When I type "%PATH%" in the address bar of Explorer, I get the error

"Windows can't find %SystemRoot%\system32;%SystemRoot%;%SystemRoot%\System32\Wbem;%SYSTEMROOT%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86)\QuickTime\QTSystem\;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\OpenCL SDK\2.0\bin\x86;C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\OpenCL SDK\2.0\bin\x64".

But when I enter each of those address individually, I'm taken right to it with no problem. What could be causing it, and is this affecting programs that use the PATH variable?

  • 1
    What exactly is the problem? This happens on my own installation of Windows. I loaded several virtual machines with default configurations and it also happened. This seems like its suppose to happen
    – Ramhound
    Jan 25, 2014 at 17:31
  • You are trying to type multiple paths (%path% contains multiple parts separated by ;) in the address bar of Windows explorer. This is not how explorer works with the address bar. You can only use one path there.
    – Rik
    Jan 25, 2014 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


The behaviour you have observed is what is to be expected.

%PATH% is not a single path and Explorer can access only one path at a time. The programs that use %PATH% use it differently. If they have to find any executable, they will search in each of the paths and executes once the required executable is found.

It is like opening browser and entering two urls at a time www.google.com;www.yahoo.com which obviously doesn't work.

  • Why doesn't that work? I think it should. :P Feb 19, 2014 at 5:28
  • 1
    @MichaelHoffmann of course depending upon the browser, it will redirect to its favourite web search engine. But obviously it is not what you would want. ;P
    – Buddha
    Feb 19, 2014 at 12:27

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