Download Your AncestryDNA Matches in 10 Minutes!

A Segmentology TIDBIT


UPDATE: AncestryDNA has issued a cease and desist order, and this process is no longer available to download your Matches. Sorry about that.

That is download: all your Matches, a hyperlink [to their Page as a Match to you], Shared cM, Shared Segments, Tree Type, Tree Size, Common Ancestors [per ThruLines], a tic for each Dot and Star, and your Notes! This fast download does NOT include your Shared Matches, which may take days to download.

Here’s the process:

  1. Before running this program, I set up a separate folder with todays date [e.g. 20200409] for each download; the Shared Clustering program will give you a chance to select this folder and to rename the download file.
  2. Download the Shared Clustering program. See my review of this program here. The link to upload this program is:
  3. Click on Download TAB
  4. Enter your Ancestry user name and password [stored on your PC only]
  5. Click on Sign In
  6. Select your Test (if you have access to more than one)
  7. Click the button for Fast but incomplete
  8. Open Advanced options
  9. Lowest centimorgans to retrieve: 6 [this includes all of your Matches]
  10. Lowest centimorgans of shared matches: 4000 [this means don’t download any Shared Matches]
  11. Click on: Get DNA Matches


Here’s a picture of the message when the download is complete:

So 125,000+ Matches in 6 minutes – your results may vary.

After the download, Export the downloaded txt file to Excel. Click on the Export TAB, and follow the prompts to create an Excel file – takes about 4 min.

You can then use/manipulate the Excel file. You can sort on any field, and you can edit any Notes and then Upload those revisions back to AncestryDNA. I use this as an opportunity to do a Quality check of my Notes, and to insure I have a Note for each Match with a ThruLines Common Ancestor. I find it’s much easier to edit Notes in the spreadsheet, than to jump around to each Match at AncestryDNA. NB: Don’t edit Notes in AncestryDNA when you are also editing Notes in the spreadsheet. If you do any edits in AncestryDNA, you need to do a new Download (it only takes 10 minutes!)


[22AS] Segment-ology: Download Your AncestryDNA Matches in 10 Minutes!

TIDBIT by Jim Bartlett 20200409 EDITED 20200808

22 thoughts on “Download Your AncestryDNA Matches in 10 Minutes!

  1. Ancestry is doing a massive delete of DNA matches with 6-8 cM with virtually no warning. This may appear inconsequential but for someone like me whose father was quite old when I was born, those matches are essential. They may be the last DNA links to older generations. I have had amazing success using them as tools in locating clusters of my family around the world. I didn’t know how to download them until I saw this blog. Unfortunately in addition to giving no warning to speak of Ancestry is also cutting off the possibility of download using the link you provide. Please help. What can I do?


    • Linda,

      The short answer is to “Dot” the small Matches (under 8.0cM) that you want to keep. Or “Star” them. Or put a Note in the Notes box. Or send them a message. The fastest/easiest is to Dot or Star them. At Ancestry, select your DNA Matches list. Then click on Shared DNA and select the Custom centiMorgan Range to get only the small ones. I would also select Public linked trees, so you only get Matches with Trees. There is no way to now download the AncestryDNA Matches any longer. Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quick (and possibly ‘dumb’) question here… ‘Fast but incomplete’ button? On what screen do I find this? I’ve gone through every screen I can find. Thanks.


    • Alan, GEDmatch has changed their menu – there is only one program now to upload your data: Generic uploads – remember this applies to your raw DNA data. Thanks for your feedback. Jim


  3. Pingback: Download Your AncestryDNA Matches in 10 Minutes! | Monterey County Genealogy Society

  4. Jim, this is totally ADDICTIVE and great! I downloaded it late yesterday afternoon, ran my matches, and was still making discoveries hours and hours later–like 2 AM!


    • Karen,

      Glad you liked it. I like to sort the spreadsheet on Common Ancestors, and see how many children of the CA are covered.. This sort also lets me check to see I have something about each of these Matches in the Notes box. That way, when I’ve looking at a Cluster, I can see if there is a consensus for it (or not). Often I can readily tell which side a Cluster is on – sometimes which grandparent or great grandparent, just from the CAs in the Notes. This helps my Matches too, because I can tell them that they are related to me on my father’s mother’s father’s side (for example), which really narrows down the are of my Tree to search (for me and each Match in the Cluster). Jim


      • Jim, my brother uses “all Apple products.” If I send him just the spreadsheet, will he be able to use the various features of the SS within a Mac version of Excel?


      • Karen,
        Yes, that should work. I run the program and get the spreadsheet. From then on I leave the Shared Clustering program off. If I make changes to the spreadsheet, I can then save a copy of the spreadsheet to the same folder in my spreadsheet where the download is, and upload all the changes back to Ancestry. So your brother could use the spreadsheet, make changes and then give it back to you for upload. Jim


  5. Jim,
    just started using Ancestry clustering this week. I have 1400 rows of 20cM+ and 61 clusters created. What determines what becomes cluster 1, 2, 3, that is what is the order from1 to 61 mean ? I can spot my grandparents and great grandparents but they seem randomly positioned in the 61. Thanks


    • Jim,
      Randomly is the key word. The clustering algorithms were borrowed from advertising and business and science to group lots of data points which were linked to each other. Sometimes you can jostle your data a little and get a different layout 1-61.


  6. My download of 88,000 + matches took 3 hours or so. The endogamy thing seems quite inaccurate. I have a lot of Cajun matches where most link to me via multiple lines. Yet the tool said I had none.


  7. Jim, In your picture of the message, it shows “1000” lowest centimorgans of shared matches instead of the “4000” that you recommend under instruction no. 10. That will cause those of us that are not paying good attention to end up with a download of over an hour, instead of 10 minutes. I had to abort the first download and then I figured it out. Hopefully not too many folks will make the same mistake.


    • Jim, In my DoD presentation days, we used to say consistency was a greater virtue than accuracy:>j In the Shared Clustering documentation, it says pick a value that is more than any Match. 1,000 works for me, but 4,000 would preclude children or parents. I just tried it again using 4,000 and it still gave me a download in under 5 minutes. Not sure why it didn’t work for you. Jim


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