Monday, December 10, 2018

MedBetterDNA updated, including filter on Profile Photos

MedBetterDNA version 4.0 has been released for the Chrome browser and adds the filter option: "show No Profile Photo". The option is on by default to show AncestryDNA Results listings regardless of whether they have a profile photo (i.e. the standard behavior without MedBetterDNA active). If the option is unchecked, only listings with a profile photo are shown, and the rest are filtered from view.

I added the picture filter option to easily look at photos of people for a pattern of family resemblance (typically not so much). Plus the dog and cat pictures can be cute. Note that a few photos will remain generic genderless profile images, as those are internally processed as a photo by the site. Also, a photo may pop into view after a brief delay, as Ancestry loads photos separately.

The No Tree and Locked Tree filter options were removed. Hopefully, this is a temporary change. The AncestryDNA site recently changed how the tree information is displayed on the listings. For my results, the change has been unstable, Usually I see a loading/wait icon on the results page without ever showing the Tree-based information. Occasionally the information does display, but not reliably enough to make and test an update to the extension to support filtering on it. I anticipate that eventually this situation will resolve itself and Tree-based filtering will return after a new update.

Miscellaneous and minor behind-the-scenes program changes were made to maintain full compatibility with the most recent versions of the Chrome browser with tighter security restrictions.

Another option was introduced that might be of interest to a few people: "Donate to development". A user asked me about donating to reward or encourage further development of the extension. I created and added a link to a Ko-fi account for those who might be interested.

Useful feedback and requests continue to be encouraged.


  1. Hi Michael. I love this extension. Personally, I get nervous whenever I see the word "remove" in relation to data. On your "Configure MedBetterDNA" page, would it be possible for you to change the text "remove" (e.g. "Remove all entries with these hashtags in Notes") to "Hide" ?

    1. I'll change it next update, maybe a couple months down the road. Anyway, since it's out there, there's no conceivable way for the extension to change or delete Ancestry server information.

  2. I have used "#maternal" in Notes if I have not been able to determine yet, whether this link is likely via maternal grand-mother or maternal grand-father. When I filter by "#maternal", no records display. But if I change the page-number from 1 to 2, I might see one record. If I change to page 3 I might see one more record. Could this be fixed so that the first 50 records which match the filter, all show on page 1 ?

    1. There's an item on the web store page which is similar inquiry. The answer is basically the same. Honestly, though, it significantly understates the effort required, including processing and merging multiple pages in memory into one displayed page.
      "The extension can only filter the page that is loaded, so you'll get smaller listings when it's active. It would be possible to modify the extension to read extra pages ahead in memory and show those, but that could be dozens or hundreds (or in my results, thousands) of pages to filter. It's a very different approach and would need to run for possibly many minutes to get through all the pages. That said, it's possible, so perhaps a few versions down the line, could add in a feature to read a few pages ahead for a longer listing than what the website shows in one page."


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