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Is there a way to add a new App Path (for adding commands to Start-Run) without needing Admin?

With admin, you can add an App Path to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths. I tried adding one under HKCU with no effect.

I've added a new (user-writable) location to my user's PATH environment variable which lets me launch things from Start->Run, but the nerd in me still wants to know about the App Paths.

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App Paths are only supported as a System Wide Setting to the best of my knowledge.

If you are doing this to create application specific short-names\aliases then you can create an equivalent behaviour by adding .lnk to the PathExt user Environment variable and then place suitably named standard shortcuts in a directory that is part of your path. I'm sure there are other ways to do this too but in any case it's a better idea to do these things without hacking around in the registry, if you don't absolutely have to.

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None of the applications I've ever written myself, or their installers, have ever used the App Paths in the registry, yet they always runs perfectly fine. Seems to me to be a very superfluous and inefficient way for an application to find its own path but completely unnecessary from the OS point of view.

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just add a new environment variable for the user in question like this:

path drive:\path;%path%

what this does is add a new path to the system path in the user session. If you look it up in the user registry hive, you will see it is saved in hkcu\environment.

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