INI File Extension

INI file icon
Windows Initialization Format

What is INI file?

The .INI file extension is mainly an informal standard for the configuration of some software or platforms. Such .INI formats are simple text based files with the fundamental structure composed of properties and sections.

The .INI files were originally used by programs to store their individual settings in the Windows Operating system. The .INI file name basically stands for ‘Initialization’. There are several other initialization file extensions like .TXT, .CONF, .CFG. Moreover, Unix and Linux operating systems also make use of the similar file format extensions for system configurations. It is simple to parse, human-readable and useable for format for configuration and do not require any sort of complexity.

Programs which support INI file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with INI files, divided into 3 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with INI extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Programs that support INI file

How to open file with INI extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening INI files on given system. Fortunately, most common problems with INI files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install Microsoft Windows

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports INI files installed on the system. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft Windows or one to the listed programs: Text editor, UltraEdit, Windows Notepad. On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. If you want to download Microsoft Windows installer in the most secured manner, we suggest you visit Microsoft Corporation website and download from their official repositories.

Step 2. Update Microsoft Windows to the latest version

You still cannot access INI files although Microsoft Windows is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. If you have an older version of Microsoft Windows installed, it may not support INI format. The most recent version of Microsoft Windows is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate Windows Initialization Format files with Microsoft Windows

After installing Microsoft Windows (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open INI files. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Change the default application in Windows

  • Choose the Open with entry from the file menu accessed by right-mouse clicking on the INI file
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the Microsoft Windows installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open INI files box and clicking OK button.

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the INI file and select Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • Select Microsoft Windows and click Change for all...
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with INI extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Check the INI for errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the INI file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

1. Verify that the INI in question is not infected with a computer virus

Should it happed that the INI is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Scan the INI file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. If the INI file is indeed infected follow the instructions below.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If you obtained the problematic INI file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. If the INI file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Windows Initialization Format file.

4. Verify that your device fulfills the requirements to be able to open Microsoft Windows

If the systems has insufficient resources to open INI files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with Windows Initialization Format files. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with INI files affecting older versions of given software.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the INI file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on INI file.

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