How To List, Set, Get Windows Environment Variables With Set Command In Command Line MS-DOS?


Operating systems have a lot of configurations. These configurations are stored in different ways in different locations. One of the most common storage for some generic information like Username, operating system path etc. is environment variables. In this tutorial we will look how to list, get and set Windows operating system environment variables in details. We will use set command mainly. Set command lists, sets and gets single or all environment variables.

Help

More information about set command ca be printed with /? option.

$ set /?
Help
Help

Syntax

Syntax of the set command is very simple. [variable] and [string] parts are optional and used according to situation

SET [variable=[string]]

List All Environment Variables

Environment variables holds a lot of information about the operating system and user . All these information can be listed just issuing the set command without any parameter like below.

$ set
List All Environment Variables
List All Environment Variables

Get/Print Single Environment Variable

In previous example we have listed all environment variables without selecting particular one. We can print only single variable just proving the variable name to the set command. In this example we will print the values of APPDATA environment variable.

$ set APPDATA
Get/Print Single Environment Variable
Get/Print Single Environment Variable

Change/Create Environment Variable

Now the last function of the set command. We can create  or change and environment variable and its value by giving both the variable name and the variable data. In this example we create a new variable named Test with value 1

$ set Test=1

Get Home Path

Home is the current users location where his personal files and folders stored. This path can be printed like below.

$ set HOMEPATH

Get Logon Server

Logon server is used to authenticate the user to login a system. In active directory system user credentials are authenticated in these authority servers.

$ set LOGONSERVER

Get Path Variable

Path variable is used to find executable files. Path variable stored more than one path and if a command is issued these path are checked for this command executables to run.

$ set PATH

Get Program Files Path

Windows operating system stores built-in and 3 party applications files and folder in Program Files directory. This directory path can be printed like below.

$ set ProgramFiles

Get System Root

Windows operating system files, folders and libraries are stored in System Root and this root directory generally named windows . By default this path is C:\Windows . The system root can be printed like below.

$ set SystemRoot

Get Username

The currently logged users user name can be printed like below.

$ set USERNAME

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2 thoughts on “How To List, Set, Get Windows Environment Variables With Set Command In Command Line MS-DOS?”

  1. You don’t show how to actually USE an environment variable.

    For example, suppose I SET DIR = Dov.

    How do I USE DIR to change directory to C:\Users\Dov?

    How about cd C:\users\%DIR%? Seems reasonable. But it’s wrong.

    Do you want to add how to USE environment variables?

    Oh, and what about those “$” characters before, for example, SET. Illegal syntax?

    Oh… is “$” the command line PROMPT? Why is it not on ALL command examples?

    If I’m being dense, I apologize.

    Reply

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