What’s New in Autosomal DNA Transfers

UPDATES: Please see the list of updates to this post, which are at the bottom. For step-by-step instructions on how to transfer data from AncestryDNA into the other databases, click here.

Because of recent changes at some of the testing companies that affect the ability to transfer raw DNA data between databases, I have updated my earlier post summarizing which test results can be uploaded to which other sites.  In the table below, 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. The superscript numbers refer to notes below the table. As always, be sure to read the Terms of Service for each company/database before you transfer.

If you tested at: Ancestry
v1, v2
v1, v2
v3, v4, v5
My Heritage Family Tree DNA Living DNA We
23andMe2 NO NO NO NO NO
Family Tree DNA4 Yes but… YES Yes but… YES NO NO
GEDmatch7 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a


If you cannot see the full width of the table, scroll to the bottom of this post for an image version.

(1) AncestryDNA does not accept transfers of DNA data, but their results can be transferred to most other sites. Click here for instructions.  They are like Type O blood for genetic genealogy—the (almost) universal donors. As of this writing, AncestryDNA’s databases contains more than 10 million people.

(2) 23andMe introduced version 5 (v5) of their test in August 2017. V3 and v4 are almost universally accepted as transfers, while v5 is different enough from previous versions to cause potential problems with matching. Their database currently contains more than 5 million people.

(3) MyHeritage transfers receive a list of DNA matches for free.  Additional features are available for subscribers or for a one-time fee of $29. They began accepting 23andMe v5 and Living DNA transfers in September 2018. The size of their database is more than 2.5 million people.

(4) I no longer recommend Family Tree DNA because of repeated privacy lapses at the company.  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 a chromosome browser. (Transfers for those who took the MyHeritage test are exempt from the fee.) Testers who used the newer versions of AncestryDNA (v2) and 23andMe (v4,5) will not receive distant, speculative matches at FTDNA. Their database is about 1 million people.

(5) Living DNA currently advertises the most detailed ethnicity estimates available. They began accepting DNA transfers as part of their One Family One World research project on 26 October 2017. Transfers will get access to relative matching when it goes live in summer 2018 and will be able to contact their matches, but they will not receive an ethnicity breakdown. The upload page is here. The size of their database is not known.

(6) WeGene serves primarily an Asian market. They do not currently have relative matching but plan to add it in the future. WeGene accepts 23andMe v5 transfers, but they warn that some of their features may not work properly; they are working to resolve the issue. The size of their database is not known.

(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 1 million uploads.

(8) DNA.Land accepted transfers but did not offer DNA tests themselves.  They announced on 15 Sep 2019 that they were ceasing operation as a non-profit research site run by academics and relaunching as an independent commercial enterprise.  In compliance with the original research consent agreements, the DNA kits in the academic database will be deleted on 30 Sep 2019.  User who want to participate in the commercial venture can upload again starting 1 Oct 2019.  The academic site offered relative matching, ethnicity estimates, and reports on wellness and physical traits, and the commercial site is likely to offer similar features.


If you can’t see the full width of the table on your browser, this screenshot may help. (Click for a larger version.)




Update history for this post:

  • 29 June 2019 — Updated transfer options for FTDNA.
  • 23 February 2019 — Updated database sizes and fees at MyHeritage
  • 11,12 September 2018 — MyHeritage is now processing 23andMe v5 and Living DNA uploads; also updated known database sizes
  • 11 June 2018 — updated database sizes and added link to instructions on how to transfer from AncestryDNA to elsewhere
  • 19 February 2018 — noted that WeGene is fully compatible with 23andMe v5.
  • 9 February 2018 — added link to MAPMY23 and to include most recent database sizes
  • 19 Sep 2017 — noted that FTDNA had begun taking transfers from MyHeritage
  • 29 Sep 2017 — noted that most transfers from AncestryDNA to FTDNA were now working
  • 26 Oct 2016 — indicated that Living DNA had begun accepting transfers from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Family Tree DNA, and MyHeritageDNA

64 thoughts on “What’s New in Autosomal DNA Transfers”

  1. Hi Leah,

    This is a fabulous post, however I’m having problems reading all of the table, as the columns after MyHeritage appear to be cut off. I get the same result using the Chrome, Firefox and MS Edge browsers. Am I doing something wrong ?

    PS. Your affiliate link to ancestry takes me to the Danish version of the website – no idea why !

    1. Try adjusting the width of your browser window. There’s a point at which the right sidebar disappears/reappears, and you should be able to read the whole table then. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to get fancy and see if I can adjust the column widths. Please let me know.

      As for the affiliate link, I’m not sure what’s going on. It works for me, even when I log out of my Ancestry account. I’ll look into it. Thanks for letting me know.

      1. Yes, thanks for alerting readers about the screenshot. On some browsers, the table gets cut off, so the screenshot will help in those cases.

  2. I also was unable to see the entire chart chart, despite making screen adjustments. Thanks for the advice given in the contents.

    1. Thank you for letting me know. I tried to adjust the column widths, and I also added a screenshot of the table at the bottom of the post.

  3. Note that My Heritage does not test Israelis and does not accept transfers from people they identify as Israelis even if they are abroad.

    Among other things, it means that if you test with them, you will nt get matches with people in Israel.

    1. Thanks for posting. For now, I’m limiting my transfer table to sites that provide matching (or have promised it soon). Will gencove have that feature?

      1. Hi, we are working on one. We want to understand what are the problems with these services now. We also have an open API for other developers and researchers to build on top of us, so with your Gencove account you will be able to connect directly (with no uploads/downloads) to other third party services and research. But you decide. Now we have a few integrations but there are more to come.

  4. I tested through Ancestry in August. Unfortunately when I have attempted to upload my results into FTDNA, I get an error message that the file was corrupted. I have tried multiple times. I know of other people who have had this same issue. some people say that Ancestry has changed to a different chip. I don’t know if this is true.

    1. Apparently, Ancestry made some changes to their file format, and FTDNA has not yet updated their system to be able to accept the change. Some Ancestry users have had luck by opening the raw data file, changing the text in the header material that says version number from 1 to 2, and uploading the edited file. However, it doesn’t seem to work for everyone. I’ve been told FTDNA will fix it soon so they can accept all transfers again. In the meantime, you can transfer to any of the other sites that accept AncestryDNA result.

      1. I had the same problem today, but using the MAPMY23 tool fixed things. Thanks for helping me find it.

    1. No, no ETA for that. My guess is a year or more, if ever.

      Given the sale prices right now, I’d recommend testing at Ancestry and transferring those results to FTDNA. AncestryDNA is only $79 right now and will probably drop even more for the Black Friday weekend.


  5. I tried to transfer from ancestryDNA (that i just received on 16 November 2017) to Family Tree DNA and received an error. I emailed and they responded to say Ancestry changed their format recently and they hope to be able to accept it.

  6. Look up a tool called mapmy23, it will accept the V5 data file downloaded from ancestry and convert to acceptable form for upload to ftdna and provide a downloadable zipped file to use instead of the one downloaded from Ancestry.com.

    1. Yes, mapmy23 has been getting good reviews for cases when FTDNA is not able to accept the v2 results from AncestryDNA. (Note that AncestryDNA is on v2; 23andMe is on v5. FTDNA is not accepting v5 from 23andMe, even if it’s been run through mapmy23.)

  7. Is there any consensus about who uses the best process? Scratching the “imputers” off the list, who has the best duplicating,etc process? You recommend going with Ancestry and uploading to FTDNA, but is it possible that FTDNA has a better process to begin with. For instance, is FTDNA going to have a better finished sample of my DNA if I use them for the entire process than if I upload Ancestry-processed DNA? And therefore FTDNA would give me a different (albeit no doubt quite similar) ethnicity breakdown depending on that?

    1. I would trust any of the companies to do the actual lab work (extracting and analyzing the DNA), so that’s not an issue. The companies use different “chips” (a lab tool) to get the data, and for that reason results can vary. The other reason you won’t get exactly the same results is that the companies analyze the data differently after they obtain it. For ethnicity estimates, they have different reference populations and different computer algorithms. They also have their own protocols for relative matching, so someone might share 100 cM with you at AncestryDNA and 125 cM at FTDNA.

      Because they use different chips, you’ll get more matches at FTDNA if you test directly with them than if you transfer from Ancestry, although the additional matches will all be distant relatives. If distant matches are important to you and you can afford to test directly with both companies, that might be the best approach for you.

      Finally, I wouldn’t dismiss the “imputers”. All of the companies will have to use imputation eventually, because new models of chip replace old ones over time.

      1. Thanks, DNA Geek. I can work around their differences in analyzation by transferring Ancestry to FTDNA and seeing both reads, but there’s no work-around for differences resulting from the chips themselves. I’ll buy both. I’m kind of interesting in seeing FTDNA’s read of the sample I give them against their read of the sample I give Ancestry.

        Can you write (or have you written) an entry about imputation. I was excited about my 23andMe v5 results, but now I’m not so sure. Some say that imputation uses some guess-work to fill in blanks.

  8. You recommend going with Ancestry and then uploading to FTDNA, which economically-speaking makes a lot of sense. This is what my mother did. But before I do that, I want to make sure that Ancestry does just as good a job extracting and processing the DNA as FTDNA.

    Are those two companies using an identical process, or may I get a different result from FTDNA depending on whether they, or Ancestry, process my sample?

    Likewise, is there any consensus about which company, out of all of them, has the best processing?

    1. “RB” asked a very similar question, so I will refer you to that answer (also in the comments to this post). The short answer is that I would trust any of the companies mentioned in this post to process my data.

  9. Dr. Larkin,
    Would you please verify if this info is current as of today or do you have a more recent blog post? Thank you!

    1. It’s accurate as far as I know. I’ve heard some people claiming that they were able to upload 23andMe v5 to FTDNA, but I haven’t been able to confirm it. FTDNA’s website lists only v3 and v4 as acceptable files. I will update this page (or link to an updated one) as soon as I learn anything new.

      1. Is there an update on the v5 to FTDNA transfer? I have seen several people in FB groups post links, but at the time I didn’t need the link so I didn’t save it. Now that a friend needs it, I can find the link. She hasn’t uploaded to MyHeritage yet, but if she did, would that allow a transfer of her MyHeritage upload to work with FTDNA if she could download her MyHeritage upload after it’s processed?

        1. FTDNA is not accepting transfers of 23andMe v5 that I know of, and I have no idea when or if they’ll ever accept that version. Uploading to MyHeritage then downloading to get a file that FTDNA would accept is a great idea, unfortunately there isn’t way to download again from MyHeritage. Her best bet would be to test at Ancestry then transfer that file around. That will get her in the all the major databases for the cost of just one test.

  10. Can I transfer DNA from FamilytreeDNA to 23andme? My mother gave DNA to Familytree and then passed away. I would like to get additional info on her.

    1. No, 23andMe does not accept uploads. The had a one-day promotion on DNA Day this year during which they took uploads from AncestryDNA. Those uploaded kits got ethnicity reports and a few trait reports but were not part of DNA Relatives (matching).

    1. Yes, you can transfer to MyHeritage, GEDmatch, and Living DNA. In her FTDNA account, go to myFTDNA, then Family Finder, Download Raw Data. Scroll down and select “Build 36 Raw Data Concatenated”. Use that file and follow the instructions in this post for MyHeritage, GEDmatch, and Living DNA.

  11. I have now tested with 23andme and Ancestry. Is it possible to download 2 dna tests to sites? I won’t be able to download right away because of V5 chip. Just asking for future reference. I am trying to locate family of long lost grandfather.

    Thank you for your help

  12. Hi, I would like to know if there is any way I can convert (download) my DNA data which was processed by LivingDNA to 23andMe format so that I can use it for FTDNA? Thanks.

    1. Not at this time. Living DNA and the latest version of 23andMe (version 5) use the same “chip” (the lab device used to collect the data), and FTDNA doesn’t accept either at the moment.

  13. I’m not having any success converting my ancestry v2 file using mapmy23. Any suggestions? I really want to upload to ftdna. Thanks

  14. All the links to Mapmy23 produce a 404 error. I’ve used the tool several times in the past with great results. Is it still available somewhere?

    1. I’m not sure what’s going on with MapMy23. For a while, FTDNA was able to accept Ancestry uploads without the MapMy23 fix, although apparently they’re having problems again.

  15. You have say that the $19 cost for additional tests is waived if you transfer you data from Myheritage but I’m asked for the money. Is there a technique to get by this.

    1. The charge is for additional features, not additional tests. At MyHeritage and FTDNA, each DNA kit must pay the fee separately to access those tools. The exception may be kits that are uploaded to a subscriber account at MyHeritage.

  16. This statement, above, is in need of revision:

    > (8) DNA.Land is a non-profit research site run by academics. They accept transfers but do not offer DNA tests themselves. They provide relative matching…

    I just contacted DNA.Land. They responded:

    > We have decided to discontinue relative matching. Although there is no indication that law enforcement agencies have used DNA Land, the field is quite divided on the issue of sharing genetic data to investigate crimes. We care about your privacy and have decided to remove this information for the time being.

    1. I contacted Yaniv Erlich, one of the lead scientists at DNA.Land, and he said that matching would be back within a couple of weeks.

      1. UPDATE: DNA.Land announced on 15 Sep 2019 that they are closing as an academic research project on 30 Sep and relaunching as an independent website on 1 Oct. All of the kits currently in the DNA.Land database will be deleted. People wanting to continue to use “DNA.Land 2.0” can upload again once the new site is open.

  17. It seems that the LivingDNA to MyHeritage upload has not worked for about 9 months since LivingDNA changed from the Omni to the Sirius chip. I haven’t been able to load any family data from recent tests, although older data still uploads.
    It looks like it is that MyHeritage discards from the high number of unmatched SNPs that it isn’t expecting in the improved and expanded LivingDNA data.
    Works fine with GEDMatch

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