This was supposed to be a product review of the Ancestry Match Downloader chrome extension.
Unfortunately it’s not downloading matches currently. Judging by the reviews and support comments, it stopped working sometime in January 2020.
“worked fine on first try about 3 weeks ago but now no longer functions. Wont scan or anything.”Jan 2020
“The extension was working a week ago, but this week it stopped working.”Jan 2020
A Basic Match Count
The application successfully processes the first step, which is a limited count of your matches. The instructions state clearly that the extension limits the download of matches to 20 CM. This doesn’t suit my needs for reasons that will be clear from this screen grab from the application in action:
Yes, I have 149 matches at this range. In contrast, the instructions say that a typical Ancestry user will have up to 10,000 matches in this range.
Ancestry Match Downloader Error
Unfortunately, the next step fails to download any matches.
A promising set of features
I’m disappointed this is not working because the feature list includes downloading shared matches (also referred to ICW matches). The instructions gives some time estimates to download shared matches based on how many matches you’re working with (at 20CM+):
- 2,500 matches – 30 minutes
- 4,000 matches – 2 hours
- 6,000 matches – 3 to 4 hours
That’s not too dissimilar from what I remember of the now defunct AncestryDNA Helper chrome extension.
Alternatives to the Ancestry Match Downloader
Heirloom Software offer a free desktop application that downloads basic match details. It doesn’t get tree information, ethnicity or shared matches. However, if you just want basic details, it does a fine job. Check out my review.
Boyne Analytics (our company) offer a commercial service to download match details, tree information, and shared matches into an enriched set of spreadsheets. There is a free trial.
As mentioned, an older chrome extension called the Ancestry DNA helper is no longer functional.
After reviewing all the tools we could find, here is our roundup of tools to download Ancestry matches.
Hoping for a fixed version
I’d really like to give this extension a try, particularly if the 20 CM threshold is lifted. I’ll keep checking back on the reviews and comments in the Chrome Store.
Please drop us a comment below if you find that you can install and use it successfully.