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How to Use Labels to Break New Ground with Your DNA Matches

Profile photo of Daniella Levy

Daniella Levy

How to Use Labels to Break New Ground with Your DNA Matches

When you take a MyHeritage DNA test or upload your DNA data to MyHeritage, you’ll most likely receive thousands of matches — and that number will continue to grow constantly as more and more people are added to the database. By organizing, analyzing, and charting these matches, you can make major discoveries and break through the stubbornest of brick walls in your research. But how do you sift through these thousands and thousands of matches to focus on the ones most relevant to your research? How do you avoid going in circles as you move through a list that is constantly growing? 

MyHeritage offers a number of sorting and filtering options that help you narrow your list, but filtering by family tree details, ethnicity, location, and so on can only take you so far. With MyHeritage’s DNA Match labels, you can organize your matches into customized groups that you can use as filters and recognize at a glance. Let’s take a look at how it works, and then discuss the myriad ways it can be used to help you break new ground in your research.

Creating and assigning DNA labels

To create and assign a DNA label to a match on your DNA Match list, tick the box that appears on the upper left corner of the match card. This will open the label manager panel on the right.

Opening the DNA Match label manager panel on MyHeritage
Opening the DNA Match label manager panel on MyHeritage

Click “Create new label.”

Creating a new label on MyHeritage
Creating a new label on MyHeritage

 

In the pop-up that opens, enter a name and select a color for your label. Then click “Save.”

To assign the new label to the DNA Match you selected, make sure the box next to the label is ticked, and click “Apply.”

Editing and deleting labels

You can view, edit, and delete your labels in the label manager panel that opens whenever you tick the label checkbox on a DNA match. You’ll find this checkbox on the upper left corner of each match card on the DNA Match list as well as under the profile photo of Shared DNA Matches on the Review DNA Match page. You can also open the label manager panel from the top right corner of the Review DNA Match page by clicking the label icon (if the match has no labels assigned to it yet) or the colored label dots that appear there.

Your labels will be listed in the label manager panel alphabetically:

Label manager panel on MyHeritage
Label manager panel on MyHeritage

 

Hover over a label to reveal the “edit” (pencil) and “delete” (trash can) icons.

Editing or deleting labels
Editing or deleting labels

If you click the “edit” icon, you’ll be able to rename it and assign it a different color. Deleting a label will remove it from the list and from any matches that have been assigned it.

Assigning multiple labels

You can assign multiple labels to each match. Just tick the box on the label strip to open the label manager panel, select all the labels you want to assign that match, and click “Apply.”

The colors of the assigned labels will appear on the label strip to the left of each DNA match. You can hover over the colored dot to reveal the name of the associated label.

If more than 7 labels have been assigned to the same match, the first 7 labels will appear in the strip along with a number that indicates how many additional labels have been assigned to this match.

DNA Match with multiple labels
DNA Match with multiple labels

Assigning, removing, and editing labels in bulk

You can select multiple matches at once and assign, remove, or edit labels on all of them at the same time using the label manager panel. Simply tick the label checkbox on every match you wish to work with.

If none of the DNA Matches you’ve selected have been assigned a certain label, the checkbox that appears next to that label in the label manager panel will be empty. You can check this box and click “Apply” to assign this label to all the DNA Matches you’ve selected.

If all the matches you’ve selected already have been assigned a particular label, a check will appear next to it in the label manager panel. You can uncheck it to remove that label from all the selected matches, or check additional labels to assign to those matches.

If only some of the selected DNA Matches are associated with a particular label, the checkbox next to it in the label manager panel will contain a dash (-) to indicate partial selection. If you don’t wish to make any changes regarding this label, you can leave the dash as is. Tick the box to assign this label to all selected matches including those that didn’t have it before; or clear the box if you’d like to remove this label from all selected matches. If you tick or clear the box and then change your mind, you can click it again to toggle between the options.

Favorites

If there are DNA Matches in your list of particular interest, instead of assigning a label, you can “favorite” them by clicking the star icon on the left-hand label strip.

Marking a DNA Match as a favorite
Marking a DNA Match as a favorite

The “favorite” star also provides a quick option for marking labels you want to look into later without creating a new label.

Filtering by labels

To filter your list of DNA Matches by your labels, click the “Filters” button on the top right corner of the DNA Match page, and then the “Labels” filter menu. Select the labels you wish to view and/or Favorite DNA Matches, and click “Apply.”

Using the labels filter menu
Using the labels filter menu

What can you use labels for?

So now that you know how to create, assign, and filter by labels, what exactly do you use them for?

How you use your labels is entirely up to you. Here are some ways you might like to use them:

  • Differentiate between matches on your father’s side and matches on your mother’s side
  • Mark specific match clusters that are relevant to an ancestor you’re researching — you can even use the colors in your AutoCluster chart for cross-reference
  • Prioritize matches according to your level of interest
  • Create customized groups of matches from a specific location or branch of the family
  • Group matches by how closely related they are to you
  • Indicate the status of the match — for example, create different labels for matches you’d like to review, matches you’ve already reviewed, matches you’d like to contact, etc.

Here are some Knowledge Base resources on organizing your DNA Matches that will give you some ideas:

However you decide to use them, labels will help you organize and chart out your matches according to your preferred criteria — and that will make it easier for you to make progress with your research.

Click here to visit your DNA Match page and start labeling your matches!

If you still haven’t taken a MyHeritage DNA test, click here to order your kit. You can also upload your DNA data for free if you’ve taken a DNA test with another service.

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