How to Do an AncestryDNA Test (unboxing / images)

My AncestryDNA test arrived in the mail after I ordered it from Amazon for $99.

AncestryDNA often runs specials and discounts on the DNA test, so be sure to check both Amazon and their website when purchasing.

Both my wife and I purchased a test and went through the process together.

Compared to some other consumer DNA tests for heritage and lineage currently on the market, Ancestry is maybe the most well-known.

There are a lot of questions about AncestryDNA test accuracy. The tests have been a popular holiday gift for the past few years. And the privacy concerns have lit up the media for some time now. (They’re after your data!)

But the popularity of AncestryDNA and the potential to be connected to their database of information is exciting, at least to DNAGeek.

Let’s start unboxing this DNA Kit

The first thing I noticed when the AncestryDNA kit arrived was it came in a simple, sleek white box. It’s almost like Apple made it.

The box itself is probably no more than 7 inches wide.

It’s light, and simple. If you are intimidated by the process of doing an at-home DNA test, the first impression you’ll get when opening the AncestryDNA box is one of relief. Why?

There are only 4 steps to complete for an AncestryDNA test kit.

Before walking through the 4 steps, you’ll want to pull everything out of the box and familiarize yourself with it. I pulled the box open and here’s the first look:

There is a big blue “card” right when you open the box. The blue card contains some basic information about where you can read on the AncestryDNA website about how they use your data and protect privacy. You can read it here.

The blue card also provides a link to some FAQ’s about Ancestry’s kit, and well as a very important piece of information for you: Your unique activation code.

Write this code down. Take a picture of it with your phone. 

You need this code to match to the profile you will create on

Here’s a look at the code.

Also included in the box will be a small plastic container that includes the “spit tube” and funnel, as well as a screw on cap with some blue liquid. Remove that package, along with the clear plastic collection bag for your sample and the pre-paid postage box you will insert your sample into to mail back to Ancestry’s headquarters.

Here’s what the opposite side looks like.

Included in the box is the prepaid return box.

With everything unboxed, you’re ready to walk through the steps to collect your sample.

Step 1. Before you take your sample, the first step is to activate your kit online.

Grab the blue instruction card and open it up. The first step you will see is on the left hand side of the card. It says “1. Activate your kit”

This is important to do right now. You can either download the AncestryDNA app to your phone (Andriod or iPhone) or visit

Take note that your activation code will be needed for this step in the process. It is located on your spit tube. And if you followed my instructions from above you have it written down somewhere and in a picture on your phone.

I went for the “desktop” version and pulled open my browser to navigate to the website.

Here are the different screens/steps you go through during the sign up process to activate an AncestryDNA kit online.

Screen 1: Create your free account on by first entering your name, email address and a password. Click “Continue”.

Screen 2: Confirm who is providing the DNA sample you will mail in.

Screen 3: Enter your unique activation code found inside your kit. It is located on the spit tube. This step “pairs” the kit you’ve received with the account you are now creating.

Screen 4: Enter your birth year and gender. Choose whether to receive ongoing emails about your DNA results.

Screen 5: First screen that includes outlining your consent to the terms and conditions of having AncestryDNA analyze your DNA. Consent is required to participate.

Screen 6: Second screen (optional opt-in) for you and your data to participate in additional DNA research.

Screen 7: Choose to see if your information matches familial relations already entered into AncestryDNA’s database.

Screen 8: Set your display preferences.

Screen 9: Review and confirm the information you have entered in the previous steps. Click “Activate Kit!”.

Screen 10: You should now see a “Success” screen similar to the one below. You can enter your mobile number to receive text updates (optional).

Screen 11: Finally, the last screen is an upsell from Ancestry to purchase additional information that ties your results to their database. This is optional.

Now that you’re all registered with an account at, go back to the instructions card to complete the final 3 steps.

Step 2. Spit in the tube.

**Be sure you have not eaten, drank, smoked our chewed gum within the last 30 minutes before collecting your spit sample.**

Here’s where you collect the spit sample. Grab the plastic tube and hold it up to your lips. Spit into the tube repeatedly until the spit reaches the black line on the outside of the tube.

It took me several minutes to get enough spit in there.

Step 3. Remove the “funnel” from the tube. Screw on the cap provided with the blue liquid in it. Shake for 5 seconds.

Now, screw off the “funnel” on top of the spit tube and replace it with the cap that contains the blue liquid. Be sure to screw on the cap tightly. It may take a few tries.

You will know that the cap is completely secure when the blue liquid drops down into the spit. The two mixtures should be “mixed” by shaking the tube for 5 seconds.

Here’s what it looks like when complete.

Step 4. Insert the tube into the collection bag. Place the bag into the prepaid mailing box. Mail the box.

The final steps are simple. Drop the test tube into the collection bag. Remove the adhesive protection and fasten the bag shut.

Then place the bag into the provided box with pre-paid postage, close it, and head to the mailbox!

Get your AncestryDNA test results in 6-8 weeks.

The estimated turnaround time for DNA test results from Ancestry is 6-8 weeks.

We’ll let you know how the results turn out!