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Windows 10 PATH Environment Variable Update with PowerShell


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Testing Environment Information:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise: Version 1909 (OS Build 18396.535) (Type winver or systeminfo at a Command Prompt)
  • PowerShell Version: 5.1.18362.145 (Type “HOST” at a PowerShell Prompt)
  • Testing Date: 12/25/2019


Unfortunately, when using the following PowerShell command, it erases all other entries in your PATH Environment Variable. Most forums I’ve seen are telling people to do this, good thing I backed up my paths before trying this method, as all my paths got erased.


Let’s see if we can fix this, first let us exam our current paths we have configured (it’s good to take a backup of this configuration before you make any changes, you can do that with the following PowerShell command:

$env:path | Out-File C:\EnvironmentVariableBackup.txt


Let’s create a whole script now so we can update the PATH Environment Variable and be able to use it in the future. I saved this to a file named UpdatePathEnvironmentVariable.ps1.

# Separate multiple paths with semi-colon ;
$NewPathsToAdd = "C:\Testing;C\Testing2" 

# Save this to a text file in case you need it later, for now we'll output it to the console
$CurrentPaths = $env:path 
Write-Host "`r`n `$CurrentPaths variable contains the following paths: $($currentPaths)" -ForegroundColor Cyan

# Combine the old path and new path(s) into one string, you can swap these variables around if you want the new paths at the bottom
$PathUpdate = $NewPathsToAdd + ";" + $CurrentPaths
Write-Host "`r`n `$PathUpdate variable will load the following paths: $($PathUpdate)" -ForegroundColor Cyan

# The last parameter ("Machine"),should be either User or Machine, depending on where you want the variable stored

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