08 January 2012

How to Save Your Raw DNA Data at 23andMe

I just went through the process to download all of my family's data from 23andMe to be sure I have the most current information saved on my computer.

Here are the steps you need to perform to download your data. You may also want to print some or all of these pages for future reference. Using an image grabbing tool like TechSmith's SnagIt can also be useful for capturing some of these pages. SnagIt can grab an entire Web page including parts that require scrolling to view on the screen.

1. Login to your 23andMe account.

2. Click "Account > Browse Raw Data" in the top navbar.

3. Click "Download raw data."

4. Click the "See a log of updates and changes to the raw data download" link in the center of the page. Save the revision history as your current raw data file is likely different than one you saved earlier. Then go back to the "Download Raw Data" page.

5. Enter both your password and your secret answer. If your account is used for multiple tests, select one tester in the "Profile." Select "All DNA" as the Data set. Navigate to the folder where you wish to save the file, rename the file if desired, click "Save."

7. Click "Relative Finder" in the left navbar. Scroll to the end of the displayed list and click "Download Results." Navigate to the folder where you wish to save the file, rename the file if desired, click "Save."

Note: This saves all of your matches, not just the ones currently displayed on the page. One problem with using this data later is that many of the 23andMe testers have no name listed. You also won't have any way to contact these matches if you no longer have a 23andMe account. See prior post with links to 23andMe position statements to decide if you need a lifetime subscription to 23andMe.

8. Click "Ancestry Labs" in the left navbar then "Ancestry Finder" on the next page.

Scroll to the end of the displayed list and click "Download [name]'s Ancestry Finder matches (csv)." Navigate to the folder where you wish to save the file, rename the file if desired, click "Save." This saves all of your matches, not just the ones currently displayed on the page. The note in step seven applies here, too.

9. While logged in, save a consolidated health report by entering the URL https://www.23andme.com/you/health/printable/ into your browser and saving the resulting PDF file. Navigate to the folder where you wish to save the file, rename the file if desired, click "Save."

10. Check your inbox for all messages. Some of these may be from cousins you haven't met yet that you'd like to correspond with while you still have a 23andMe account.

11. Browse the other pages available to you and print or capture any data you may be interested in.


Note: repeat the process above for each profile if you have tested multiple people on one account.


Hat tip to Ann Turner, co-author of Trace Your Roots with DNA (Rodale Press, 2004) for her post to the ISOGG group list reminding users to save the Ancestry and Relative Finder data and consolidated health report. Ann also let everyone know the monthly subscription fees being discussed during this recent controversy apply only to those who tested with the V3 chip when the new terms of service were introduced. A 23andMe press release indicates
Customers who purchase the 23andMe Personal Genome Service™ on or after Wednesday, November 24th will have their DNA tested on the new version of the array.

23andMe has combined Illumina's HumanOmniExpress [V3] array with significant customization to create a more comprehensive testing platform.
So if you tested before November 24, 2010, you tested on the V2 version of the Illumina chip. You probably already have a lifetime subscription and much of the current controversy does not apply to you.


© 2012, Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, All Rights Reserved

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