock these remote matches at some point in time.

    • The problem is that the chips hold a finite number of testing locations. Both Ancestry and 23andMe have replaced about half of the genealogy testing locations with medically relevant locations. Remember, both sell your DNA to other entities. So FTDNA of the three is the only one still testing all of the genealogically relevant SNPs. I can’t imagine that they would move to a custom chip to test medical SNPs. Adding to that issue is that 23andMe and Ancestry don’t test the same locations on their chip, so there is no way to fit all of the locations tested by FTDNA, Ancestry and 23andMe onto one chip, at least not without moving to a much more expensive chip. The best situation is for those who can test with FTDNA to do so directly. For those who have passed over or can’t test again for whatever reason, the transfer is still a great option.

  22. I understand that transferring AncestryDNA data to FTDNA and unlocking provides access to FTDNA’s Chromosome Browser for viewing all matches based upon your AncestryDNA data submission. My question is can you also uttilize the option to download all matches to Excel (CSV format) and see Chromosome, Start and End Locations, Centimorgans and Matching SNPS?

      • Yes, it can be done with the free version. I just tried it with a file I had uploaded, but not paid the fee for the unlocking. It downloaded the match data into a spreadsheet with no problems.

        • Sorry, I misunderstood the original question. The chromosome browser page is not accessible without paying the $19 unlock fee. I would imagine that once you pay the fee you can access the file, as you would with a regular account at FTDNA, but someone who has paid the fee will have to give that a try. I am an FTDNA tester with many separate kits, but have not done the unlocking process yet.

  23. When you say “transfer” from AncestryDNA, does that mean you LOSE AncestryDNA pages full of matches and all those DNA circles? Or is it just “copied?”

    • You download a copy of the raw data file of your DNA from the Ancestry site and then upload that file to Family Tre DNA who uses the DNA information to match to people in their data base. The information at Ancestry is not affected at all by the download process at all.

  24. I did a transfer a few days ago and it keeps telling me, every day, to check back in 24 hours. How long does it take to process the transfer? I had assumed it would be quite quick, since no lab testing is involved.

    • I think they may have paused processing while they made the changes for the new myOrigins released today. If it’s not fixed by tomorrow, call support of click on the contact button at the very bottom of your page.

  25. I did a 23andMe upload and got an email and kit number, but see no matches and got no option to unlock by paying a fee. I don’t think it processed. I sent a help request — any experience with how long that can take?

  26. Hi, Thank you so much for your blog! I have created two accounts by transferring the Ancestry DNA data of relatives to FTDNA and am looking to get two new kits for other family members. I will want to see the myorigins features– do I have to pay for that with every account? And is myorigins comparable to the new “genetic communities” feature of Ancestry?

  27. I tried doing an autosomal transfer of Ancestry V2 data today, and I kept getting an error saying, “The specified file ‘AncestryDNA.txt’ could not be uploaded. The file is an unsupported version or in a corrupt/malformed format.” I have successfully done autosomal transfers in the past using 23andme files. Has anyone else been able to successfully upload Ancestry v2 files this week?

    • Not this week. You’re not supposed to open the file. If you did, then you’ll need to download a new one. Otherwise, I don’t know. You might try calling tomorrow.

    • April, did you ever figure this out? I am still getting the error message. I’ve spoken to both FTDNA and Ancestry about it but have not resolved the issue.

      • Me too. Family Tree said it was an Ancestry problem and Ancestry said the same, it is a Family Tree problem. I’ve tried several downloads of my Ancestry raw data and several uploads to Family Tree. Alas, it has never worked and gives the same error message no matter whether the upload is a zip or text file.

        • Open the Ancestry file. In the first line or two you’ll see either V1 or V2. Whatever yours says, change it to the other one. Close the file and save as a .txt file. Do not rezip the file. Upload the saved file. This too has worked for a number of people.

  28. Hmmm I uploaded my raw DNA from AncestryDNA a while ago. When I go on my FamilyTreeDNA dashboard and look under the section where myorigins is supposed to be I only see the option to pay the full $89.

  29. I’ve tried to upload my raw from 23andme and ancestry and both failed saying file is malformed.. The ancestry file says it version 1 which is supposed to be supported .. can anyone help.. Would like to get one of them go along with my original geno test from way back..

    • 23andMe just changed their chip again, so depending in when you tested, you may not be able to upload that file. I also understand there is currently a format issue with Ancestry files. FTDNA is closed right now due to the hurricane. If you tested before May 2016 your file really is V1.

      • I am trying to upload V2 results for my father to FT DNA and so far, no luck. However, my sister did not have a problem doing it last week for her kit. I’m wondering if they are still having issues due to the hurricane. I’m going to reach out to customer support, but I have a feeling it’s just a matter of continued patience as Houston recovery efforts continue. 🙂

  30. Pingback: Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  31. I’m trying to upload my 23andme file but it keeps telling me it’s corrupt/unsupported format. The file name has “v5” in the name so I assume that’s the version number? Does Family Tree plan to support that version?

    • I’m continuing the have the same problem, but FTDNA customer service responded with the same information Roberta shared – that Ancestry has changed their file size and they are working to accommodate it.

      Hoping they are able to do so soon, because it was hard enough to get my father to take a DNA test and I really was hoping I could transfer his raw data to Ancestry, and then purchase a Y-DNA upgrade. 🙂

      • You aren’t transferring his actual DNA, but his autosomal raw data file. You can’t do a Y upgrade to an autosomal file. He will have to swab for that anyway. With a V2 Ancestry transfer you only get close matches so you might as well just order the swab kit and do both tests.

  32. I have tried to upload my AncestryDNA file to FTDNA multiple times for 2 months and I keep getting a “The specified file ‘Ancestry-dna-data-2018-08-02-A.txt’ could not be uploaded. The file is an unsupported version or in a corrupt/malformed format. Please place an order for Family Finder or download the file and try again.” error. I have tried downloading my data multiple times but there is always an issue with the file. I see on previous comments from 1-1/2 years ago that FTDNA was aware of and working on the problem – hasn’t this been fixed yet?

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