Please help me to deal with PowerShell environment variable.

I had learned that PowerShell has special syntax to access the system environment variable values. So I've tried to execute:


in the PowerShell 6.2.4 console on Windows 10. The output is strange:


It has my Windows user name shortened to the 8.3 form. The problem is that I can't use the cd $env:temp command, it displays the following error:

cd : An object at the specified path C:\Users\OD42B~1.BOR does not exist.

But I can do cd %temp% in the cmd terminal.

I've tried Windows PowerShell app (%SystemRoot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe) but cd $env:Temp does not works either.

I've checked environment variable configuration option (Sytem properties\Environment variables) and both TEMP and TMP variables are shown using the long form profile folder name, like c:\users\o.borolongprofilename\AppData\Local\Temp.

How can I make cd $env:Temp work for a non-8.3 profile name in the PowerShell?


  • PowerShell get-childitem env:Temp output is C:\Users\OD42B~1.BOR\AppData\Local\Temp.

  • Cmd echo %temp% output is the same C:\Users\OD42B~1.BOR\AppData\Local\Temp (but cd %temp% works in the cmd).

  • TEMP environment variable in the UI is set properly (value shown is like c:\users\o.borolongprofilename\AppData\Local\Temp).

    However TEMP value is shown like %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp when I try to edit TEMP using the UI.

  • PowerShell get-childitem env:userprofile displays full name like c:\users\o.borolongprofilename (surprise).


I've just checked PowerShell 7 rc2 but the result is the same: cd $env:Temp does not work.


Thank you for helping me. I've found the answer provided by the @Smock comment link:

cd (gi $env:temp).fullname

  • What value does get-childitem env:Temp return ? Also check the environment variables set via the gui interface - is it 8.3 there? What does echo %Temp% from cmd prompt give you?
    – Smock
    Feb 12, 2020 at 11:50
  • @Smock thanks for helping me. Please find question updated with answers you have requested.
    – oleksa
    Feb 12, 2020 at 12:55
  • 1
    Perhaps this will provide a solution (if not a fix)? cd (gi $env:temp).fullname
    – Smock
    Feb 12, 2020 at 13:52
  • cd "$env:temp" Feb 15, 2020 at 4:49
  • 1
    When you say that it didn't work, you have to say how it didn't work. Feb 17, 2020 at 14:20

3 Answers 3


Thank you for helping me. I've found the answer provided by the @Smock comment link:

cd (gi $env:temp).fullname


I don't know what causes this, but you could add a small piece of powershell in your profile:

$env:TEMP = [Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Temp", [EnvironmentVariableTarget]::User)

That way, $env:Temp will be updated each time you launch PowerShell


You can also get the path from registry value and use it:

But not using this one: HKCU\Environment


The output also came with: %USERPROFILE%, so....

...try using this registry key: HKCU\Environment

[HKCU:\Volatile Environment]
LOCALAPPDATA    REG_SZ    C:\Users\ecker\AppData\Local

And concatenate only the output sequence with:TEMP ==> "$path_str\TEMP"

$path_str = (Get-ItemProperty "HKCU:\Volatile Environment")|Select-Object -ExpandProperty LOCALAPPDATA | Resolve-path ; cd "$path_str\TEMP"

# Or using aliases #

$path_str = (gp "HKCU:\Volatile Environment")|select -ExpandProperty LOCALAPPDATA | rvpa ; cd "$path_str\TEMP"

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