Windows - Path and other environment variables in windows

Wikitechy | 823 Views | windows | 20 Jun 2016


Windows - path and other environment variables in windows

  • The Environment variables are used for setting the dynamic named values that can affect the behavior of the running processes on a computer.
  • They are part of the environment in which a process runs.
  • For example, a running process can query the value of the TEMP environment variable to discover a suitable location to store temporary files, or the HOME or USER PROFILE variable to find the directory structure owned by the user who is running the process.

Examples of environment variables include:

  • PATH – a list of directory paths.
  • TEMP – location where processes can store temporary files.
  • HOME (Unix-like) and USER PROFILE (Microsoft Windows) – indicate the user's home directory location.

Procedure to configure the environmental variables & path in windows.

    Go to My computer.
    Right click on “My Computer” and choose “Properties”.

    Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> System page is reached.

    Click the “Advanced System Settings” link in the left column. 

    Under System Properties window ->“Advanced tab”.

    Click on Environment Variables button. 

    User specific variables are listed here.

    Go to "System variables"and select an Environment Variable and click the Edit button. 

    Add or modify the variable value with the required path. Each different directory path is separated with a semicolon.

What are Environment Variables?

  • Environment Variables are similar to variables in any programming language.
  • In the case of Windows, or Unix systems they are storing various values to allow for programs and tasks to get necessary OS information, or 'Environment' information.

WHAT is the PATH variable specifically?

  • The PATH variable is used to sets directory paths for RUN commands and for internal calls from programs. 
  • The Windows environment’s System PATH variable tests each location for the given executable. 
  • Thus adding a location to the PATH variable, allows an executable to be called directly.
  • "When a command is entered in a command shell or a system call is made to execute a program, the system first searches the current working directory and then searches the path, examining each directory from left to right.

Applies to :

  • Windows 1
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista

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