Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to set environment variables for a single command on Windows like ENVVAR=abc command on Unix?

Variables set by set command on Windows seem to remain for the following commands, but this is not what I want.

share|improve this question
I think you will have to unset them yourself. – Zina Mar 6 at 17:36
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Is there a way to set environment variables for a single command?

From the current cmd shell:

You have to clear the variable yourself.

set ENVVAR=abc && dir & set ENVVAR=

From a batch file:

You can use setlocal and endlocal.

@echo off
  set ENVVAR=abc && dir

Use a child cmd shell:

You can use cmd /c to create a child shell.

The variable is set in the child shell and doesn't affect the parent shell (as pointed out in a comment by jpmc26).

cmd /C "set ENVVAR=abc && dir"

Further Reading

  • An A-Z Index of the Windows CMD command line - An excellent reference for all things Windows cmd line related.
  • cmd - Start a new CMD shell and (optionally) run a command/executable program.
  • endlocal - End localisation of environment changes in a batch file. Pass variables from one batch file to another.
  • redirection - Redirection operators.
  • set - Display, set, or remove CMD environment variables. Changes made with SET will remain only for the duration of the current CMD session.
  • setlocal - Set options to control the visibility of environment variables in a batch file.
share|improve this answer
Another option is to launch a separate cmd process and set them there. E.g., cmd /C "set ENVVAR=abc && dir". Since it won't affect the parent process, it will be effectively "cleared" on exit. – jpmc26 Mar 6 at 19:48
@jpmc26 Good one. Thanks. Added to answer. – DavidPostill Mar 6 at 20:26
That first method won't clear the variable if the command fails. – Andrew Medico Mar 6 at 22:36
@AndrewMedico Thanks. Good point. Answer fixed. – DavidPostill Mar 6 at 22:53

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .