How to use System Information (MSINFO32) command-line tool switches

Applies to: Microsoft Windows XP Home EditionMicrosoft Windows XP ProfessionalWindows Vista Enterprise More


MSINFO32 displays a comprehensive view of your hardware, system components, and software environment. This article contains an overview of the available switches that can be used with the MSINFO32 command in Windows 7, in Windows Vista, and in Windows XP.

You can use the MSINFO32 command-line tool switches to do all of the following:

  • Use System Information from a batch file
  • Create .nfo or .txt files that contain information from specified categories.
  • Open System Information and display only specific categories.
  • Save a file silently (without opening System Information).
  • Start System Information connected to a remote computer.
  • Create a shortcut that opens System Information in a frequently-used configuration.


  • Some command-line switches available for Windows XP are no longer supported in Windows Vista or in Windows 7.
  • In Windows 7 and later versions, if you run MSINFO32 without Administrator privileges, it may show some drivers as stopped when they are not. This is because the cache for this information requires Administrator privileges to update. To avoid this issue, make sure to run MSINFO32 with Administrator privileges.

More Information

Use the following syntax to run the MSINFO32 command on computers that are running Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP:
Msinfo32 [/?] [/pch] [/nfo Path] [/report Path] [/computer ComputerName] [/showcategories] [/category categoryID] [/categories categoryID]


Specifies the file to be opened in the format C:\folder1\ where C is the drive letter, folder1 is the folder, file1 is the file and xxx is the file name extension.

This can be a Universal Naming Convention name, an IP address, or a Fully Qualified Domain Name.

This parameter is obtained by using the /showcategories switch.

Command options that are supported in Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP

/nfo {Path}
Saves the exported file as an .nfo file. If the file name that is specified in Path does not end in .nfo, an .nfo file name extension will be appended to the file name.

/report {Path}
Saves the file that is specified in Path in the .txt format. The file name will be saved exactly as it appears in path. The .txt file name extension will not be appended to the file unless it is specified in Path.

/computer {ComputerName}
Starts System Information for the specified remote computer.
Note When you connect to a remote computer, you must have appropriate permissions to access WMI on the remote computer.

Command options that are supported in Windows XP

Displays the history view.

Starts System Information with the category IDs displayed instead of the friendly names or the localized names. For example, when you use this switch, the Software Environment category is displayed as the SWEnv category. SWEnv is a valid categoryID argument for the /category switch and the /categories switch.

/category {categoryID}
Starts System Information with the specified category selected. Use /showcategories to display a list of available category IDs.

/categories {+categoryID(+categoryID)|+all(-categoryID)}
Starts System Information with only the specified category or categories displayed. It also limits the output to the selected category or categories. Use /showcategories to display a list of available category IDs.

/?Displays a brief summary of MSInfo32 command-line options.

Note Some System Information categories contain large amounts of data. You can use the start /wait command to optimize reporting performance for these categories. For more information, see Related Topics.


To open System Information in History view, type:
msinfo32 /pch
To create an .nfo file in the folder C:\Temp with a name of Test.nfo, type:
msinfo32 /nfo C:\TEMP\TEST.NFO
To create a .txt file in the folder C:\Temp with a name of Test.txt, type:
msinfo32 /report C:\TEMP\TEST.NFO
To view System Information from a remote computer with a UNC name of BIGSERVER, type:
msinfo32 /computer BIGSERVER
To list the available category IDs, type:
msinfo32 /showcategories
To start System Information with all available information displayed, except Loaded Modules, type:
msinfo32 /categories +all -loadedmodules
To create an .nfo file called SYSSUM.NFO in the C:\Temp folder that contains information in the System Summary category, type:
msinfo32 /nfo C:\TEMP\SYSSUM.NFO /categories +systemsummary
To create a .NFO file called CONFLICTS.NFO in the C:\TEMP folder that contains information about resource conflicts, type:
msinfo32 /nfo C:\TEMP\CONFLICTS.NFO /categories +componentsproblemdevices+resourcesconflicts+resourcesforcedhardware

Formatting legend

ItalicInformation that the user must supply
BoldElements that the user must type exactly as shown
Ellipsis (...)Parameter that can be repeated several times in a command line
Between brackets ([])Optional items
Between braces ({}); choices separated by pipe (|). Example: {even|odd}Set of choices from which the user must choose only one