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so that I can execute apps (in cmd prompt) without specifying the fully qualified folder structure.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

As an admin,

  • Go to Control Panel | System and click on Advanced System Settings in the left pane OR
  • Right-click on Computer and choose Properties

  • Click the Environment Variables button

  • Under System Variables, edit the PATH variable and add your folder to the value (seperate with a semi-colon)
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do I need to restart for it to take affect? –  Jon Erickson May 21 '09 at 16:46
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No, you shouldn't. It is possible, however, that you'll need to restart certain services for them to pick up the change. This isn't typically a big deal in a workstation OS, though, unless you're using it as a server. You'll also need to close and reopen and cmd prompts that you have open at the time of the change. –  squillman May 21 '09 at 17:01
    
thanks! [15 chars] –  Jon Erickson May 21 '09 at 18:18
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You can also modify them via the registry. I find this useful when scripting some legacy programs that require certain environmental variables to function.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/104011

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