Sunsetting Windows Desktop Application: Support Ends March 1st 2016

We are discontinuing support for the desktop EXE version of our software in March 2016.
We will help you migrate your recipes to the web in your own private account

BigOven is Focusing on Mobile, Tablet & Web, Helping Customers Transition

We are announcing the discontinuation of the old installable (.exe) Windows desktop application — marketed as “BigOven for Windows” and also “InspiredCooking for Windows” —  starting March 1st, 2016. This announcement affects customers who are continuing to use the downloadable Windows desktop software.

Moving forward, we are concentrating our development efforts on the website, the BigOven mobile and tablet apps for all major platforms, and our BigOven developer API.

We will assist anyone who’d like to migrate any desktop recipes (that is, the .CRB recipe box files in your “My BigOven Recipes” folder) to your private account on via the Bulk Upload tool at support[at] From there, your recipes will be accessible anywhere, and you can add them to grocery lists, menu plans, share them with friends, resize them up or down, analyze nutrition and much more. You can add notes to them on the web and they’ll show up on your iPhone. You can change your grocery list on the web and it’ll be on the phone. If you use a Mac or even Linux, your experience is the same; BigOven supports Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and Safari.

About Our Decision

It’s hard to believe that BigOven for Windows was released more than a dozen years ago.

To put in perspective just how much has changed, it was another full four years after BigOven released until the Apple iPhone hit the market. Android and the iPad then followed three years later. Mobile and tablets have changed how we interact, and where we want our data. The market has moved to mobile and the web. From a developer’s perspective, the mobile platforms and the web became more and more feature-rich. And data connections were getting more prevalent, and faster and faster.

The market clearly told us where the demand is: BigOven for Windows was installed and loved by tens of thousands of cooks, sometimes downloaded hundreds of times per day, yet the BigOven mobile and tablet apps have been installed on more than 12 million devices, and are often downloaded more than 10,000 times every day.

Meanwhile, the website became a full-featured web-based organization and discovery platform used by millions of cooks. It has every feature the old desktop software had, and many more. You can keep your recipes, make grocery lists, private notes, menu plans and private folders and access them from any web browser or mobile phone.

For the past decade, the trend has been clear: more cooks want access to their recipes, grocery list and menu plan anywhere, any time. We certainly saw this trend several years ago, and it was behind our decision nearly five years ago to make BigOven for Windows free. At that time (May 2011), we offered a year of Pro membership to anyone who had purchased it in the past, and most BigOven for Windows users took us up on it, and thousands switched to and the mobile apps.

With the recent release of Windows 10 from Microsoft and recent mandatory updates, we are now faced with several very-difficult-to-fix incompatibilities between Windows 10 — particularly its browser libraries — and the way the old desktop software worked. Many users are noticing a crash on launch, and that fix is not a simple one.

Therefore, to focus our development and support resources on, the BigOven mobile apps for phones and tablets, and the BigOven API for developers, we have made the decision to terminate the desktop (.EXE) application starting March 1st, 2016.  

Support for the website, mobile apps will of course continue throughout.  

What About My Recipes?

Your recipes are easily uploadable to the web, and once there, you’ll have easy, searchable access to them from anywhere, the ability to make grocery lists, menu plans, analyze nutrition and more.Your recipes remain private to you, unless you choose to mark them public.

We have a free Bulk Upload tool that can automatically upload your recipes to There, they will be private, visible only to you, though you can make individual ones public if you so choose. We can help you upload your recipes (in .CRB files) to so that they’re available to you in the apps whenever you sign in: this can be accomplished via the free Bulk Upload tool.  Private recipes (and any more than 100 recipes) requires BigOven Pro membership.

Your recipes will be private, visible only to you. Here’s a brief demonstration of the Bulk Uploader. It’s free, but you need a BigOven Pro membership to upload up to 1,000 recipes at a time. While our offer of a full year of BigOven Pro membership did expire years ago, if for any reason you missed out on that upgrade, we’ll honor that upgrade for a complimentary year of Pro membership. If you’ve never used the BigOven Pro free offer but are a desktop software purchaser, simply provide us with your registered full name used to purchase along with your BigOven serial number. This offer expires on March 1st 2016.

Finally, if you’d strongly prefer just a Windows desktop software option and not mobile or web recipe software, Living Cookbook ($35) by Radium Software supports BigOven data import.

See this article for more technical how-to on migration options.

Will you ever release a brand new desktop Windows Application?

Perhaps, but at this writing I’d say the chances are slim. The website provides all the functionality needed for a full-fledged recipe organization platform. Nothing is ever “final” in technology, and we will certainly evaluate writing a new Windows application, but writing an installable piece of desktop application software not in our near-term planning horizon at this time. We find that browser applications plus native mobile applications, plus a developer API, provide the best combination of access from anywhere and functionality. This change will allow us to concentrate our development efforts on the web and mobile.

Onward to the Best Mobile and Web Apps that Make Cooking Simpler

Our goal at BigOven is to get home cooks organized and inspired, in the kitchen and on the go. We sincerely apologize if this legacy software discontinuation disappoints and/or inconveniences you. We understand that for a few of you, you find desktop software the right choice for you and it will be a significant change. Those of you who installed the Windows application and relied on it for years were our first customers, and have contributed greatly to our growth. Put simply, the market has clearly spoken, and there is added urgency now that the changes in Windows 10 make a simple fix impossible for us.

BigOven has never refused any valid refund request, and while we haven’t charged for this software in over four years, if you still feel that a refund is appropriate in your case, please contact me directly at ceo[at] with your serial number, full name and year of purchase, and I will make this right.

We are confident this is the right focus for us for home cooks moving forward.


5 thoughts to “Sunsetting Windows Desktop Application: Support Ends March 1st 2016”

  1. The reason that I never bothered with BigOven for Android, was because I couldn’t I use it like I had been using the BigOven for windows, and you couldn’t export directly from your computer to your device.

    1. The way this is done is to simply post it to the website, in private form if you’d like, and synchronize from there. Much like Dropbox, OneDrive or other file hosts. From there, you can easily access it from your Android, iOS, Windows phone devices, or from the web anywhere you’d like.

  2. I do not choose to follow Microsoft’s plan for my hard drive organization, so I do not install apps under “Program Files” unless forced to (I don’t like not being able to add or edit files and folders there). Therefore, BigOven is installed, as might be expected of someone following my organizational scheme, under my “Food & Wine” folder. Unfortunately, your “cloudme” app REQUIRES me to install it under the “Program Files” folder. Oh, the InstallShield installer says, at one point, “If you wish to change these [installation] settings, click Back.” However, no matter how far back you go, you are never offered the opportunity to change the installation folder. Therefore, since I refuse to install in that location, especially just for something like this, I cannot use your migration tool.

    I should also note that I am unhappy that your pages appear to be written to work best in IE, a browser that I loathe and eschew in favor of Firefox. At this very moment, I have two tabs in Firefox with the caption “Connecting…” and with the throbber rotating, which have been in that state for thirty minutes. I finally had to reset my default browser to IE temporarily to follow the link in the program to get here. I would suggest that you require your Web developers to test your pages in at least the four majors – IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, as I do routinely when developing for my clients. It is embarrassing, and reflects poorly upon you, when pages break or won’t load in a visitor’s choice of browser.

    1. Hi Scott,

      Since the cloud upload tool is a temporary migration tool to help people bulk-upload their recipes, we do not plan to make edge-case changes to that code at this time. It’s a one-time use tool that most people use then uninstall. If you install it to the default location, it should work fine.

      Alternatively, we’d be quite happy to do the upload for you if you’re having trouble running the free uploader utility or don’t want to create then delete that temporary folder. To have us do the upload, simply change your BigOven password to a temporary one you don’t mind sharing, then upload a recipe box with up to 1000 recipes in it via email to support[at], and include your BigOven username, email, and temporary password, and we’ll process.

      On your specific question regarding Internet Explorer, we don’t actually even use IE much here in the office. We regularly use Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge, and we do do checks with IE. We support all major browsers. I’m not quite sure of the specific bug that you’re referring to — if you could clarify which URL(s) aren’t working for you, that’d help us. We are not seeing any connection issues in Firefox but we’d be happy to check with more detailed repro steps. Thanks!

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