Activating an AncestryDNA® Kit

« Go Back


Article Body


So you have a DNA kit. What's next? Well, we need to know where to deliver your results. That's where activating your kit comes in. This step connects your kit to your Ancestry® account. Kits can be activated before or after a sample is mailed. 

Each adult who takes the test needs their own account. Except for with minor children, only one DNA kit can be activated per account. You can also invite someone else to activate their kit or activate your child's kit.


Activating a kit

Activate a DNA kit
  1. If you're signed in to your account, click Yes. If you’re not signed in, click No, then Sign in to activate your DNA kit. Then, click Next.

    Click Yes or No
  2. Enter your activation code and click Next. The activation code is printed on your tube and instruction packet. Don't enter hyphens.

    Enter your activation code
  3. To activate a kit for yourself, click your name, then click Next. To activate a kit for your minor child, click My child and follow the directions here. If you're trying to activate a kit for another adult, click Someone else and follow the directions to activate for someone else.

    Click your own name
  4. Enter your birth year and assigned sex at birth. Click Next.

    Click Review and Consent and click Next
  5. Read the DNA Processing Consent, then select Review and Consent. Click Next. If you decline, you cannot activate your kit.

    Click Review and Consent and click Next
  6. If you'd like to store your sample with Ancestry, click I give consent. If you don't want it stored, click I do not give consent. Click Next

    Click I give consent or I do not give consent
  7. Read the Informed Consent, then select I have read the Informed Consent. Neither participation nor non-participation has any effect on your DNA results. Click I give consent or I do not give consent. Click Next.

    Check the box and click Do Not Give Consent or Give Consent, then click Next
  8. Click Yes to see your DNA matches and be listed as a match or No to not see or be seen by your matches. Then, click Next. DNA matches are people who are related to you. If you do not want to be visible to biological family, click No. If you want to find and be found by biological family, click Yes. You can change this preference at any time.

    Click yes or no, then click Next
  9. If you want your DNA matches to see your name, click your name. If you want your DNA matches to see your username, click your username. Click Next. If you chose not to be listed as a DNA match, you will not see this option. When you allow others to view your complete ethnicity, geographic and cultural origins, they will be able to see your ethnicity estimate, including communities.

    Click yes or no, then click Next
  10. If you want your DNA matches to see all the regions and communities in your ethnicity estimate, select the top option. If you want your DNA matches to see only the regions and communities you have in common, select the bottom option. Click Next. If you chose not to be listed as a DNA match, you will not see this option.

    Click Show my complete ethnicity estimate and communities or Show only what we have in common, then click Next
  11. In the Kit Notifications section, click Yes to receive text updates about the status of your kit or No if you don't want them. If you click Yes, enter your cell phone number in the field that appears. Click Next.

    Click Yes or No, enter your mobile phone number if you clicked yes, then click Next
  12. To receive weekly emails about new information and relatives based on your DNA results, click Yes. To opt out of update emails, click No. Click Next.

    Click Yes or No, then click Next
  13. In the Review section, review the information you’ve entered and click Submit and activate.
  14. Check the status of your DNA kit anytime by clicking the DNA tab at the top of any page on Ancestry and selecting Your DNA Results Summary.


What’s next

If you haven’t done so, collect your sample and send it in. When the laboratory begins processing your sample, you’ll receive an email letting you know. This email may arrive up to five weeks after mailing your sample.

You can expect your results within eight weeks of the date the laboratory receives your sample.



Lost activation code
An activation code is a 15-digit series of alternating letters and numbers printed both on the side of your tube and on your instruction packet. If your code is permanently gone and your kit isn’t activated, we’ll need to send you another kit, even if you mailed your sample. Contact us to request a free replacement kit.

Activation code doesn’t work
If your code isn’t 15 characters long, check which company your DNA test is from. Activation codes have alternating letters and numbers; if you’ve entered three letters or three numbers in a row, check the middle character. Make sure you don’t have the number “5” entered as the letter “S,” for example.

Blue solution doesn't release into the container
Carefully loosen the cap, then twist it on again tightly. Repeat until the blue solution releases.

Lost plastic bag
Place the tube in a Ziploc bag and place the bag in the return box.

No email address or email address is already connected to an Ancestry account
If you don’t have an email address, or if you share an email address that's already associated with an account, you’ll need to create a new one in order to create an account and activate your kit.

Contact us
How can we help?


For other activation problems, see DNA Activation Troubleshooting. For help collecting your sample, see Collecting a Saliva Sample.

TitleActivating an AncestryDNA® Kit
URL NameActivating-an-AncestryDNA-Kit

Powered by