Error: System Information cannot open this NFO file

.nfo (also written .NFO or NFO, a contraction of “info”, or “information”) is a commonly used three-letter filename extension for text files that accompany various digital scene releases with information about them.

NFO files are used to deliver release information about the media, such as the digital media title, authorship, year, or license information. This information is delivered for publishing through digital media to make it searchable on the web as well as within local catalogues and libraries.

As NFO (information) files are plain text files, you can use the Open with dialog to open it using Notepad or any other text editor of your choosing. Here is a sample NFO file containing ASCII art:

.nfo file system information utility error

Note: As Windows also has a built-in .nfo file format which is used by the System Information Tool (msinfo32.exe), when you open any .nfo (information file), Windows assumes that you’re opening a file created by msinfo32.exe and throws the following error:

System Information is unable to open this .nfo file. The file might be corrupt or incompatible with this version of System Information.

.nfo file system information utility error

RELATED: Similarly, .scr file can be a Windows screen saver file or an AutoCAD data file. Check out the article How to Associate AutoCAD Script (.SCR) Files With Notepad for more information.

Error when opening a MSInfo32 .nfo file?

When you open a msinfo32.exe .nfo data file stored in a folder that contains spaces in the name — e.g., d:\log files, an error may occur mentioning that the NFO file could be corrupt.

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

Here is a fix for the issue.

  1. Launch the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Go to the following location:
  3. Double-click (default) and change the data to:
    %SystemRoot%\system32\msinfo32.exe "%1"
  4. Exit the Registry Editor.

System Information (.nfo) files should now open correctly.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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