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What Can I See on Ancestry DNA Without a Subscription?

Are you wondering what you can see on Ancestry DNA without paying a monthly subscription? Maybe you are curious about what happens after you do your DNA test, and what is included with no membership?

Perhaps you have a subscription, and you are thinking about cancelling it for a while? Maybe you just don’t have the time to spend on your DNA results right now.

No matter your reasons for wondering, in this post, I will show you exactly what someone without a subscription will be able to see on Ancestry DNA, which features you still have access to, and whether or not your results will still be updated even if you don’t have a subscription.

Bonus: At the end of this article, I’ll tell you what you won’t be able to see, and give you a link for a two-week free trial, just in case you are interested in trying out a subscription.

What you have access to without an Ancestry DNA subscription

If you did a DNA test with Ancestry, but you don’t currently have an subscription, or are wondering if you need one, I will show you here exactly what you will be able to see when you log into your account.

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You will have access to your main dashboard without a subscription

When you log into Ancestry DNA, you will still see your main dashboard, just like you would with a subscription. From this dashboard, you will be able to see an overview of your ethnicity estimate, an overview of the number of DNA matches that you have, and whether or not you are a member of any DNA ThruLines.

The image below is from my adult daughter’s DNA test, shared with her permission. She is not as involved in family history research as I am, so she doesn’t have a subscription.

When she logs into her Ancestry DNA results, this is what she sees:

A screen capture from Ancestry results that shows Ethnicity Estimate, DNA Matches and ThruLines, the basic over view of Ancestry DNA results
She can easily access her full DNA Story, DNA Matches, and her ThruLines, even if she doesn’t have a subscription

Without an Ancestry DNA subscription, you can still access your Ethnicity Estimate

If you click on “Discover Your DNA Story”, everything is pretty similar to what you see when you do have a subscription. You’ll still be able to see your entire ethnicity estimate, along with the maps, descriptions, and migration routes of your ancestors.

Your DNA Story is where you can access your Ethnicity Estimate, find out which DNA Communities you belong to, learn about your ethnicity inheritance from each of your parents, and more – without a subscription.

In the image below, you can see that my daughter is able to explore all of the map regions. If she were to click on a particular ethnicity region, she could read the descriptions of the history of the area, and even read about the genetic diversity of people currently living in those areas.

Example of ethnicity estimate from someone who doesn't have a subscription.  Ethnicity regions shown include Indigenous Americas, Sweden and Denmark, Eastern Europe and Russia, Spain, Senegal, and more
There are several more regions that didn’t fit all on one screen, which is why the percentage shown might not equal 100%

Even better, Ancestry DNA results will regularly update based on new data and technological advances, even if you don’t have a subscription. This means that your results will continue to improve, even if you don’t pay the monthly membership fee.

You can also see which ethnicity regions you got from each of your parents

From directly within your Ancestry Ethnicity Estimate, you will be able to see your Ethnicity Inheritance By Parent, which is based on the SideView technology. This feature can help you find out which ethnicity or ancestry regions were inherited from your mother and father.

Example of Sideview Results Ethnicity Inheritance By PArent
If you click on “View Breakdown”, you will see the exact percentages of each region that came from your mother and father

You can still access your DNA match list without a subscription

If you don’t have an Ancestry subscription, you will still be able to access your DNA match list. This list is updated regularly for all Ancestry DNA customers as new matches become available.

You will be able to see all of the categories of DNA matches, from immediate family to distant cousins. The typical Ancestry DNA match list includes thousands of DNA matches, and they are always accessible to you, regardless of whether you have a current subscription.

can you still see your dna match list without an ancestry subscription

If you click on any particular DNA match, you will be able to see their ethnicity regions, how much DNA you share, as well as their estimated relationship to you.

The image below is of my daughter’s DNA match with a great-uncle. As you can see, she is able to see either their name or initials, the name of the person who manages the test results, their ethnicity regions, their predicted relationship, as well as a few other details.

These two relatives share 878 centimorgans over 34 segments, a great-uncle and niece relationship

She is even able to view how many centimorgans they share in common, which you might note is 878 cMs – pretty much typical for two people of their relationship type. If she clicks on the number of shared centimorgans, she can see details such as the size of the longest DNA segment.

You can still see which ThruLines you belong to without a subscription

If you are interested in seeing whether you have ThruLines on your results, you should have a family tree connected to your DNA results that has been built back to as many generations as you can. If you have ThruLines, you will be able to see the name of the ancestor, as well as the names of the DNA matches who are potentially related to you through that ancestor.

However, you will not be able to view individual public member trees that were used to calculate your ThruLines, or documents that may have been used to document relationships in those trees.

What does an Ancestry subscription allow you to view in your DNA results?

By this point, you have realized that there is a lot of information that you can gather from your DNA results even if you don’t have a subscription. This could lead someone to wonder if a subscription is even necessary to get the most from an Ancestry autosomal DNA test.

While it is true that you can do a great amount of research without a subscription, in order to really get the most from your results, a subscription – even for a short period of time – will serve you well.

Note: The information in your ethnicity results will be basically the same whether you have a subscription or not. The main benefit in having a subscription is related to your DNA matches and your ThruLines – and it’s a huge benefit.

With a subscription, you can easily figure out how you are related to your DNA matches

If you don’t have a subscription, you won’t be able to view any information about your match’s family tree, or the family trees of shared matches. Viewing the family tree of your DNA matches is the best and easiest way to figure out how you might be related, and to learn more about your own family tree.

If my daughter clicks on her match, because she doesn’t have a membership she will only be able to see the basics about her match, as I described above. If she scrolls down to view the tree, there will be nothing there except for a message about subscribing.

An Ancestry subscription makes building a family tree quick and easy!

Even though this is not directly related to your DNA results, being able to quickly build your family tree back a few more generations is a great way to get the most from your DNA results.  With a family tree, you can quickly see how you are related to many of your DNA matches, get Common Ancestor Hints, and have ThruLines show up to help you learn how you are related to your DNA matches. 

An Ancestry subscription makes looking for documents and records very easy, and you can add people to your tree with just a few clicks.

So while I understand that not everyone can have a subscription all the time, it’s very useful to have a subscription while you are first exploring your results and definitely while you are building your family tree.

How to get a free trial for an Ancestry subscription

If you think that you would like to try out a subscription on Ancestry to see if it is right for you, you can use the following link to get a two-week free trial.  If you decide to subscribe once the free trial is over, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you – thank you for your support!


I hope that this explanation about what you can do with your DNA results without a subscription was helpful.  If you have any questions about something that you read, or if I left something out, I would encourage you to leave a comment below. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for stopping by today.

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Sue C

Sunday 21st of May 2023

Thanks! I was interested in seeing what someone else would be able to see with a free account.


Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi ☺️

If you obtain your dna test without a subscription and then upgrade later- will you you benefit from all the perks of a subscription as though you had one all along?

Many thanks


Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Hi Emily, That's a great question! Yes, you can upgrade your account at any time and be able to get all of the benefits of having one - you won't miss out on anything in particular by waiting. Have a great day, Mercedes

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