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Modify a Users Path in Windows Vista: Vista Path Environment Variable

Modifying a users PATH variable in Windows Vista is easy. You may want to modify the PATH for a user if you have an executable located in a directory that is not already in the default Path. One example of this is if you install cygwin to have Unix/Linux style commands on Windows you would want to add C:\cygwin\bin to your user Path variable.

Follow the directions below to modify the user Path system variable:

  1. Open User Accounts: Click Start and select Run from the pop up menu. Type “Accounts” into the Run box and hit enter to open the User Accounts configuration window as shown below.

    Vista User Accounts Configuration Window

  2. Open Environment Variables: In the left column you will need to click on “Change my environment variables” which will open the Environment Variables configuration window as shown below.

    Vista Environment Variables Configuration Window

  3. Modify Path System Variable: In the System Variables portion of the window scroll down until you reach Path, highlight it, and click the Edit button to open a window similar to the below.<

    Windows Vista System Variables

  4. Add New Path:Now add the new Path followed by a semi colon. In this example we will add “C:\cygwin\bin;”.
  5. Save Settings: Click the OK button in each of the two open windows and then close out of User Accounts.
  6. Test New Path: Open a Command Prompt and type in the executable name you wanted to be available. It should execute without having to type the entire path now that you have modified the Path System Variable.

You can also modify other Windows Vista System Variables in the same manner.

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