I am trying to export the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%SystemRoot%_system32_cmd.exe but am unable to do so, probably because of the percent signs.

I tried to escape the %-sign with a caret or another %-sign, but this didn't help me:

regedit /e c:\temp\cmd.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%SystemRoot%%_system32_cmd.exe"


regedit /e c:\temp\cmd.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\^%SystemRoot^%_system32_cmd.exe"

So, is there a way to do what I want.

Edit as per Ярослав Рахматуллин's comment: the key is the exact string, with the percent signs. So I don't want %SystemRoot% expanded, but passed to regedit as is.

  • Do you want the variable to expand? As in do you want the key located at what would be the location in the tree if the proper value for the system root was inserted instead of variable? Oct 13, 2012 at 8:13
  • No, the variable should not be expanded. Oct 13, 2012 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


1) Using a percent sign (%) in a batch file requires that two percent signs (%%) be specified.

This is working in batch files.

regedit /e c:\temp\123.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%SystemRoot%%_system32_cmd.exe"

2) This trick is working in "plain" command line of cmd.exe

set sr=SystemRoot
regedit /e c:\temp\123.reg "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%%sr%%_system32_cmd.exe"
  • It would be great to explain why this is working. A little context always helps!
    – slhck
    Oct 13, 2012 at 9:14
  • Sorry, it's more easy :)
    – Maximus
    Oct 13, 2012 at 9:56
  • It's interesting that this works in batch files. But I was actually after a way to run (or type) this in cmd.exe itself. And it doesn't work if not in a batch file. Oct 13, 2012 at 10:18
  • Trick for command line
    – Maximus
    Oct 13, 2012 at 10:56
  • Do yourself a favor and install the PowerShell. CMD.exe is really not suitable, ...for anything. Oct 13, 2012 at 11:26

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