Getting Started

To run BigCloud, download the latest version for your operating system from While you're there, consider signing up for the release newsletter to receive a message when new releases are available. BigCloud requires Java 1.5 or higher on your system (version 6 or higher recommended) - most computers come with Java pre-installed, but you may also download it at


Double-click the downloaded EXE file to start BigCloud Archives

Mac OS X

Double-click the downloaded DMG file to open the disk image; copy the BigCloud Archives application to your Applications folder, where you may double-click to launch it.


You may double click the JAR file to run BigCloud, but it will run with limited memory which could cause problems. We recommend that you open up a command prompt and run BigCloud with this command to allow BigCloud up to 256 megabytes of memory.

java -Xmx256m -jar /path/to/bigcloud-archives-x.x.x.jar


When you first launch BigCloud, you will be asked to agree to the licensing terms, and then you will be asked to enter your name and an Account Passphrase. Your name is only used as the default Creator when you make archives - you can however assign a different Creator to an archive. Your account passphrase is very important - it is used to encrypt your local account settings to prevent unauthorized access. The passphrase is unique to the computer you are running BigCloud on - you can have multiple computers running BigCloud synchronized through a single Amazon account, but each may have a different Account Passphrase.

If you forget your passphrase you will not be able to open BigCloud on that computer any more - to recover in that case you would have to delete the folder "bigcloud/home" inside your user directory and start over, manually re-opening archives and re-entering passphrases for archives that you had asked to be remembered, and entering a new Online Authorization Code to sync with your Clouds.

After you set your account passphrase, BigCloud will present you with the preferences screen, which you can access at any time later under the Edit menu. In the preferences screen you can configure network proxies, which are often necessary on corporate networks, and specify the default archive storage location - where you would like new archives to be stored. You can override this default for any individual archive when you create or join it. You may also enter an Online Authorization code to enable access to BigCloud Archives Online, if you are already subscribed. Once you have made any changes in the preferences screen, hit OK and you are ready to create an archive. You can have multiple archives open at a time, they appear in tabs across the top of the window.