Windows CMD: PATH Variable – Add To PATH – Echo PATH

PATH is an environment variable that specifies a set of directories, separated with semicolons (;), where executable programs are located.

In this note i am showing how to print the contents of Windows PATH environment variable from the Windows command prompt.

I am also showing how to add a directory to Windows PATH permanently or for the current session only.

Echo Windows PATH Variable

Print the contents of the Windows PATH variable from cmd:

C:\> path

– or –

C:\> echo %PATH%

The above commands return all directories in Windows PATH environment variable on a single line separated with semicolons (;) that is not very readable.

To print each entry of Windows PATH variable on a new line, execute:

C:\> echo %PATH:;=&echo.%

Add To Windows PATH

Warning! This solution may be destructive as Windows truncates PATH to 1024 characters. Make a backup of PATH before any modifications.

Save the contents of the Windows PATH environment variable to C:\path-backup.txt file:

C:\> echo %PATH% > C:\path-backup.txt

Set Windows PATH For The Current Session

Set Windows PATH variable for the current session:

C:\> set "%PATH%;C:\path\to\directory\"

Set Windows PATH Permanently

Run as Administrator: The setx command is only available starting from Windows 7 and requires elevated command prompt.

Permanently add a directory to the user PATH variable:

C:\> setx path "%PATH%;C:\path\to\directory\"

Permanently add a directory to the system PATH variable (for all users):

C:\> setx /M path "%PATH%;C:\path\to\directory\"

Info: To see the changes after running setx – open a new command prompt.