What Is an .INI File?

An .INI (initialization) file is a text file format used to store configuration settings for an application or operating system. The file typically contains a set of key-value pairs, with each key representing a configuration option and a corresponding value specifying the setting for that option. These key-value pairs are usually organized into sections, with each section name enclosed in square brackets. For example:

[Display Settings]

The .INI file format was commonly used in early versions of Microsoft Windows and is still used by some legacy applications. Even though they are easy to read and write in a text editor, .INI files lack advanced functionalities which has led to the adoption of other configuration formats, such as JSON and YAML.