As the question states, I have some variables defined in my user environment in windows 8.1. Now I want to have something like this as a path:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Intel\iCLS Client\;%USER_V1%;C:\Program Files\Intel\iCLS Client\;%USER_V2%;...

Where USER_V[1, 2] refer to some user defined variables

Reason why I want this is so that if I modify the user variable (like change their value), the change is reflected in the path variable; and I don't have to go and modify the path variable manually (I'm lazy that way)

I'm not sure if this is possible, but maybe someone can provide a solution.


  • Are you looking to administrate just your workstation locally, or do you have a need to perform this task remotely as well?
    – Sun
    Sep 18, 2014 at 4:05

1 Answer 1


Yes, this can definitely be done. I will provide steps for Windows XP, but the solution is applicable to newer OS (Vista, Win 7) with slight changes in navigation.

You have to set the environment variable as a system variable. You can not set it as a user variable because PATH is loaded as part of the system variables. Since %USER_V1% and %USER_V2% are included in PATH, you have to create them as system variables.

In my example, I am creating a system variable called dropbox with a value of e:\dropbox\apps\cli . These are where all my command line utilities are located:

Go to Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environmental Variables

Environmental Variables

Create a new system variable. In your case, it would be USER_V1 and USER_V2

New System Variable

Once you have created USER_V1 and USER_V2, you need to edit your PATH system variable and append them to the PATH. Remember that you need to surround user/system variables with a percent sign (e.g. %dropbox%)

append path

Now go to a command prompt and type SET. You should see your new dropbox variable, and your system variables in your PATH completely spelled out:

SET path

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