I have a previous version of MasterCook. How do I transfer my files into MasterCook 2020?

Cookbooks, Recipes, & Menus

Cookbooks in MasterCook (version 5 and newer) are comprised of two files: (1) *.mc2 - these hold the text part of the recipes in the cookbook and (2) *.mcx - these hold the recipe pictures in the cookbook. (If your cookbook contains no recipe pictures, there won't be a companion *.mcx file.)

Cookbooks in MasterCook version 4 or older are *.mcf and *.mrf files. The current versions of MasterCook can open the .mcf file. Once you open the file, the current version of MasterCook will convert the recipes into its own format (.mc2/.mcx).

IMPORTANT: Always back up these cookbook files on a regular basis. Copy them to another disk or drive. In case of file corruption or computer failure, you will have backup files to restore.

CAUTION: Always keep these files together within the same folder on your computer. They work hand-in-hand. If you open an *.mc2 file while its *.mcx file resides in another folder on your computer, the program WILL LOSE the picture associations for the entire cookbook. You won't be able to get them back unless you restore from prior backups (*.mc2 & its *.mcx companion file).

Follow the numbered steps below to add your cookbook files to MasterCook 2020.

  1. Open the C drive on your computer.
  2. Open the Users folder.
  3. Open the Public folder.
  4. Open the Documents folder.
  5. Open the MasterCook 20 folder.
  6. Open the My Collection folder.
  7. Place a copy of your .mc2 and .mcx cookbook files into this My Collection folder.
  8. Then start up MasterCook 2020 on your computer and go to the Cookbooks screen.
  9. Select Refresh File List from the Tools menu.

This will make your cookbooks appear in the program.

If you have menus or meal plan files, those are the .mnu and .pln files. They can also be copied into the My Collection folder and refresh MasterCook as explained above.

Ingredient List

If you have added your own ingredients to a previous version of MasterCook, those need to be converted into MasterCook 2020 format. Please send a email to and include your MC file and request we convert your ingredients for you.

Shopping Lists, Print Templates, Etc.

If you have added shopping lists, print templates, etc. those just need to be copied into the MC Tools folder. That folder is within the same MasterCook 20 folder mentioned in Step 5 above.

Then refresh MasterCook as explained in Step 9 above.


File Type Explanations

In the Collection Folders:
.pln - meal plans
.mnu - menus
.mc2 - cookbook text
.mcX - cookbook pictures

In the MC Tools Folder:
.mcd - print designs
.mcp - paper definitions
.sl - shopping lists
.pl - pantry
.el - equivalents
.bl - substitutions
.src - saved search criteria
MC Alt Sources.mtd - alternate source labels
MC Alt Times.mtd - alternate times labels
MC Calendar.mcl - calendar file (if you add recipes to a calendar menu)
MC Favorites.mfv - favorites
MC - ingredient file (if you edited it please contact MasterCook Support as explained above)
MC Prep Methods.mtd - prep list
MC Tips.mtf - Tips file (if you edited it)
MC Tips.mcx - Tips pictures (if you edited Tips file or added a picture)
MC Wine List.wl - wine list

In the \Public\Documents\MasterCook Folder:
userdic.tlx - words added to dictionary for spellchecker


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