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

Cookbooks, Recipes, & Menus

MasterCook 4 and Lower: Your recipes 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).

MasterCook 5 and Greater: Your recipes are stored within the .mc2 and .mcx files on the computer. This is the most important thing for you to understand.

The .mc2 file contains the text of a cookbook. The .mcx contains all of the photos. If a cookbook does not have any recipe photos, it will not have the .mcx file. These files should never be separated from each other. They should be copied and backed up together as a pair.

Another important thing to understand is that you should never rename these files on the computer or it can corrupt the cookbooks. Do not allow Windows to rename them either, such as making copies of their name. The only way you should rename a cookbook is from within MasterCook. (Open a cookbook in MasterCook and then use the Customize Cookbook command from the Tools menu.)

All versions of MasterCook 5 and Greater expect those cookbook files to be within its own My Collection folder on your computer. If you installed MasterCook 2020 onto your computer at the default installation location, you will find that My Collection folder on your computer at this location:

C:\Users\Public\Documents\MasterCook 20\My Collection

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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