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When I create a batch file on my computer to execute start c:\Users\________\Whatever\..., it works on my machine.

How can I get it to work on someone else's machine, since their username isn't my username?

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You can use the Environmental Variable %USERPROFILE%. This works from Windows XP and on, and automatically detects the drive letter, and the folder path, to the current user's profile folder.

start %USERPROFILE%\Whatever

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You can use the Windows environment variables. One you could use in this case would be %username%, which returns the current user's name.


start c:\users\%username%\Whatever

Additionally/alternatively, if you're specifically aiming for the user's profile folder (<drive>:\users\<username>) you can use the %userprofile% variable, which will return the full path to the current user's profile, which helps when targeting older OSs like XP (where it's <drive>:\document and settings\<username> by default), or where the profile folder has been moved to a different drive/location.


start %userprofile%\Whatever

There's several other variables in there that you may find useful in writing batches, I'd advise perusing the entire list. :)

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I'd upvote if it wasn't for my last two Windows systems having kept the user profiles in e:\users and d:\documents and settings... – grawity Jun 4 '14 at 19:10
@grawity I tried to keep it generic by showing him the list of available variables, and not assuming they always want to target the user profile directory. But hey point taken, so I updated it to cover the %userprofile% variable as well. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 4 '14 at 19:21
Dude, you just stole my answer :P – Canadian Luke Jun 4 '14 at 19:21
Not stolen, just expanded on my answer to make it more full. Again, I tried to avoid making it specifically about the user profile directory originally, but apparently if I don't cover %userprofile% as well, then it's not a 'correct' answer. ;) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jun 4 '14 at 19:23
Don't worry, with the tongue sticking out in the comment, it's meant as a joke :) – Canadian Luke Jun 4 '14 at 19:25

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