(WINdows INItialization) An early Windows 3.x configuration file that described the current Windows environment. Introduced in Windows 3.0, WIN.INI was read when Windows was loaded to obtain information about the desktop, language settings, screen saver, fonts and startup applications. It is also read in subsequent Windows versions for compatibility. When the user or application changed settings, Windows updated WIN.INI; however, the file could also be edited with any text editor just like SYSTEM.INI, another major configuration file in early Windows. See SYSTEM.INI, INI file and Registry.