In this Upload-Download Series, we’ll cover each major vendor:
- How to download raw data files from the vendor
- How to upload raw data files to the vendor
- Other mainstream vendors where you can upload this vendor’s files
You can both upload autosomal data files from another vendor to FamilyTreeDNA, and download from FamilyTreeDNA. Please note that downloading a copy of your raw data file from any vendor does not interfere with your matches at that vendor.
Uploading DNA Files TO Family Tree DNA
Please note that the name of FamilyTreeDNA‘s autosomal test is the Family Finder test. FamilyTreeDNA also offers Y DNA (male paternal line only) and mitochondrial DNA (matrilineal line only for both sexes) tests, so the Family Finder name differentiates the autosomal test from those other types of genealogical tests.
However, if you haven’t yet uploaded an autosomal file, now’s the time!
Upload Step 1
On the main Family Tree DNA page, click on “Upload DNA Data,” at the top.
Upload Step 2
Click on “Autosomal DNA.”
Upload Step 3
Complete the form.
If you already have tested Y or mitochondrial DNA at Family Tree DNA, click on “Already have a Family Tree DNA account,” beneath the grey bar so that your uploaded test can be integrated with your existing account which will allow you to use the advanced matching tools.
Sign on to your account, then in the upper right-hand corner of your page, click on “Add Ons and Upgrades” and select DNA Transfer Options.
Then click “Transfer Now.”
If you have already taken the Family Finder test at FamilyTreeDNA, there’s no need to upload your autosomal DNA from any other vendor, so you’re all set.
To continue the upload process, you’ll need to tell FamilyTreeDNA which vendor’s file you’re uploading.
Upload Step 4
Select the vendor test that you are going to upload. Uploads accepted include:
- 23andMe V3, V4 and V5 – tests taken after December 2010
- Ancestry V1 and V2 – V2 is the current test as of August 2021
- MyHeritage – must have tested after May 7, 2019. Family Tree DNA is the lab that does MyHeritage testing so their transfer/upload process is a little different.
If you select “MyHeritage,” you will be redirected to MyHeritage to log in and select your kit for transfer/upload.
If you select either 23andMe or Ancestry DNA, you will be directed to either drag and drop your data file from that vendor or browse to upload.
You will be assigned a Family Tree DNA kit number. After your results are processed, you can sign in to see your matches.
Upload Step 5
The upload to Family Tree DNA is free and so is viewing your matches along with basic tools. However, for additional tools, such as ethnicity and the chromosome browser, you’ll need to purchase the $19 unlock. This is a great value, as compared to retesting at the regular price of $79.
You will be prompted for the “Unlock” purchase if you click on either the Chromosome Browser button, the Ethnicity button or other advanced tools on your dashboard after your results are finished.
Downloading Your DNA File FROM Family Tree DNA
Download – Step 1
To download your raw autosomal DNA file from Family Tree DNA, click on the “See More” link in the Family Finder section on your dashboard. Then, click on “Data Download.”
Alternatively, you can select the “Download Raw Data” option at the top of the page under Results and Tools, then Autosomal DNA.
Download Step 2
You will be given the option of downloading different versions of your raw data file.
Different vendors request different types of files, but most specify the Build 37 concatenated file which includes all 22 chromosomes plus the X chromosome.
Click the arrow beside the version you need.
Download Step 3
Save the file in a manner that you’ll recognize. The file name will be something like “37_R_Estes_Chrom_Autoso_20180818.gz”. I append the word FTDNA in front of the 37 so there is no question which vendor’s file this is. The last several digits are the date.
FamilyTreeDNA File Uploads TO Other Vendors
You can upload Family Tree DNA results to other vendors, as follows:
|From below to >>>>>>>>>>>||Ancestry Accepts||MyHeritage Accepts||23andMe Accepts||GedMatch Accepts|
|Family Tree DNA||No||Yes||No||Yes|
Neither Ancestry nor 23andMe accept uploads from any vendor.
FamilyTreeDNA Uploads FROM Other Vendors
You can upload files from other vendors to Family Tree DNA, as follows:
|From Ancestry||From MyHeritage||From 23andMe||From Living DNA|
|Family Tree DNA Accepts||Yes||Yes*||V3, V4, V5||No|
*To upload MyHeritage files to Family Tree DNA, you must have tested at MyHeritage after May 7, 2019.
Testing and Upload Strategy
Uploading to Family Tree DNA is always free, and you can view:
- Your matches
- People you match in-common-with your matches
- Maternally or paternally assigned (bucketed) matches based on known, tree-linked relatives
In order to view your ethnicity and use advanced tools like the chromosome browser, you’ll need to purchase the $19 unlock.
Remember that while Ancestry and MyHeritage both have records subscriptions to sell you, Family Tree DNA doesn’t. For Tier 1 tools, GedMatch requires a subscription. At Family Tree DNA, you pay a one-time fee to unlock all of their advanced tools. Every company needs to be profitable to stay in business and develop new tools, and each company has a different product pricing model.
My testing/upload recommendations are as follows relative to Family Tree DNA:
- If you tested at Family Tree DNA, upload your DNA file to MyHeritage for free, here. Matching and ethnicity are free with a transfer to MyHeritage, but you won’t receive the full benefit of tree matching with other testers without either an advanced feature unlock for $29, or a full subscription, which you can try for free, here.
I wrote a step-by-step guide about how to download your DNA file from and to MyHeritage, here.
I wrote a step-by-step guide about how to download your DNA raw DNA file from 23andMe, here.
Please note that this article was updated in August 2021.
I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.
Thank you so much.
DNA Purchases and Free Transfers
- FamilyTreeDNA – Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA testing
- MyHeritage DNA – Autosomal DNA test
- MyHeritage FREE DNA file upload – Transfer your results from other vendors free
- AncestryDNA – Autosomal DNA test
- 23andMe Ancestry – Autosomal DNA only, no Health
- 23andMe Ancestry Plus Health
Genealogy Products and Services
- MyHeritage FREE Tree Builder – Genealogy software for your computer
- MyHeritage Subscription with Free Trial
- Legacy Family Tree Webinars – Genealogy and DNA classes, subscription-based, some free
- Legacy Family Tree Software – Genealogy software for your computer
- Charting Companion – Charts and Reports to use with your genealogy software or FamilySearch
- RootsMagic Software – Genealogy software for your computer
- Newspapers.com – Search newspapers for your ancestors
- Genealogical.com – Lots of wonderful genealogy research books
- Legacy Tree Genealogists – Professional genealogy research