A better Windows environment variable editor

Doesn’t Windows’ built-in dialog for editing environment variables just suck? The one you get when you right-click “My Computer” and go to properties→advanced, I mean. It looks like a holdover from Windows 3.1 — a tiny, unresizable window that shows you at most part of five environment variables, and an “edit” button that leads to a similarly cramped and unresizable pair of forms which are never big enough.

windows_environment_dialog1 windows_environment_dialog2

Whenever I need to edit my %PATH% (which is often) I find myself copying the whole thing out of the Windows dialog, pasting it into Notepad, editing it there, and then copying-and-pasting back into the Windows dialog.

Enter the freeware Rapid Environment Editor, a sweet little tool that is infinitely better than the Windows builtin for editing %PATH% and all your other envvars without pain. Long semicolon-seperated environment variables are displayed as drop-down trees (like my PATH below), and it even highlights broken folders with red text!


It’s a quick 800kb download and the best thing to happen to me today.


  1. Dan L says:

    Heh….. Or you could launch everything from Cygwin. Pretty crazy, huh?

  2. Mikhael says:

    Bloody hell. My devs have this awe inspiring lust — nay, full-on demented obsession — for environment variables. With new users coming in over the last couple of weeks *THIS* tool would have made my life a hell of a lot easier.

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