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Setting and getting windows environment variables from the command prompt?

Is there any way to set permanently set an environment variable system wide from the command line in Windows?

something like

>systemset newVar=foo

or a file to edit would work well too.


1 Answer 1


You can use the MS utility "Setx" to make permanent changes form the command-line.

Here's a direct link to the Windows 2000 version (works in XP, etc.).

You can also get it in the Windows XP SP2 Support Tools pack.

It is not part of the standard Windows XP setup but a command-line tool called setx.exe is included in the Windows XP Service Pack 2 Support Tools. This tool extends the set command so that permanent changes in the environment variables can be made. For example, to add a folder C:\New Folder to the path, the command would be setx path "%PATH%;C:\New Folder"

  • 2
    It's part of Windows since at least Vista, though.
    – Joey
    Mar 14, 2010 at 19:05
  • Good point, forgot to mention that. :) Mar 14, 2010 at 19:22
  • It is possible to do the same from System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables, or registry HKCU\Environment.
    – user1686
    Mar 15, 2010 at 14:52

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