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What is the .INI File Extension?

.INI File Extension Description:

The file extension .ini is an ASCII text file that is associated with system configuration files, used to initialize system resources and set options during the computer system boot up process, prior to completing the loading of the operating system. The contents of the .ini file extension are usually broken down into different sections that are designated by square brackets, which serve as markers for the section titles. The file extension .ini contains the settings for the Microsoft Windows Operating System, and is utilized by windows based applications including mobile devices running on Symbian, or Mobile Windows Operating System.

Being a plain text file, the .ini file extension can be opened and edited using any text editor. The contents of the .ini file extensions set the operating parameters for the system, and the different installed applications such as the desktop.ini, which can configure how Windows Explorer will behave once it is accessed by the computer user. The function of .ini file extensions in the context of operating system and computer servers is similar to the work done by the Windows registry, although far from being obsolete; file extension .ini still maintains a vital role in the execution of many newly developed applications.

The file extension .ini has become a de facto standard when dealing with configuration files, because they have maintained the basic text file structure, which makes editing very simple. The file extension .ini is also associated with other file extensions like CFG, TXT and SYS among others. Basically, the contents of the file extension .ini follow a set of parameters that contain a name and a value, with an equal sign serving as the delimiting character.

The square brackets signal the start of a particular section with an end of section not being explicitly cited. Comments in configuration or initialization files start with a semicolon and continue until the end of the line, with all characters following the semicolon being ignored by the system interpreter. Unlike in established high level programming languages, .ini file extensions do not observe sectional hierarchy and nesting of sections is never allowed.

Author: Microsoft Corporation
Author URL:
Related Applications: Microsoft Windows Operating System, Windows based applications
Common Path: C:/


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Do you have errors with .INI files?

The Typical Cause of .INI files Errors:

A typical and frequent reason for .INI files errors is failure in the Windows registry - repairs are essential to avoid further harm in other software and/or hardware devices. Risks include device damage, blue screen errors and fatal crashes.

Symptoms of .INI files Errors:

.INI files errors produce a range of symptoms, including: pc freezes while starting up or shutting down, programs freeze up, diminished pc performance, internal speaker beeps, problems accessing files, sluggish behaviour and problems installing software.

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Repair .INI File Errors    |    What is the .INI File Extension?    |    How to Fix .INI File Extension Errors