How to Add and Edit PATH Environment Variables in Windows 11

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This post shows students and new users steps to add or edit Windows PATH environment variables in Windows 11. By default, most programs will add their own custom shortcuts to Windows PATH environment variables.

Some programs will not automatically add to the System Path variables, but will let users edit or add to the path so that the program can function correctly.

The System PATH variable is one of the most used variables in Windows. It allows users to run any executables that are located inside the paths without having to give the full path to the executables or directories to locate.

Without environment variables, users will have to search for and locate each executable or provide full paths and directories of important program’s files. Environment variables create shortcuts to executables within those paths specified.

Below is how one can add or edit Windows PATH environment variables so they can run executables from their own custom directories.

How to set path and environment variables in Windows 11

As mentioned above, PATH and environment variables create shortcuts to executables and directories. It allows custom programs to be launched and used efficiently in Windows.

Administrator privileges are required to modify the path and environment variables. Below is how to add or edit Windows PATH and environment variables in Windows 11.

First, go to Windows Settings app. To get to the Settings app, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click System, and select the About tile on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

windows 11 about

On the About screen, click on Advanced system settings link as highlighted below.

windows 11 advanced system settings

In the System Properties window, click the Advanced tab, then click the Environment Variables button near the bottom of that tab.

windows 11 advanced environment variables

You’ll typically want to add to the System variables so everyone on the system can use it. If you use the User variable, only a user who adds it may use the variable.

Highlight the Path variable in the System variables section and click the Edit button.

windows 11 add edit environment variables

Next, add or modify the path lines with the paths you want the computer to access. Each directory path is separated with a semicolon, as shown below.

add evironment variables in windows 11

You can click the New button to add new paths or edit to modify existing path. Delete will delete a path.

If you know the path, simply type it in or copy and paste it. If you prefer, you can also click Browse and then navigate to the desired path you want to include to the System path variables.

Each directory path is separated with a semicolon, as shown below.

C:\Program Files;C:\Winnt;C:\Winnt\System32

That should do it.

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to add or edit PATH environment variables in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.

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