How to Edit or Delete Environment Variables in Windows 7 & Windows 8

After prolonged use, it may happpen that some of your system’s environment variables are no longer valid and it would be best to change their value or delete them. Even though the process is not complicated, it might not be so intuitive at first. Here’s how it works.

NOTE: In order to make the edits shown in this article, you first need to open the "Environment Variables" window. This guide shows how to open this window and shares the basics about working with environment variables: Simple Questions: What are Environment Variables in Windows?. You should read it first.

How to Edit an Existing Environment Variable in Windows 7 & Windows 8

In the "Environment Variables" window, select the variable you want to edit. Then, click or tap Edit.

The "Edit User Variable" or "Edit System Variable" window is opened, depending on the type of the variable you selected. Here you can change the name of the variable and its value. To add a new value, go to the end of the Variable value field and type ; followed by Space and the value you want to add.

To remove a value, select it and delete it, just like you do in Microsoft Word. When you are done editing the variable, click or tap OK in the "Edit User Variable" (or "Edit System Variable") window.

Click or tap OK also in the "Environment Variables" window, so that your changes are applied.

How to Delete an Existing Environment Variable in Windows 7 & Windows 8

If you want to remove an environment variable, first select it. Then, click or tap Delete.

No confirmations are requested. Click or tap OK in the "Environment Variables" window and your changes are applied.


Editing and removing environment variables in Windows 7 and Windows 8 is very easy. However, before you make such changes, make sure you know want what you are doing. Deleting or changing the wrong variable may cause certain programs to malfunction.

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