Windows 11 – Environment variables and the Path

In most operating systems there’s a concept of environment variables. Microsoft Windows is no different.

There are many installers that create variables in the OS path automatically, but if a given installer doesn’t, it is pretty simple to create it manually.

First, open start menu and search for environment. You will see the option to select, Edit the system environment variables.

Then, click in Environment Variables.

There are user variables and system variables (globals). I like to use system variables to make life easier when switching profiles. More details on environment variables can be found at Environment Variables – Win32 apps | Microsoft Learn

Clicking in path and edit it will open a new window where we can add a path variable that may be missing.

This path variable is special, because it points to directories where the system will seek for executables when only the executable name is provided, not the full path. One example of software installer that doesn’t automatically creates path entry is Nasm (Netwide Assembler).

To add, just click new, or double click in one of the free lines/slots, type the location/directory and click OK in all of the windows that are open (it should be 3).

Environment variables are loaded, for example, when you open terminal applications. So, one way of applying this change in a terminal, such as Windows Terminal, is to close the application and launch again.

Now you can use the executable name anywhere in the system that your application will launch.

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