INF file

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Setup Information file
Filename extension
Internet media type
Type of formatConfiguration file

In computing, an INF file or Setup Information file is a plain-text file used by Microsoft Windows for the installation of software and drivers. INF files are most commonly used for installing device drivers for hardware components. Windows includes the IExpress tool for the creation of INF-based installations. INF files form part of the Windows Setup API and of its successor, Windows Installer.

The \windows\inf directory contains several such .inf files.[1]


The structure of an INF file is very similar to that of an INI file; it contains various sections that specify the files to be copied, changes to the registry, etc. All INF files contain a [Version] section with a Signature key–value pair specifying the version of Windows that the INF file is meant for. The signature is commonly $CHICAGO$ (for Windows 9x) or $WINDOWS NT$ (for Windows NT/2K/XP). Most of the remaining sections are user-defined and contain information specific to the component being installed. An example of an INF file might have something like this:


What this would do is open the example.exe file automatically whenever the media containing the file (in its root directory) is connected to the computer. This can be dangerous, as there is no way to tell whether such a file exists before inserting the media. Since Windows XP, however, this feature has been replaced with a menu forcing the user to choose which action to take.

INF Files can sometimes be dangerous on Windows 2000 as they may allow viruses to autorun without prompting.[citation needed] They are blocked on Windows 7, but can be worked around. [2]


icon=*.ico command replaces any old or default drive icon with the specified one. [autorun] can be replaced by [AutoRun] or [Autorun].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Norton, Peter; Mueller, John Paul (28 October 1997). Peter Norton's Complete Guide to Windows XP. Pearson Education (published 1997). ISBN 9780132715386. Retrieved 2014-08-31. Look in the \WINDOWS\INF directory, and you'll see a set of INF files.
  2. ^ "How To Auto-Launch Apps With A USB Stick [Windows]". 22 September 2011.

External links[edit]