How can I set user environmental variables (such as PATH) from a non-administrator account on Windows 7?

On Windows XP I could go into the Advanced Settings in the System Control panel. However, on Windows 7 I get asked to provide an Administrator password.

  • Just run this in Start->Run rundll32 sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables – Sreejith. D. Menon Mar 10 at 11:42

Ah, found an answer at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931715

To resolve this issue, modify the user environment variables by using the User Accounts item in Control Panel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type Accounts in the Start search box, and then click User Accounts under Programs.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.

  2. In the User Accounts dialog box, click Change my environment variables under Tasks.

  3. Make the changes that you want to the user environment variables for your user account, and then click OK.

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  • I don't see Tasks. – Snowcrash Apr 20 at 12:52

You can search for 'edit environment variables for your account' should come up as a Control Panel item. If a variable doesn't exist for the user i.e. 'PATH' you can create it. You'll find that what you create as a user is merged with what is set by the system.

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  • 4
    The advantage of this approach over the accepted answer is that admin privileges are not required to edit the environment variables for your account. – Jthorpe Jun 1 '16 at 16:43
  • @Jthorpe: No. It was precisely because of permissions I went to search the topic and the accepted answer solved me the problem. If I went trough Control Panel > System, it asked me for the admin login and when I got to the variables dialog, it even said "Environment variables for user admin". Then I followed the accepted answer approach, no logins asked, and it said "Environment variables for user me". – sergiol Sep 27 '17 at 13:24
  • @sergiol, If you search from using "Search" item on the start menu or Cortana, (depending on your version of windows), you should look for an item that states "Edit environment variabiles for your account" with the literal text "your account", not the name of your account ("admin" in your example). Only that option will not require an admin privileges... – Jthorpe Sep 27 '17 at 18:10

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