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Do You Have to Subscribe to Ancestry to do the DNA Test?

You don’t have to subscribe to Ancestry to be able to take the DNA test and get your results. In this post, learn what you can discover without a subscription, and more.

It makes complete sense that you would want to know what you will get along with your Ancestry DNA results, and so it is very good to learn that not having a subscription won’t affect your enjoyment of your DNA results.

Of course, there are a few ways in which an Ancestry subscription can enhance certain features of your results. Towards the end of this article, I will discuss this in more detail.

Do you have to have an ancestry account to do the DNA test?

Yes, you must create a free Ancestry account in order to register your DNA kit and receive your results. Fortunately, this is easy to do and only takes a few minutes.

Your Ancestry account does not cost anything, and you can do many things related to family tree research with a free Ancestry account. This includes building a family tree, which I highly recommend that you do if you decide to take an Ancestry DNA test.

What do you get from Ancestry DNA without a subscription?

Ancestry DNA users without a subscription will have access to their ethnicity results, an extensive list of DNA matches, and certain information on Ancestry ThruLines. You will also be able to contact your DNA matches, view Shared Matches, and Common Ancestor Hints.

The most popular reason to do a DNA test is to receive an ethnicity estimate. This is a very fun and interesting way to see which regions of the world most closely match the DNA that you inherited from your ancestors.

In other words, we get a snapshot into where our most recent ancestors likely lived. And of course, we get this estimate without having to have an Ancestry subscription.

My estimate occasionally changes as technology and scientific advancements permit

The part that I most enjoy about my Ancestry DNA results is my DNA match list. I research my DNA matches to determine how we are related, which helps me learn more about my family tree.

Occasionally, I am able to discover a new ancestor through information that I learn through my research of my match. With or without an Ancestry subscription, I have access to my DNA match list.

The screenshot below is from my DNA match list. As of February, 2021, I have more than 18,000 DNA matches – all relatives who have also tested their DNA with Ancestry.

screen capture of my Ancestry DNA match list showing how many total matches I have (18,695) as well as how many are related at 4th cousin or closer (724) and how many are more distant (17,971)
This image is from my own Ancestry DNA list. I have more than 18,000 DNA matches on the site!

I can learn a lot about how my DNA match and I might be related just by clicking on their name from my DNA match list. Since I have built a family tree on Ancestry (highly recommended, if you do a DNA test on the site), I can often see if my match and I have surnames shared in common or sometimes even exactly how we might be related.

Will your DNA results be updated without a subscription?

Yes, your DNA results will be updated along with those of other Ancestry DNA customers. This is true even if you don’t currently have an active subscription with

I first did a test with Ancestry DNA six years ago, and my DNA results go through regular updates. My ethnicity estimate is updated approximately yearly basis, and I get new DNA matches almost daily.

Of course, you will only get new DNA matches if new relatives test their DNA with Ancestry. If they do, however, you can rest assured that they will show up on your list.

Even though I first did my test back in 2015, I find myself logging into Ancestry on a daily basis to see what’s new. To me, it has been a great return on investment for the $99 that I paid for my test.

It has changed my life, and that of many of my family members, in too many ways to count. In other words, I am glad that I did my test!

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Is there such thing as an Ancestry DNA subscription?

Currently, there is no separate Ancestry DNA subscription. Instead, those who have taken DNA tests with Ancestry can subscribe to the Ancestry records service in order to get access to documents, public family trees, and other records.

A subscription to Ancestry can help you learn more from your DNA results

While it is not at all necessary to have a subscription to Ancestry in order to use (and learn from) Ancestry DNA results, a subscription to the Ancestry records service does offer some benefits.

The primary benefit of having an Ancestry subscription as an Ancestry DNA user is to be able to view the public family trees of DNA matches. This is often the best way to determine how you are related to your DNA match.

I usually recommend that people who test with Ancestry get the free trial to see how they like it. You can always subscribe for a month or two at a time when you are most active in research.

You won’t lose anything in your DNA results by cancelling your Ancestry subscription. Your DNA test and results will not be deleted by not having an Ancestry subscription.


I hope that this post helped you understand all of the things that you can learn from and do with your DNA results without having an Ancestry subscription.

If you have any questions about something specific that you read in this post, I would love to hear from you in the discussion below.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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