MasterCook 15 & 20 Synchronization

When you start up MasterCook 15 or 2020 on the computer two programs launch: (1) the main MasterCook program and (2) the My MasterCook Manager program.

If you are using MasterCook 22, select Sync Manager from the File menu to start it up.

The sync program has a Sync tab that allows you to transfer the content between the program on the computer and your private online account at if you have a subscription to the online features. It shows you the content that is in MasterCook on the computer as well as the content that you have in your private account at

Before you sync, it is important you have backup copies of your files on your computer, so you can restore those if something goes wrong.

It is also important you understand that syncing is automatically bidirectional. So, when you add or delete a recipe or cookbook from either the computer or your online account, when you sync, it will do the same to the other location.

We also have an article that (1) gives you steps to follow when you sync and (2) information about what will cause syncing problems, so you should review that article fully before you sync. See: Best Practices for Syncing.

If you have problems or if something doesn't work the way you expect, immediately go to the My Account screen in the My MasterCook Manager on the computer and press the Logout button to disconnect from your online account. Then send an email to MasterCook Support for additional instructions.


Before you do anything, please make a current backup of your MasterCook files on the computer as explained here: MasterCook Backup (If something unexpected happens, you will not be able to recover unless you have backup files you can recover. Therefore, it's important you backup on a regular basis.)

Additionally, if you want a backup copy of your online cookbooks/recipes before you sync, that is a great idea. Go to your online Cookbooks web page. Use the Download link next to one of your online cookbooks to download the online cookbook as a file to the computer. Do not open the file. Just download it to keep a backup copy of it. Depending the number of recipes in an online cookbook and the number of photos and their size, it can take a while for it to start and finish downloading an online cookbook as a file to the computer. Be patient.


WARNING: If you do not see your cookbook names listed in the right pane of the Sync screen, then do NOT sync. Check to see if you are looking in the right section. Watch the videos below. Read the section below called The Sync Tab in the My MasterCook Manager. Otherwise, contact MasterCook Support for help.



BEFORE YOU SYNC please read this article: Best Practices for Syncing.<-- Read that article BEFORE you sync. Follow the numbered steps when you sync. There is a list of things in that article that explain what will cause syncing problems. Review those before you sync.


Watch these video demonstrations to see what to expect and how it works for others. As previously explained syncing is bidirectional. When you make a change either online or on the computer, when you sync, it does the same to the other location.

This video shows you how to use the web importer at and sync the recipe to MasterCook on the computer:

This video shows you how to create a recipe in MasterCook on the computer and sync it with your online account:


Sometimes it takes multiple attempts to sync all of your recipes within a cookbook. It will skip over a recipe that is taking too long, for example. So, if you get an error message and it tells you to try again, press the Sync Now button to try again. It will sync the recipes that remain. Once you have your content synced, it's much quicker and easier to keep things maintained from that point.

Please note you can only have 100,000 recipes in your account at, so if you have more recipes than that, you will want to be selective about what you sync to your account at


When you launch MasterCook on the computer, the My MasterCook Manager window will also appear. See the screenshot below that goes along with these steps:

  1. Click on the Sync tab along the left of its screen to use it. This syncs your content between MasterCook on the computer and your account at
  2. Along the left of the Sync screen in the Collections To Sync section are sections like Group Cookbooks, MC Tools, My Collection, etc. These are the different folders on your computer that contain your MasterCook content.
    Do not add a checkmark in the boxes on the left side of the sync screen. Instead click in the rectangular blank area to the right of a collection name. This controls what you see on the right side of the Sync screen.mceclip2.png
  3. Now you can add checkmarks to items to sync in the right pane.
  4. Press the Sync Now button. You should then see a progress bar showing recipes it is syncing. If nothing appears to sync, see this: Nothing Happens When Syncing. If you have errors during sync, see the Errors you May Receive During Sync section at the end of this article below.

Then you can access your cookbooks/recipes and shopping lists from the website with a web browser or from your mobile devices through our Android and iOS apps. In addition if you install MasterCook 15 on all of your computers, you can sync your content to all of them to keep everything in sync. Make sure both computers are syncing to and from your account.



PLEASE NOTE: You must have the correct section selected (not the tiny check box) along the left in order for the correct content to populate along the right of the Sync screen.




In MasterCook on the computer notice along the left of the screen just underneath the Go To Box you can select to Sort By: Collection. See screenshot below. Now your cookbooks are listed by collections in the Cookbooks screen in MasterCook 15. This corresponds to the collections you see in the Sync screen. In the Sync screen you select a collection along the left, the cookbooks in that collection appear along the right.





Please make sure you keep a local backup copy of your data often in case you sync something and then wished you hadn't. Use the Backup tab.

You will notice two tabs at the top: (1) Items to Sync and (2) Sync Log.

Items to Sync

You can sync collections such as the cookbooks, menus and meal plans within any of your collection folders. You can also select to sync the items in the MC Tools folder such as shopping lists, print designs, and any other MasterCook files there. This is a great way to keep a backup copy of your files stored in your account at in case of computer damage, etc. In fact if you get a new computer, you can install MasterCook 15 and immediately sync all of your MasterCook content into it.

It shows items to sync and their status and other information.

Sync Log

This shows the progress of items that are syncing. It will show things that successfully synced and those that had problems, so you can look into those further.

Sync Now Button

In the lower left is the Sync Now button. This allows you to manually sync the items you have selected.

Sync Automatically Settings

In the lower right corner of this screen are two settings for Selected Items and New Items. These settings enable the automatic syncing. The Selected Items setting will automatically sync the items you have checkmarked, so you don't need to press the Sync Now button to manually sync. The New Items setting allows to automatically sync items you have created. If you use this setting and create a new cookbook, that cookbook will automatically sync to your account at 

Errors you May Receive During Sync

WriteError -- This error means it was unable to sync your changes to online. This can happen if you are trying to sync a recipe or cookbook while you are viewing the recipe or cookbook in MasterCook. Go to the Cookbooks screen in MasterCook instead and then try syncing again. This error can also happen if you try to edit someone else's recipe in a group cookbook. You can only edit your own recipes in a group cookbook. This error also happens if a recipe takes too long to sync, so it is skipped. You simply need to sync again, so it can try again.

DependencyMissing -- This error means you are trying to sync a recipe that is incomplete. Look at the Sync Log tab to find out the recipe that is listed. This recipe has an embedded recipe that is missing in the cookbook. Add your embedded recipe to the cookbook to correct the missing recipe and try again.



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