How to Open and View NFO Files in XP and Vista

Posted August 17, 2006 by MickeyMouse in Windows

Many users who download program files on the internet find it difficult to open or view NFO files. These are just text files and using them is very easy.

NFO files are really “info” files. These text files frequently contain information regarding the installation or use of downloaded packages. Here is how to open and use these files.

If you click on an NFO file without following these directions, you will probably get this error:

System Information
System Information cannot open this NFO file. It might be corrupted or an unrecognized version.

You can download many programs to view these text files; however, why not just use Notepad to view them?

1. Browse to the NFO file on your computer.

2. Right-click on the file, and click Open With.

(If you are given several options in the menu here, select Choose Program…)

3. Select Notepad under Other Programs.

(In Vista, you might need to actually click the Other Programs drop down arrow on the right of the Open With window.)

4. Make sure that Always use the selected program to open this kind of file is checked.

5. Click OK.

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Krishna Kumar

    Nice info(nfo)…lolz

    • Popopop


      • www

        your a loser cause you say to folks that need help then GAL (Get A Life)

    • Decryptor

      I’m going to reply to this one to get it at the top. when all you see is garbled stuff, then maximize your notepad. People use these .nfo files to hide giant pictures made of junk letters.don’t look at it as pictures, maximize the notepad and disable wordwrap.

  • Celeste

    Very helpful – been confused for months.


  • Kirk

    I can open the note pad but what do I do from here? There is no information only symbols etc??

    • Bridgitte

      those symbols are just what people put in the nfos actually, to start it off. If you read further there will be info. They try to be interesting or creative that way but thats most of them. SOME of them keep the info clear.

  • Rod

    In Vista, I don’t have any problem opening NFO files that accompany downloads however, all they ever contain is my own PC system information.

    • Andrew

      Thats not what is in the nfo tho, thats what comes up when it doesn’t open peroperly. open it with notepad like it describes above and you’ll find that something totally different opens! 😉

      • wheelie

        notepad doesn’t know how to display that type of information, that is why you get the funky symbols.

      • Raa714

        So how do you do it, because like you ,I have no files that are just .nfo at present in computer and quite a few titled info but when right click give me all kinds of files and adobe different files which I thought maybe read or something but what am I really to do. and which file to click on. thanks

  • popaye

    Many many thanx …i just came to know it from u …..
    previously i thought it might be really a corrupt file ….
    it really open with notepad or wordpad…
    one more question … why windows by default dont open that nfo file by notepad …
    didn’t he recognise that …

  • thnx Im already using this!!

  • Rudy

    Ths didn’t work .How else?

  • Graham L Farrell

    Bollox… It just pops up “Access Denied.

  • Gogu Ologu

    if you have total commander installed then click on .nfo file to select it then press F3 or click the button F3 View. The file will open in a window. In that window press the key S to switch from ansi to ascii. Click the key A to switch back to ansi.

  • >>>?<<<<

    Lol i donwloaded a movie but it has totaly no sound … my pc gives that error thing
    but could it countain sound ???

  • ashelectron

    Thank you for the advise, works as you said.

  • kieren

    wow, its that simple :S
    thanks alot

  • yeri

    you are a lifesaver! thank you

  • LowRider

    for my NFO file WordPad worked instead of NotePad, by the way thank a lot for usefull post

  • nice guy

    thx mate

  • Sally Ann


  • ray

    helps much

  • Netherlands

    sorry.. but this WONT work on ANY Computer.
    just download and instal :


    Good Luck!


  • chuk

    thanks man ….
    this lil piece of info …..was very helpful

  • prosper

    thnk man u r a life saver

  • ibcaleb

    nice lol i didnt know that

  • zai

    geee thanks a lot! you helped me so much =)

  • Toni

    I’ve always copy/paste the file and rename the new one to *.txt and then it opens

  • chetan


  • Someone from the Lithuania

    very thank you!!

  • dc

    I don’t understand why people don’t just export it as a .txt file if that is all you can get when opening in notepad? It’s much more coherent when you do so.

    Why can’t you open it in the System Info Dialogue? What’s the purpose of having the “open” option?

  • ghee

    thanx, works just fine

  • ghee

    thanx,,,works good

  • Godfather

    Thanks a lot!

  • UFV Student

    thanks. the idea worked but I had to first go to notepad and then open the .nfo file from the “open” browser because notepad wasn’t on the list of other programs

  • Bunghole

    If you use Windows 7, you have to go through the Control Panel, and find Default Programs, and then click “Associate a file type or protocol with a program” .

    Then go down the HUGE list of file types, ’till you find: .nfo (& follow the above instructions)


  • lisa

    Thanks a lot! Works perfectly!

  • Pakmail

    Gracias por la información, fue muy productiva

  • Thiago Bomfim

    It was helpful, friend. Sometimes internet needs of this basic info, in a simpke language, just like in this post. I know hot to do a lot of things in computer, but don’t had used NFO files before.

    See you!

  • Bishno

    Thank you very much, great explanation and it’s so easy.

  • Anonymous

    Well its nice but there is another way to open a nfo file.
    Simply… rename the file as “.txt” instead of “.nfo” by right clicking on d file & now open it… here u go…its that easy…..

  • Anonymous

    thank you soooo much this has helped me A LOT

  • JimiJamz

    Thanx, this helped alot.

  • bobjob

    thanks alot i can open my file at last

  • You don’t need to know

    Thanks, I’ve been wondering how you open those things

  • Anonymous

    Thank You!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    thanx man this was amzing info really thanx

  • rR0xxx

    it works…thnks

  • sad Panda

    I followed your instructions…this is what notepad presented ܲܰ Ü Ü
    ßÛÛܲ²ß ²ÛÛÛ²ÛÜ ßÛÛ²²ÜÜ
    ÛÜ° ²ÜÛÛÛܲ þÜ ±ÛÛÛÛÝ ²ÛÛÛÛ °
    and then some 🙁

  • night01

    thanks. Now i know. 🙂

  • Lori

    What if it says the file is too large and I need to use another text editor? Any you’d suggest?

    • Anonymous

      didnt work. got a bunch of letters

  • A handy use for the now seldom used .nfo file extension is to save your user|pass lists for sites etc… as a BlackBook.nfo to a SDcard that you don’t leave on your laptop. Just pop the SDcard in and use your handy dandy text editor to open ‘er up and access your passes once you’re done pop the SDcard back out and store it away from your laptop until needed again. For heavier security, encrypt your SDcard with Trucrypt volume(s).
    Since .nfo’s appear “invisible” on most sytems its a nifty way to hide your .txt files and affords a small measure of privacy you can always use your text editor to view it as Open/All files (*.*)

  • chatchitto

    Great advice thank you don’t have to install .nfo viewers like damn nfo viewer

  • Anonymous

    i does not work in vista, jus a bunch of letters

  • Anonymous

    perfect answer. Thanks.

  • jAY


  • Jdmrexx

    yah i open it with notepad and all it says is cd keys and “enjoy” at the bottom. can someone help?

  • Rony1xyz

    Thank you very much for the information. I will try to do that now. Rony

  • Salim

    great thanks for help thank u muuuuuuuhhh

  • Khankamru

    superb just superb thnxxxx

  • Gaygirlie

    Thank you lol!

  • U2avishek

    It really helped me. Thank you and keep going……..

  • Evans

    I want to make sweet love with you. (jks) thx so much.

  • Kakashka

    Yes, but somtimes the format of the .nfo wont go with notepad. Is there any good software to open it the way it should be showed?

  • Abced

    thanks. helped me alot!

  • Manishlink88

    Thanks nice information.
    Nice team work

  • Munkee_balls

    Thanks alot for the information. I too thought it was a corrupt file i had d/l’ed.

  • thewatcher

    great piece of info!

  • paul

    Cheers for that. Any idea why i’d need this info if file already extracted? I have had some with info explaining contents of files and i’ve had some that are just line after line of nmbrs ltrs and symbl, i keep wondering what am i missing, other than a brain

  • paul

    Penny dropped lol i scrolled down and found full descript. Cheers

  • Grateful

    Thanks, helped a bunch.

  • Caca

    yup thx

  • Anwari Naim Azran

    Thanks.Its very useful.

  • Narry90

    good thxxxxxx

  • Akhil

    that was a good nfo thankz

  • Mr.L.

    im clueless

  • Midgetgadget

    Very useful… actually i had a lot of problems with this format!! Thanks 😀

  • sushil
  • cassandra

    this is really helpful thank you so much.

  • emily

    When I click ‘Open With’ it says “Windows cannot access the specified device etc etc” What do I do?