Environmental variables are Windows elements that specify basic system properties such as drives, path, file names, etc., and control how various programs behave. These informations are stored in the Registry, and modifying them can change the way the system or a particular program behaves.
Windows natively offers several methods to modify environmental variables, including the Set command and the Registry Editor. If you find yourself often in need to edit or add/remove environment values in Windows you’d be knowing how inconvenient the native editor is. It is functional but about as far from convenient as it gets. If you are looking for a better way to edit path in Windows, then here are two great options:
Rapid Environment Editor
Rapid Environment Editor or RapidEE is a powerful system environment variables editor that adds some sophistication, features, and ease of use to the process by replacing the cumbersome Windows edit dialog with a full-featured graphical interface.
The software opens with a compact, two-panel interface with editable tree views, one for System Variables and the other for User Variables. Below these panels is the Information panel, which contains two tabs labeled Inspector and Legend. The Inspector tab displays information about a selected variable and the Legend displays the icon tags with their definitions. You can choose one of the several built-in skin to customize the program interface.
Viewing environment variables in a tree view makes it super-easy to examine, add or remove entries precisely. Variables are color coded by type and are draggable, simplifying reording. And if the program detects an invalid entry, it is marked in red, so that the user can fix or remove those entries.
The program offers a backup feature; this allows you to create a .REG backup file of variables before making any changes.
Average PC users may not change variables, but advanced users will appreciate the significant improvements Rapid EE offers over the built-in Windows methods.
Download: Rapid Environment Editor
Path Editor is a small utility that makes path management very straightforward with its intuitive user interface and drag-and-drop simplicity. Unlike RapidEE, Path Editor has a minimal interface, which makes it easy it easier for new users to work on.
Path Editor features:
- Edit User and System Path
- Edit HKCU registry key
- Expanded environment variables
- Automatically clean path of invalid entries.
- Drag-and-drop entries to rearrange
- Directly open path entry by Double-clicking
- Supports command line
Path Editor also has an auto logger feature that takes an automatic backup of the existing registry entries each time the program starts. Entries are appended to a log file called C:PathEditor.log. If you accidentally remove an entry, this file can be used to restore it.
Download: Path Editor