Add a Path to the Windows Path Variable

This topic was brought up during my Free Windows Training Course. Rather than replying to everyone individually, I thought I’d post this information on my Blog for easy reference.

In the class, we discussed the Run dialog. I illustrated how you can add Desktop Shortcuts to the Windows folder and use the Shortcut names to launch documents and applications from the Windows Run dialog.

The topic was raised about creating a Desktop folder into which you can add the shortcuts and add the Desktop folder to the Windows Path.

I thought this was a brilliant idea and researched. To add a folder to the Windows path, follow the steps below:

Create a Folder on the Windows Desktop

You’ll need an administrator account to edit the Windows path variable.

Create a folder on the Windows Desktop to which you’d like to add Run dialog shortcuts.

  • Create a folder on the Windows Desktop
    • Focus on the Windows Desktop (WINDOWS KEY-D or WINDOWS KEY-M)
    • Press CTRL-SHIFT-N
      1. This is the Windows command to create a new shortcut in a list view
    • The new folder is created
    • Type the new name
    • Press ENTER
    • The folder is created
  • Select the folder and open the Enhanced Windows Application Folder (SHIFT-WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-SHIFT-F10)
  • Activate “Copy as Path”

With the folder path copied to the Windows Clipboard, you’re ready to add it to the Windows path variable.

Edit the Windows Path Variable

To add the copied path to the Windows Path Variable, do one of the following:

  • Open System Properties in the Start Menu
    • Open the Windows Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE)
    • Type “Variable” without the quotes
    • The first option is “Edit the System Environment Variables”
    • Press ENTER on this option
    • The System Properties dialog opens
  • Open System Properties in the Control Panel
    • Open the Start Menu (WINDOWS KEY or CTRL-ESCAPE
    • Search for and open the Control Panel
    • Within the Control Panel, activate “System”
    • Within the System applet, activate “Advanced System Settings”
    • The System Properties dialog opens

Within the System Properties dialog, follow these steps:

  • Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate dialog controls
  • Focus on the “Environment Variables” button
  • Press SPACEBAR to activate the button
  • The Environmental Variables dialog opens

By default, focus is on a list of user variables.

  • Press UP and DOWN ARROW until focus is on “Path”
  • Your screen reader echoes “Path” followed by the Windows path variable
  • With focus on path, navigate to and activate the “Edit” button
  • Another dialog opens with a list of paths on the left and a series of buttons on the right
  • Navigate to and activate the “New” button
    • A new entry is added beneath the existing paths
  • Paste the path from the Windows clipboard (CTRL-V)
  • Navigate to and activate the OK button

Close the System Properties dialog by activating the OK button.

Close the system applet and Control Panel. You’re done!

Any shortcuts you add to your new folder will work in the run dialog. Just remember, don’t add spaces to the shortcut names! Keep it simple.

Have a wonderful day!