Opening INF files

Have a problem opening a .INF file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what INF files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .INF file type?

The .inf extension is used to define the Setup Information (INF) file format and file type, often encountered in Microsoft (MS) Windows. INF files are structured plaintext files that store installation instructions, conditions and prerequisites for installing device drivers and/or software.

The INF format is the standard format for driver installation instructions in MS Windows. Contents of .inf files are structured based on the INF syntax established by MS. INF files contain instructions in regard of files and registry entries to be modified/copied and other system actions to be taken during installation. INF files support comments and usually come well-commented.

INF files are always part of various driver installation packages provided by manufacturers of Windows-compatible devices.

INF files can be viewed and modified with any text editor, however, it is strongly advised not to change an .inf file without a clear purpose.

Alternatively, the .inf extension is found in small plaintext files with the filename 'autorun.inf' often placed in root directories of optical disks to enable automatic launching of software contained therein. By default, Windows (before Vista) would automatically launch any autorun files found on any volume. Such behavior is a security hole, as an arbitrary program may be run via an 'autorun.inf' file. This vulnerability is often exploited by viruses and malware, so the autorun capability was partially disabled in Windows Vista and newer versions.

The .inf extension can also be found in plaintext Type 1 font description files (INF) used by Adobe Type Manager, a proprietary Type 1 font managing software by Adobe Systems, Inc.

Software to open or convert INF files

You can open INF files with the following programs: 

Popular formats