Requirements before you start

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What do you need to get started?

All you need to use DNA Painter is for you or someone close to you to have taken an autosomal DNA test (such as the ones sold by 23andme, Ancestry, FamilytreeDNA, Living DNA and MyHeritage).

Of these leading testing companies, Ancestry and LivingDNA do not currently provide the segment data that you need in order to paint your matches. So if you've tested with one of these companies, you'll need to:

  • Download your DNA from the website of the company you tested with
  • Upload your DNA to a site that provides segment data, and accepts transfers (currently FamilyTreeDNA, Gedmatch, Gedmatch Genesis and MyHeritage)

Please note: you do not upload your raw DNA to DNA Painter; the only data you need is the segment data that you can get from 23andme, FamilytreeDNA, Gedmatch and MyHeritage.

Even if your testing company does provide segment data, you might like to take advantage of additional matches and different tools available on FamilytreeDNA, Gedmatch, Gedmatch Genesis and MyHeritage. For some newer tests (e.g. LivingDNA and the v5 test at 23andme), you will need to use Gedmatch Genesis instead of Gedmatch.

Please note: some people have found that in order to upload their raw DNA from Ancestry to FamilyTreeDNA, they have to use this online tool first.

Gedmatch and Gedmatch Genesis are free, and autosomal transfers to MyHeritage are currently free. You will have to pay a one-time fee of $19 per DNA kit to access the Chromosome Browser in Family Tree DNA. DNA Painter is free.

Downloading your raw DNA

Uploading your DNA

Next: How do you use DNA Painter?