User set environment variables windows command line

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To set environment variables in Windows via the command line, you can use the setx command. Here’s the basic syntax:

setx VARIABLE_NAME "variable_value"

Replace VARIABLE_NAME with the name of the environment variable you want to set, and "variable_value" with the desired value for that variable.

For example, to set the MY_VARIABLE environment variable to Hello World, you would run:

setx MY_VARIABLE "Hello World"

Please note the following important points:

  1. Changes Take Effect in New Command Prompt Windows: Changes made with setx will only take effect in new command prompt windows. They won’t affect the current command prompt window or any other programs you have running.
  2. System Variables vs. User Variables: By default, setx sets the environment variable at the user level. If you want to set a system-wide environment variable, you need to add the /M flag. For example:
setx /M SYSTEM_VARIABLE "System Value"
  1. Special Characters: If your variable value contains special characters like quotes, you may need to escape them or use the appropriate syntax depending on the context.
  2. Path Variable: Setting the PATH environment variable requires special handling because it’s a list of directories separated by semicolons. To add a new directory to the PATH, you can use the following syntax:
setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\New\Directory" /M

This appends C:\New\Directory to the existing PATH variable.

  1. Permissions: Running setx requires administrative privileges for system-wide changes.

Remember to close and reopen any command prompt windows after making changes to environment variables to see the effects.

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