Windows environment variables are something you might rarely need to modify. If you do, here is how you would normally go edit and update any environment variables including PATH variable. As you might aware, the UI is small and tedious for lengthy string edits. Microsoft has made improvements in Windows 10, but if you are still using Windows 7 and you need to frequently work on areas that require PATH manipulation here are some light utilities you can leverage to help you manage your environment variable.
#1 Rapid Environment Editor
Rapid Environment Editor is probably one of the most feature rich environment editors for Windows. It lays out all the variable name and its value in a tree structure where you can easily expand and inspect. It also has an error-checking feature that would highlight any invalid pathname or variable values in red. This will be very handy when you need to work on things with installer or program that require updating Windows environment variables.
An example above shows you some of the highlights in red that it detects no longer valid in PATH and %NVM_HOME%.
#2 Windows Path Editor
Windows Path Editor is extremely light, it also does some error checking and arranges all your system path and user path variable separately. There is an easy way to “Clean Up” any invalid or duplicate environment variables. The “Automatic” button would search for “bin” subfolder. However, you might want to use this with caution.
#3 Path Editor
Last but not least, Path Editor. You can grab the direct download link here. Path Editor’s original site are no longer accessible, hence a link to the web archive. It offers a similar feature to what Windows Path Editor.
That’s it if you need to work with PATH variable or any other environment variable changes use one of the above tools to better manage your changes as the built-in Windows environment variable dialog is too difficult to manage large and frequent changes.
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂
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Last updated: 02/19/2017