.EKV File Extension
Source Engine Encrypted Video Settings File
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What is an EKV file?
An EKV file is an encrypted video settings file used by some Valve Source Engine video games, such as Left 4 Dead and Portal 2. The settings an EKV file contains are applied automatically, based on the CPU, GPU, GPU memory, and memory capabilities of a player's PC or gaming console.
Most players will never encounter or need to open an EKV file. However, players who wish to mod a game that uses EKV files may want to decrypt the files, alter the settings they contain, and then re-encrypt them, to change the game's automatic video settings.
How to open an EKV file
EKV files are encrypted using a game-specific ICE (Information Concealment Engine) key. If you have access to an EKV file's related ICE key, you can decrypt the file using Vice, Valve's tool for ICE encryption.
To learn more about the ICE encryption and decryption process, click the Vice link found below.