If you ever tried to change Windows system path variables then you may have cursed Microsoft for creating such a tiny form to edit them in as the editor Microsoft created offfers not enough space to display all path variables at once.
The system path is being used by Windows and applications to find executable and dependencies in Windows. This is for instance used to find an application if you use the run box in Windows for instance. A system wide path and a user defined path exists with the system wide path having priority over the user defined one.
The order of the entries is important as well since the first hit will be selected by Windows. Now if you take a look at your system paths you notice that the Windows form is completely useless. You can access those variables by accessing the System Properties in the Control Panel, clicking on the Advanced tab there and then on the Environment Variables button. If you highlight the path variable and click on Edit you know what I mean.
Update: Another option, useful if you run newer versions of Windows is to use Windows-Pause to open the System Control Panel applet, and to click on the Advanced tab there on its left side.
The window that is opening is displaying 30 or 40 chars only and you have to scroll to see all entries which is not really helping as you will never be able to see all variables listed on the screen at the same time.
You could copy and paste the line into a text editor, edit it there and copy and paste it back when your finished but there is a better solution available.
Redmond Path 1.0 [via Shell Extension City] displays the path variables the way Microsoft should have done it a long time ago. I'm wondering why those things are never fixed in updates or new Windows releases. You can raise and lower variables, remove them, edit them and add new ones.
Redmond path comes with a rollback option, supports Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 2003 and requires the .net framework.
Update: Redmond Path appears to be no longer available. I suggest you check out the excellent Rapid Environment Editor instead which works with all recent versions of Windows.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.