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WIN.INI

WIN.INI stands for WINdows INItialization, a Windows configuration file that describes the current state of the Windows environment. WIN.INI was introduced in Windows 3.0, but is still used in Windows 95/98 and NT primarily for compatibility with Windows 3.x applications.

Hundreds of Environment Settings
WIN.INI contains hundreds of settings that are read at startup. It lists the current configuration of the screen, keyboard, mouse and desktop. It also includes the names of installed fonts and the names of any applications that are run automatically at startup.

Information in WIN.INI is grouped by section headers, which are names enclosed in brackets. For example, the [Colors] section contains the current colors of window borders, titles and backgrounds.

The Win.ini file is also used to start programs under the older Windows 3.x systems and could still do the same under later operating systems.  The section headers that should be examined are:

[Load] - category starts programs before user logins.
[Run] - category starts programs after user logins.

Edited Manually
The information in WIN.INI was updated by Windows when settings were changed; however, in order to tweak system performance, the file could be edited with any text editor. Most of the time, users never dealt with it. WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI were the major configuration files in the early versions of Windows.

See also:

SYSTEM.INI
A Windows configuration file that describes the current state of the computer system environment.

WIN.INI
The Win.ini file is used in part to start programs under the older Windows 3.x systems and could still do the same under later operating systems.

AUTOEXEC.BAT
Autoexec.bat is a file that can automatically execute programs when a computer boots up.

The Registry
The Registry is a database of nearly all the settings for Windows operating system and most of your installed applications.