Autosomal DNA Transfers

A frequently asked question is “Can I transfer my autosomal DNA data from company A to site B?” Transferring is a great way to get into an extra database (or two, or three, or four) without the added time and expense of doing another test from scratch. Remember: the relative who might help you solve your next family puzzle may have already taken a DNA test at a different company than you; you need to be in the same database to find one another. But keeping track of which sites accept transfers from which testing companies can drive you mad. Take this diagram, for instance:

Diagram showing which sites accept autosomal DNA transfers from which testing companies. The grey backgrounds for GEDmatch and DNA.Land indicate that they are not testing companies.

To which I can only say:  BWAHAHAHA! If you can follow that, I’ve got a wiring diagram for a vintage BMW motorcycle I’d like you to take a look at.

The table below might be more helpful.  To use it, find the company who performed your autosomal DNA test in the top row, then follow that column down to see which sites will accept transfers of your DNA data. As always, be sure to read the Terms of Service for each company/database before you transfer. (Note: I earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in this post. The cost is the same for you. Click here for more information.)

I hope you find it useful!

If you tested at (1): Ancestry
DNA
23andMe Family Tree DNA MyHeritage

WeGene

You can transfer to AncestryDNA (2) No No No No
23andMe (2) No No No No
Family Tree DNA (3) YES YES Yes? No
MyHeritage (4) YES YES YES No
WeGene (5) YES YES No No
DNA.Land (6) YES YES YES No No
GEDmatch (7) YES YES YES YES YES

(1) Note: I earn a small commission if you purchase through the links in this post. The cost is the same for you. Click here for more information.

(2) AncestryDNA and 23andMe do not accept transfers of DNA data, but their results can be transferred to most other sites. They are like Type O blood for genetic genealogy—the (almost) universal donors. As of this writing, their databases contain approximately 4 million and 2 million testers, respectively.

(3) Transfers to Family Tree DNA can see and contact their DNA matches for free. For a $19 fee, they can access additional tools, like ethnicity estimates and the chromosome browser. Testers who used the newer versions of AncestryDNA (v2) and 23andMe (v4) will not receive distant, speculative matches at FTDNA. If they want distant matches, they can purchase a new Family Finder test. Their database is estimated at over 500,000 people.

(4) MyHeritage transfers are free and receive a list of DNA matches. Ethnicity estimates are not included. (UPDATE: MyHeritage began providing ethnicity estimates to customers who transferred into their database in late May 2017.) The size of their database is not known.

(5) WeGene serves primarily an Asian market. They do not currently have relative matching but plan to add it in the future. The size of their database is not known.

(6) DNA.Land is a non-profit research site run by academics. They accept transfers but do not offer DNA tests themselves. They offer relative matching, ethnicity estimates, and reports on wellness and physical traits. Their database contains over 50,000 people.

(7) If AncestryDNA and 23andMe are the universal donors of autosomal DNA testing, GEDmatch is the universal acceptor. Transfers and most tools are free, including relative matching, ethnicity (admixture) estimates, phasing, and archaic matches. Additional “Tier 1” tools available for a donation of $10 per month. Their database contains more than 500,000 uploads.

NOTE: This post has been updated to include the database sizes as of May 2017, more information on the features available at each site, and a note that MyHeritage began providing ethnicity estimates to people who have transferred into their database after the original publication of this blog post.

13 thoughts on “Autosomal DNA Transfers”

    1. MyHeritage entered the DNA market by selling FTDNA Family Finder kits. MyHeritage has since come out with their own branded product. It’s still run by FTDNA’s lab (at least in the US), but it’s separate product with a separate database of users.

  1. Problems of transfer of a recent AncestryDNA test to FTDNA. Is there a solution?

    Thanks for contacting us.

    Unfortunately, the problem is on Ancestry’s end. There is an issue with the size of some of their files (The formatting of the columns is skewed-— the data is not lining up in the proper column or category. Any time a rsid# in the first column is smaller than 5 digits then the rest of the data on that line is skewed and does not read the proper column or category. The same thing happens where the position number, in the third column, is smaller than 8 digits. That skews the rest of the columns in that line.) and that is why some of them are not uploading, like what you have experienced.

    Other sites with transfers available, like Gedmatch and MyHeritage, have different transfer processes. Their upload accepts files of any size and format, which is why you would have been able to upload the file to either or both of those websites with no trouble. However, the files must be in the same size and format as all other Ancestry V1 or V2 files in order to work with FTDNA’s upload so that our system can properly translate the data and give Family Finder results.

    I apologize again for the trouble you are experiencing when trying to transfer. Please contact Ancestry for an accurate raw data file.

    Best,

    Katy R.
    Family Tree DNA

    1. Good question. I didn’t include them as they don’t do relative matching and (at least to my knowledge) aren’t planning to. Can Geno 2.0 still be transferred to FTDNA and GEDmatch? Anywhere else?

      1. Geno 2 can be transferred but does not give relative matching. Geno 2+ sold before Nov. 2016 can be transferred for free, and Family Finder autosomal unlocked for $39. Geno 2+ sold after Nov. 2016 cannot be transferred.

        1. I didn’t include Geno because they don’t do relative matching and aren’t planning to. I can add them if the community thinks it’s worthwhile.

          Unlocks at FTDNA are now $19, and the free transfer there gives you all of your matches, not just the top 20.

  2. Hello!

    As of today there’s no officially confirmed option to upload MyHeritage raw data to FTDNA. A few months ago some i got an answer from an employee without any estimates.

    1. From what I understand, MyHeriage does not have their download feature online yet, so there’s nothing to upload elsewhere.

        1. You are correct. The download at MyHeritage is working now. I called FTDNA today and was told that they’ll accept MyHeritage uploads “within a couple of months”.

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