.NFO File Extension

System Information File

Developer Microsoft
4.1  |  80 Votes

What is an NFO file?

Data file used by Microsoft's System Information tool, a Windows software utility for gathering system information and for diagnosing problems; stores information gathered by the program.

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The System Information program has the filename Msinfo32.exe.

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Programs that open NFO files


Warez Information File

Developer The Humble Guys
3.6  |  31 Votes

An NFO file may also be a plain text file that describes the pirated content included in a Warez package. Each Warez package consists of pirated content, an NFO file, and an .SFV file. In addition to describing a package's contents, an NFO file also identifies the user or group who created the package.

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Screenshot of a .nfo file in NFOPad
NFO file open in NFOPad

The Warez scene is a network of piracy groups that obtain, package, and release pirated versions of movies, TV shows, music, and software programs. These groups distribute the content they've pirated via the internet, as Warez packages (often referred to as just warez).

All Warez packages include two additional non-content files: an NFO file and an SFV file. The NFO file is a metadata file, which contains information about the package's contents. For example, if the package contains a software program, its NFO file will probably contain information about how to install and set up the program. (The package's SFV file is a checksum file, used to verify its integrity.)

While NFO files are plain text files, they often contain ASCII or ANSI art (graphics comprised of text characters). For example, an NFO file might contain a program's logo, drawn using ASCII characters. When viewed in a text editor, these graphics appear as normal ASCII or ANSI characters. However, when viewed in a specialized NFO viewer, these graphics often appear similarly to 8-bit graphics.

NOTE: The cracking group The Humble Guys (THG) is credited with creating the first NFO files.

How to open an NFO file

You can open an NFO file with Microsoft Notepad, Apple TextEdit, or any other text editor. However, you may want to open an NFO file with a specialized NFO viewer, such as NFOPad (Windows) or DAMN NFO Viewer (Windows). These viewers will correctly display any ASCII or ANSI art your NFO file contains.

Note that, because Windows' System Information tool uses a different type of NFO files, double-clicking an NFO file in Windows may cause Windows to attempt to open the file in its System Information viewer. To avoid this issue, manually open your NFO file from within your text editor or NFO viewer.

Programs that open NFO files

Age of Empires Player File

Developer Microsoft
2.2  |  9 Votes

File created by Age of Empires, a real-time strategy (RTS) game where players control units and build empires; contains the player name and campaign progress; saves the player profile and in-game progress.

Programs that open NFO files

Folio Views Infobase File

Developer The FIEN Group
2.1  |  10 Votes

File used by Folio Views, a program used for viewing help documentation; contains indexes, articles, and other help documentation; used to create searchable documentation for customer support and program installations.

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Folio Views, once owned by Folio Corporation, was subsequently sold to NextPage, FAST, Microsoft, and lastly to The FIEN Group under the name Rocket Folio Views.

Programs that open NFO files

The FIEN Group Rocket Folio Views

Kodi Media Metadata

Developer Kodi Foundation
2.0  |  1 Vote

An NFO file may also be a metadata file used by Kodi, a free multiplatform media player. It contains information about a movie, TV show, album, artist, or music video. NFO files are XML files, which users can create manually or generate from within Kodi.

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Screenshot of a .nfo file in Microsoft Visual Studio Code
NFO file open in Microsoft Visual Studio Code

Kodi is a popular media player that allows users to play and organize video and music files. When a user adds a movie, TV show, album, or music video to their Kodi library, they can either automatically or manually import metadata about that item. To automatically import metadata, Kodi scrapes websites such as IMDb for matching titles. To manually import metadata, Kodi uses NFO files, which are XML-formatted plain text files that contain identifying information.

How to create NFO files

If you have an existing Kodi library, you can use Kodi's library export tools to export your existing video and album metadata into a set of NFO files. You might want to do this if, for example, you want to clean up and overwrite some of your existing library metadata.

If you want to manually create an NFO file, you can do so using Microsoft Visual Studio Code or any other text editor. Template NFO files, which you can use to start creating your NFO files, are available on the Kodi wiki. You can also use the online NFO Maker app to create NFO files.

How NFO files are stored and named

NFO files must be stored in the same directory as the media they describe. Also, NFO files must be named correctly for Kodi to be able to load the metadata they contain.

For example, if you create an NFO file for use with Jumanji.mp4, you must name it Jumanji.nfo and place it in the directory that contains Jumanji.mp4. NFO files that accompany music videos must also use the same filename as the video they describe. NFO files for albums, artists, and TV shows, however, must always be named album.nfo, artist.nfo, and tvshow.nfo, respectively.

NOTE: Some other media players and managers, such as Plex Media Server, TinyMediaManager, and Ember Media Manager, also use and can create Kodi-format NFO files.

How to open an NFO file

You can use Microsoft Visual Studio Code or any other text editor to open and edit NFO files.

For instructions on how to use an NFO file to import a new item into your Kodi library or refresh an existing item's metadata, click here.

Programs that open or reference NFO files

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