Processing Times for DNA Tests

UPDATE 8 AUGUST 2017: The website mentioned in this post,, has been taken down and is no longer available. I have created a new survey to collect the same data here.

How long does it take to get genealogical DNA results back from the lab? The companies generally give a window of 6–8 weeks. With the power of crowdsourcing, we can get more precise estimates. The website DNA Processing Time aims to do exactly that. In just a couple of months, it’s collected more than 150 reports on how long individual tests at AncestryDNA took from the day they were registered (or activated) online to the day the results were made available. Of those, nearly 60 were complete, meaning that DNA results have been delivered.

I graphed the data and am sharing it with the permission of the webmaster. It’s fascinating to see how much of an impact the Black Friday sale in late November had. AncestryDNA reported selling more than half a million DNA tests in 4 days! As a consequence, processing times skyrocketed to more than 60 days in late January, with a steady decline since early February as the lab has worked through the backlog. This is great news for those of us looking to connect with more relatives through DNA testing.

If you have a test in the queue at Ancestry, or one that’s recently delivered results, you can add your own data to the website. It’s quick and easy, and you can go back and update your entry as your test moves through the processing steps.

Updates to this post:

28 December 2018-added links to a new DNA Processing Times survey

8 thoughts on “Processing Times for DNA Tests”

  1. I have to buy AncestryDNA: Genetic Testing. But, I very curious about the result and want to know how much time taken for a result. Thank you for giving such informative information.

    1. The time for them to give your results depends a lot on how many tests get sent back to their lab around the time yours arrives. I’ve seen as little as 10 days and as much as 10 weeks. Their official timeline is 6–8 weeks.

  2. Today was my first experience with a DNA-test kit – MyHeritage. My daughter was the testee.

    I strictly went by what the instructions said. I took the two samples and rushed to the Post Office and mailed them. However later I saw online that there are guidelines as far as not eating a half-hour prior. None of this was mentioned in the instructions that came in the box.

    Anyway, my question is whether a sample is readable-vs.-unreadable, or whether there are levels of readability. I would much rather have to redo the test, than to have a less thorough and/or less accurate reading.

    Will the testers and analyzers complete the process with a sample that is smaller, or more diluted, than preferred?

    If so, how will that affect the results? And will the customer be told what happened?

    (I called MyHeritage and asked about this, and they said they will have a DNA specialist call me in about a week. I have also posted this question on the MyHeritage blog, and it was removed. Thank you for any help you can provide.)

    1. The lab performs a quality-control check after the test is run. If the sample was contaminated by food particles, it will get flagged and they will notify you that it needs to be re-run. They don’t tell you why the test failed, they just send you a new test kit.

  3. Thank you DNAGeek. I was concerned about getting back an inaccurate or incomplete report. Good to know that won’t happen.

  4. Just an update. I purchased RZ18SNP pack from FTDNA in November. It batched 11/27/2017 batch 806. It has been delayed twice and is now scheduled fro 1/22/2018-2/5/2018.

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