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Set Environment Variables

By: Arie Slob

Occasionally you'll need to add Environment Variables (an example is the PATH statement) to the Windows environment. In the past, you would have done this by placing them in the Autotexec.bat or Config.sys file.

In Windows XP, you can add these by opening the System applet from Control Panel, selecting the Advanced tab, and pressing the Environment Variables button at the bottom of that tab. The Environment Variables tab is divided in two sections, User variables and System variables. Environment variables are written to the registry.

Environment Variables

To modify a System variable, you must be an administrator on the system. All users can modify their own User environment variables. In general, System variables will need a restart to become effective, while User variables will become effective immediately. Note however that after a change to the User environment variables is made, any open software programs should be restarted to force them to read the new registry values.