FAQ - macOS

1. Using macOS

Starting MasterFile

Crossover must be running. Double click its icon in the doc or in your Applications folder or from Launchpad.

  • Double click the Notes icon in the Crossover window shown below. That opens the MasterFile Workspace and adds the Notes icon to the dock too.

You could also double click the identically looking MasterFile icon but that will open the Workspace and the MasterFile_Template each time. We recommend you use the Notes icon.

A dialog box won't respond

If a dialog box stops responding to mouse or keyboard input, MasterFile has lost focus. Usually, switching to another application and back again with ⌘Tab, will fix it.

How do I navigate from within MasterFile or Timeline?

MasterFile and Timeline's folders map to Finder through the use of a Y: drive.

Both see your home folder as their Y: drive and you select the Y: drive from within them to go to your cases, to MasterFile's working folder area and to navigate your Mac's hard drive.

For example, clicking 'Select current directory' below

displays this navigator pointing to MasterFile's default Express Load folder.

  • Clicking on 'Desktop' displays the icons below. 'My Mac Desktop' is your actual Mac desktop.
  • 'My Documents' corresponds to the Documents folder in Finder and clicking on that will take you to its contents.
  • Clicking on 'My Computer' displays the icons below.

In this view,

  • drive_c (C:) corresponds to the Windows C: drive and is rarely touched. If you need to modify your Notes or MasterFile installations, you may be asked to go to this location by MasterFile Support with instructions on how to get there.
  • /Users/ze (Y:) is the folder you will generally use and is the Home > Users > ... folder in Finder.
  • / (Z:) is your system root, and corresponds to the Mac system Unix disk root. You do not need to access that unless asked to by MasterFile support

You can use this navigator to go to any location on your Mac from within MasterFile or its related modules/applications.

In Finder, MasterFile's data area is a sub-folder of your home ('ze' below) folder, i.e.: 'ze'  > MasterFile.

Why do profile fields sometimes leave pixel artifacts and does it affect anything?

Sometimes, you'll see profile fields scramble the display as you scroll. Like this.

This does not affect any data but if you are working in those fields, it's irritating. We're working to try to resolve this issue but in the meantime, to refresh and fix the view, either

  • Click on the 'Original locations and/or file name' selector,
  • Collapse and expand the section,
  • Press F9 to refresh the view at the cursor position, or
  • Click another tab on the Workspace and click back.
Archiving or backing up my cases

You must exit Notes before making any backup.

Please backup

  1. Your cases
  2. The Notes data folder

as explained in those sections of this article.

Archiving or backing up MasterFile and Notes

Please note

  • No Windows applications other than MasterFile and those explained in the macOS section of this knowledgebase should be installed in the MasterFile bottle. Please contact us if you have any questions.
  • If you do install any 3rd party Windows applications into the MasterFile bottle, you may corrupt your installation; it may not be recoverable. Any support for such errors are not covered by your MasterFile maintenance and technical support subscription and will be billed as professional services.


It's easy to back up the installation files on macOS with Crossover.

Note that this does not back up your data, just the installation. Which saves you having to reinstall. Your data files should be backed up to wherever you normally do, once Notes has been shut down.

  • Exit MasterFile and related applications and exit Notes.
  • Select the MasterFile bottle.

From the menu bar's Bottle menu, choose "Export MasterFile".

Navigate to a folder of your choosing and click "Save".

Wait until the archive has been exported and then continue with your next task in MasterFile.

If you need to restore the bottle, select the existing MasterFile bottle as you did above and click "Delete" from the above menu. That will remove it from the system. Then click "Import" from the same menu, navigate to the folder where you kept your archive and click restore. All archives have the extension .cxarchive.

You can give the archive a descriptive name at the time of export.

When restoring, give the bottle the name "MasterFile" if you had given the archive file a different name. For example, in restoring the archive below, delete the portion of the name after "MasterFile" leaving the bottle to be named "MasterFile".

Where are MasterFile's watchfolder, its working folders and my cases?

The MasterFile folder in your Home folder (ze below) holds MasterFile's working folders, including its Watch Folder (under Directories) and all your case databases (under MF) as shown below.

We suggest you pin your Home folder to Favourites.

In Finder, go to your Home folder by clicking ⌘h to open it, click ⌘⇧ to go up one level and then drag and drop your home folder on to the Favourites sidebar as you can see above.

Where are the MasterFile and Notes application folders?

Since MasterFile and Notes live in what Crossover calls a 'bottle' -- a specific Windows emulator for them -- files in the Crossover folders should not be modified nor should new programs be installed using Crossover into your MasterFile bottle as you might corrupt your installation. Contact MasterFile support if you need help.

To navigate to these folders, we use Finder. Note that generally, there is no need to access these areas unless asked to do so by MasterFile support or you are backing up the Notes > Data folder.

Here's how to get there:

Highlight the MasterFile bottle in Crossover,

and from the gear at the bottom, choose "Open C: drive" like this

and Finder will open. You can see the full path below, FYI.

2. macOS and MasterFile - Technical Notes

How do I restore application icons?

If application icons have disappeared from Crossover, like this ...

then choose Configure > Clear and rebuild icons from the menu bar ...

and all the icons will be re-built.

Can I use Client Intake, Grab n' Go reports or open CSVs without Word/Excel?

Grab & Go reports, Client Intake forms, and converting Office files with the Evidence Cruncher requires the Windows version of Office 2010. This is the only supported version in our Crossover emulator. Office is not pre-loaded by default. You can request the correct Microsoft Office 2010 standalone installer from us and follow our instructions to install; however, you will need an Office 2010 serial number to activate it, or may be able to do so via your Office 365 subscription.

How do I force MasterFile to shutdown?

In the rare event that MasterFile freezes, or will not respond after a long period, you can force it to shut down. This may also cause all applications running in the MasterFile bottle to close too.

Note that when you are loading hundreds or thousands of files it may look like nothing is happening, but MasterFile will still be working ... in that case check MasterFile's working directories to see files being added as they are loaded, and/or the log files being created, rather than mistakenly forcing MasterFile to close.

  1. Highlight the MasterFile bottle.
  2. Click the gear icon at the bottom of the window.
  3. Click 'Quit MasterFile' and MasterFile should close.
  4. If it does not close, repeat the last two steps but this time click 'Force Quit MasterFile' which will now be available as an option.
How do I set Internet access?

If you use MasterFile on your own, you do not have to change any of the settings below. But if you are connecting to MasterFile Cloud or your on-premise MasterFile Domino server or are downloading email via IMAP for example, then you must enable Internet access within Notes.

Click on File > Preferences.

  1. And then click on Ports and New.


  1. Type TCPIP as shown below.
  2. Choose TCP from the 'Driver' drop down box.
  3. Select 'Online' in locations.
  4. Click OK.

You'll see the port added. Click OK and you'll see a notification to exit and restart Notes for the settings to take effect.

What is Crossover and what are bottles?

Crossover is based on Wine, an open source compatibility layer used to run Windows applications on macOS and Linux. It translates calls a Windows system would recognize so a compatible application can run at a near native quality. In some cases, these take place so well, that an application can run better in Crossover than it does in Windows. MasterFile adapted for Crossover on macOS feels as fast as Windows. You can launch MasterFile or Notes natively from the dock, use macOS functionality like cross-platform copy and paste, and share the macOS file system with MasterFile.

A Windows application environment is a self-contained 'bottle'.

The MasterFile bottle is the complete Windows environment for MasterFile. You simply archive a bottle to back up Notes and MasterFile's Windows operating environment as one file to wherever you keep your backups. Since your cases are stored in a folder off your Mac home folder, and can grow as you create more cases or add evidence, back those up as you normally would, too.