Have you ever used or heard about windows environment variables? There are lots of tools that can help you to improve your productivity, windows environment variables is one among them.

Windows Environment variables are nothing but a list of variables, which are used as a reference by your operating system for locating and running an executable or by the software’s that are installed on your system.

Sounds too complex? Well let’s just see how it can help us and you define it on your own words, deal?

Environment Variables are already helping you

Ever wondered how does calc or mspaint launches when you type them from your run window? It’s because these programs are located under c:\Windows\System32 folder and is added to the environment variable PATH.

So if you want to launch your own executable or a folder from run window you have to just add it to the PATH variable or create your own environment variable.

Display the contents of windows environment variables

To list the values of the PATH variable or any windows environment variable use the ECHO command from the command prompt as shown below:

Echo %PATH%

If you want to list all the environment variables in your system, use the command SET.

Launching Windows Environment Variables

You can use any of the below ways to quickly launch windows environment variables:

You can just type env in the search programs and files area by launching the start menu and click on the Edit environment variables for your account.

Windows Environment Variables

You can also type the below command in run window to directly launch the environment variable window

rundll32.exe sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables

Modifying Windows Environment Variables

You can add/modify windows environment variables using any of the below approach:

Using Command Prompt

You can use the command prompt to set the value of an environment variable,

Example: setx ap “E:\ARTIC POST\Articles”

SETX Command Execution

Now when you type %ap% in your run window, the folder E:\ARTIC POST\Articles will be launched automatically.

Modify Manually

You can also create a folder and add that folder to the PATH variable. For example, i have added E:\ARTIC POST\Executables to the PATH variable.

Set your path variable

Inside the folder I have placed a batch file called ap.bat (you can place your own program/executable)

Now when you just type ap from your run window the batch file will be executed.

Using a Tool

You can also set the path of an executable using Rapidee (Rapid Environment Editor) tool. The tool comes both in installer and portable version (2 MB).

  • Download the portable version and run the rapidee.exe
  • The System Variables are applicable for all users which is listed on the left pane and the User Variables are listed on the right pane which is applicable for the logged in user.
  • You can also change the user from the drop down list.
  • Right click on the User Variables pane and select Add Variable (Insert Key is the shortcut)
  • Provide a variable name and select the Expandable string option and click Ok.
  • Now choose either a file or directory that will be added to the variable.

RapidEE tool

So was this useful for you? If yes, please do share the article with your friends.