INI - Windows Initialization Files are configuration and initialization files used to store application settings and preferences. The contents of INI files can be read using a text editor such as NotePad, since the data inside is text separated by square brackets. Only highly experienced users should attempt to edit INI files, and even then, extreme care should be taken, including saving a copy of the original file. In later versions of Windows, XML or the Windows registry eliminated the need for most INI files. Macs or other hardware running emulation software may use INI files, but in general, INI files are Windows specific.