DNA File Upload-Download and Transfer Instructions to and from DNA Testing Companies

Upload download.pngSome of my most popular articles are the instructions for how to download your DNA files from the various vendors in order to upload and transfer your DNA files to other vendors to obtain more matches.

Now, I’ve put the instructions for all the vendors together in one place. Feel free to share with your friends, family and groups by posting the link to this article.

Why Upload?

People test at multiple vendors or transfer their files in order to:

  • Take advantage of unique features at each vendor
  • Match against people in each database that haven’t tested elsewhere
  • Benefit from the lower cost of transfers as compared to testing at each vendor

Transfers, also known as uploads, themselves along with matching is free, but more advanced features require either a full subscription (MyHeritage,) a monthly subscription (GedMatch) or a one-time unlock fee (Family Tree DNA or MyHeritage without a subscription.)

Vendors who welcome uploads and have a full suite of products are:

GedMatch is not a testing vendor. Customers only transfer files from other vendors TO GedMatch to use their tools, not from GedMatch.

Vendors who don’t allow uploads, meaning you must test there, are:

Download and Upload Instructions

Transferring your DNA consists of downloading your raw DNA data file from one vendor and uploading the file to another vendor’s system.

This process does NOT delete your DNA file or results from the original system. That’s an entirely different process, not related to a file download.

Here’s how to transfer – with individual steps for downloading from and uploading to each vendor:

How many new matches will you receive by transferring to each vendor?

Upload a Tree 

Every vendor, except 23andMe, makes use of your family tree, although 23andMe does allow you to link to your tree elsewhere. I link to my MyHeritage, because you don’t have to be a member to view my tree.

Trees from your own desktop software or other vendors can be exported or saved as a GEDCOM file, and uploaded to each vendor. If you already have a tree at the vendors, you’re all set.

If not, this article will help:

Also, don’t forget to link yourself and the tests you manage to your tree. Instructions for linking to a tree at 23andMe are included in this article too.



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

Genealogy Services

Genealogy Research

28 thoughts on “DNA File Upload-Download and Transfer Instructions to and from DNA Testing Companies

  1. Roberta, on a separate subject, would it be possible for you to give us an explanation on how to calculate TMRCA using private variants from FTDNA Y 700.

    • Let me ponder this. The challenge is that the variants maybe way up the tree, not recent, and may not be relevant.

  2. Can you or have you written an article like “https://dna-explained.com/2019/11/04/dna-file-upload-download-and-transfer-instructions-to-and-from-dna-testing-companies/” but for creating a gedcom file from Ancestry.com or other sites or from a genealogy program and adding it to Gedmatch.com, etc.??

    I send instructions to people but suspect you are a better instructions writer.

    • I just published one about triangulation at Family Tree DNA. I also published a First Glances one recently. Take a look at those and tell me if that’s not what you are looking for.

  3. I’ve found FTDNA result transfer to Geni.com quite useful. Considered including this in your list? ☺️

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  9. Roberta,
    I point people to this post all the time, thank you.
    Perhaps you might like to include Geneanet.org on the list (after RootsTech!).
    It’s another free transfer, and free site where you may well find family trees, often with a more European focus, and where they do now offer a chromosome browser showing where the match is.

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  14. Roberta,

    Can you edit your article to suggest that people also upload a tree aka GEDCOM file? This may improve or enhance the functionality for them.

    Thanks for your educational blog, which I always refer people.
    Paul Baltzer

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