A user of ours cleared their path, thanks to some directions on the internet.

What is the default path, I am a developer so I have tons of extra stuff in mine, what should my user get on a plain jane one?

  • this one superuser.com/questions/193368/… (at risk of being closed as a duplicate) says %CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft Shared\Windows Live;%SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\ i.e. it mentions a WindowsLive directory
    – barlop
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 5:28
  • Related: If it's not too late to try to restore it from a backup, you can superuser.com/questions/523688/…
    – geekley
    Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 23:02
  • Missing the question for default path on Windows 10. Maybe here
    – Timo
    Commented Oct 16, 2020 at 12:31

4 Answers 4


According to this MVP, on Vista it was:


I would assume the same for Windows 7. I also have \Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\ as one of my first entries so you might want to add it as well since PowerShell was shipped with Windows 7.

  • 3
    PowerShell path is included in default system path in W7
    – climenole
    Commented Jul 30, 2012 at 17:18
  • this one you were keen to close superuser.com/questions/193368/… has a slightly different one to the one you state, e.g. it has a WindowsLive directory, though you didn't give any critique of it
    – barlop
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 5:30

I just finished installing Windows 7 Enterprise SP1-U (x64 English) in a virtual machine. I can certify the following as the default Path environment variables. Note that I haven't installed anything (not even the "additions", "drivers", or "tools") into the virtual machine.

Default system Path environment variable (the inconsistent capitalization is as-is):


There is no default user Path environment variable (i.e., no such variable was set).


Sorry, mine's no longer "plain jane" but I've removed the obvious added items (this is on 64 bit, remove the (x86) bits if you're on 32):


There's really no such thing as a default Path; it changes as software and devices are installed/removed. However, at a bare minimum, your Path should contain:


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