How To Add/Edit Environment Variables in Windows 7

If you are a geek who has experience in Linux, you would know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, Environment Variables are a set of predefined variables that make system functional properly. The same also applies to Windows, though, as a regular user, you don’t need to worry about them.

Recently, I was looking at some Android documentation and trying to set up a development environment on my Windows 7. One of the steps is to add a directory path to the PATH environment variable. I had to admit that Google didn’t put much effort into the documentation to make us go through it easily.

To install the SDK, simply unpack the starter package to a safe location and then add the location to your PATH.

No explanation on how to do this.

So how exactly are you going to do this?

To add or edit anything environment variables in Windows 7, you need to go to System Properties first.


Then, go to “Advanced system settings”,


Under “Advanced” tab, click on “Environment Variables …” button at the bottom.


Double click PATH and add new path into the “variable value”. Make sure you separate the value with “; “


Let’s sum up what we just did

PATH is an environment variable that holds all the executable shell commands. When you type something in the command prompt, it will go through all the path and search for the match of the command line utility name you have just entered.

In short, there are tons other environment variables in Windows, if you are interested in how it works, you can go to Technet documentation and check out.

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 06/07/2016

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3 years 4 months ago

Thank you. Very clear and concise.

2 years 8 months ago

Great tutorial. Thank you greatly

Ahsan Idrisi
2 years 4 months ago

should there be a semicolon at the end of the last string

1 month 1 day ago

For complete novice – these instructions should probably include that to get to System Properties under Windows 7 and higher, you right-click on “computer” or “my computer” and select properties.