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Visit Stack Exchange I would like to add an Environment variable to a Windows machine (desktop or server) and be able to use it without rebooting that machine. Changes to environment variables should take effect immediately, if you make the change via the main Properties dialog for the computer in question (go to My Computer | Properties | Advanced | Environment Variables).
The changes do not take effect until you log off and then log back on.
To effect these changes without having to log off, broadcast a WM_SETTINGCHANGE message to all windows in the system, so that any interested applications (such as Windows Explorer, Program Manager, Task Manager, Control Panel, and so forth) can perform an update.
You do not want to reboot it while users are connected to your other apps. I don't like the wait-until-a-good-time-to-reboot option. Any programs spawned via Explorer after this should get the updated environment, although already-running programs will not, unless they handle the setting change message.If you are using current user account, then restarting might be necessary too.Also note that running services as normal user account might create security risks.Any changes so far are still not there after running the last command.
The path will revert to the results of the command below once you disconnect and reconnect your after exiting Power Shell and reconnecting again.This KB article may also be of use: How to propagate environment variables to the system One thing to keep in mind is that many programs obtain the environmental variables when they're first started, so while windows may not need a restart, some programs might before they'll be able to use the new variables.