October 2, 2020
Product Reviews

LivingDNA DNA Data Upload | How to maximize free family matches

Simply by uploading your raw DNA data file you can find family members and get a broad ethnicity estimate with LivingDNA. Learn how, here!
Tomohiro Takano

Did you know that LivingDNA offers free results for users who upload their raw DNA data to the site? Believe it or not, you can all sorts of extra free DNA results simply by utilizing the DNA file you can download from companies like 23andMe, Ancestry, and MyHeritage. In fact, LivingDNA will allow you to connect to DNA matches and will give you a taste of their ancestry results.

Keep reading to learn how to take advantage of this great offer without buying a LivingDNA test or ever using another mouth swab again!

Who is Eligible for a Free Upload?

Anyone who has previously had their DNA tested with 23andMe, Ancestry.com, or MyHeritage is eligible for a free upload with LivingDNA. Simply go to your online dashboard with any of those companies, and you will find an option to “download your raw DNA data.” Most commonly, these downloads will contain a CSV file with all the information these companies have measured from your DNA. (Sometimes companies offer a TXT file or a GZ, instead.) 

CSV files can be opened in Xcel or any other spreadsheet application. A raw DNA data file simply contains the names of all the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the variants you carry. Each SNP can contain 1 of 4 different variants, and this file simply shows all of the different variants your DNA has at each one of these locations. Unfortunately, the file is meaningless unless you have a massive database that you can compare them to.

By uploading this file to LivingDNA, the company will compare your SNPs to those in their database. Then, they will tell you which continents your ancestors likely lived on, as well as match you to other users in their database that share your DNA. This is essentially a slightly reduced version of what you would get from LivingDNA’s autosomal DNA test kits. 

What Will You Get?

LivingDNA offers two features to new users that upload their raw data file. First, you can get access to your DNA matches on the LivingDNA site through a family finder. Second, the company will give you a preview of their ancestry results - allowing you to see which continents your DNA likely came from. 

The access to LivingDNA’s DNA database is a great opportunity to find DNA relatives that you can not find on other sites and explore your family history! LivingDNA will allow you to reach out, connect to these DNA matches, and even see what portions of DNA you share with these other users. Though LivingDNA will allow you to see which continents your ancestors may have come from, this is really more of a teaser for their more in-depth ethnicity estimate. For an upgrade, you can get more specific results (like Irish or the British Isles) that will allow you to really hone-in on your family ancestry.

It should be noted that LivingDNA does not analyze Y-DNA (Y-chromosome) or mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA), and therefore cannot give you information that is specific to your haplogroup, motherline, or fatherline. But, if you don’t like the results or do not find the free process useful, you can delete your DNA upload at any time!

How to Upload Your Raw Data to LivingDNA

The first step involves downloading your DNA data file from the company that originally tested your DNA sample. The exact instructions for this process change, depending on the company you first tested with. Typically, you can find a link through the online dashboard of each company that will allow you to do this. If you can’t find the link, simply Google “how to download raw DNA data from X,” where “X” is the company that tested your DNA.

Most commonly, the data will download in a “zipped” file. Before you can upload this data to LivingDNA (or any other sites), you must “unzip” the file. Simply open the file on your desktop, then click on the option to “Extract All.” This will open a dialogue box and you can choose where the extracted file is saved. Save the file where you can find it again, then head over to the LivingDNA Free Upload Page.

Click on the Sign-Up link, and create a free account. This will lead you to a page where you can choose which file you want to upload. Choose the file you extracted and saved early, and start the upload process. The file should only take a few minutes to upload (depending on your internet speed). However, you will need to wait up to 48 hours to start getting results from LivingDNA. Write down your new login information, and you will receive an email when your results are ready!

While LivingDNA offers some very cool (and free!) ways to get more out of your DNA data, you should also consider uploading to these other companies that can give 

Do More with Your Raw DNA Data (without a new DNA test)!

LivingDNA is one of many DNA testing companies that offer free DNA analysis with a DNA upload! In fact, several other companies offer similar free upload services:

  • GEDmatch: a free genetic genealogy service that can match you to family members and family networks, plus you can check out a chromosome browser to see what parts of your DNA match!
  • MyHeritageDNA: as one of the largest ancestry DNA testing companies, you may be able to find many living relatives through this company!
  • FamilyTreeDNA: FTDNA also offers free access to its database to search for living relatives through their matching service!

While these sites can help you find living relatives and explore your DNA ancestry as a genealogist would, there is WAY more information that your raw DNA data can give you access to. If you want to learn more about how your genetic data influences many traits simply by uploading data for free, you should really consider Genomelink!

At Genomelink, you can get 25 test results for free that can tell you about how your DNA may be influencing your nutrition, wellness, personality, and physical traits! Since Genomelink does not offer DNA kits or family matching, we can specialize in genetic testing traits that you cannot find with any other DNA testing companies!

To find out about all of the other great sites you can use to get free information from your DNA data, check out our article on the Best DNA Upload Sites!

Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO