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, if possible
- Other mainstream vendors where you can upload this vendor’s files
Please note that downloading your DNA file from any vendor does not affect your matching results at that vendor. You are only downloading a copy of your raw DNA file.
Uploading TO 23andMe
This part is easy with 23andMe, because 23andMe doesn’t accept any other vendor’s files. There is no ability to upload TO 23andMe. You have to test with 23andMe if you want DNA results from 23andMe.
Downloading FROM 23andMe
In order to upload your autosomal DNA file to another testing vendor, or GedMatch, for either matching or ethnicity, you’ll need to first download the DNA file from 23andMe.
Download Step 1
Sign on to your account at 23andMe.
Under your name at the upper right-hand corner of your page, by clicking on the little circle with your initials, you’ll see “Browse Raw Data.” Click there.
Download Step 2
You’ll see “Your Raw Data.” Click on the blue download link.
Download Step 3
On the Download Raw Data page, scroll down towards the bottom until you see “Request your raw data download.”
Click on Submit request.
Download Step 4
You’ll see the following message saying an e-mail will be sent to you.
Download Step 5
A few minutes later, an e-mail will arrive that says this:
Click on the green button in the e-mail which will take you back to 23andMe to sign in.
Download Step 6
After you sign in, you’ll see that your download file is ready. Click on “Download Raw Data” and you will see the following.
Your raw data file will be downloaded to your computer where you’ll need to store it in a location and by a name that you can find.
The file name will be something like “genome_Roberta_Estes_v2_v3_Full_xxxxxxxx” where the xs is a long number. I would suggest adding the word 23andMe to the front when you save the file on your system.
Most vendors want an unopened zip file, so if you want to open your file, first copy it to another name. Otherwise, you’ll have to download again.
23andMe DNA File Uploads to Other Vendors
23andMe files can be in one any one of four formats:
- V2 – the earliest tests taken at 23andMe. V2 test takers were offered an upgrade to V3.
- V3 – V3 files beginning December 2010 through December 2013
- V4 – V4 files beginning December 2013 through August 2017
- V5 – V5 files beginning August 2017 through present, August 2021
The changes in the files due to chip differences sometimes cause issues with uploads to other vendors who utilize other testing chips.
|From below to >>>>>>>||Family Tree DNA Accepts *||MyHeritage Accepts**||GedMatch Accepts ***||Ancestry Accepts||LivingDNA Accepts ****|
* The upload to Family Tree DNA and matching is free, but advanced tools including the chromosome browser and ethnicity require a one-time $19 unlock fee.
*** At GedMatch, matching is free, but the more advanced features require a Tier 1 subscription for $10 per month.
**** LivingDNA accepts files, but they use a different chip and their matching is still a work-in-process.
23andMe Testing and DNA File Upload Strategy
My recommendation, if you’ve tested at 23andMe, depending on your test version, is as follows:
- V2 – Upgrade which means retest at 23andMe to newer test version, or simply test at another vendor
- V3, V4, or V5 – Upload to Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage and GedMatch
Step by Step Upload Instructions
I wrote step-by-step upload instructions for:
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