问题描述:

I would like to make a .bat file that would add some string at the end of the value of the Windows PATH variable. Warning, I want this change to be definitive, not working only for the current session.

Does somebody know of a way to do this ? As much as possible it should not be dependent on the version of Windows

网友答案:

Sorry for the long answer, but a short answer on your question is impossible.

First of all you should understand how environment variables works. There are some places in the registry like HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment where the environment variables will be hold. On start-up the operation system reads this registry keys. Then one windows process creates another windows process. The parent process can give to the client process any set of environment variables. If the parent process doesn't do this, the child process inherits environment variables of the parent processes.

To be able update environment variables of a running process with respect of WM_WININICHANGE or WM_SETTINGCHANGE messages. A windows application can interpret this messages and reread the current environment variables from the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment. So you can in general change registry values under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment or HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment and send

SendMessage (HWND_BROADCAST, WM_SETTINGCHANGE, 0, (LPARAM)"Environment");

It would be much better to use SendMessageTimeout instead of SendMessage, but the idea will stay the same. The problem is that other processes must not wait for the message and do something. Most console application have no message loop and don't do anything if you send such messages.

So it is important to understand that there is no simple way to update environment variables of all processes without restarting of the computer. You should have a clear understanding of this and reduce your question a little.

If you update the environment in registry and send SendMessage (HWND_BROADCAST, WM_SETTINGCHANGE, 0, (LPARAM)"Environment") then new processed created by Explorer.exe will be have new environment variables, but cmd.exe will not do this.

If you want to update environment variables of the current cmd.exe inside a batch run you can do the following: You can create a new CMD file for example t.cmd in %TEMP% directory, write in the file SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\BlaBla and then use call %TEMP%\t.cmd and dell %TEMP%\t.cmd to update environment variables of the current cmd.exe.

To be exactly there are more places which are used to build environment variables of new created processes. This are subkeys of the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths and %SystemRoot%\System32\autoexec.nt file. One will be used for processes created by ShellExecute and ShellExecuteEx (for example Explorer.exe) and another for console applications.

网友答案:

If you only care about new process instances, and you really want it to be done via a batch file, then setx is what you're looking for.

  • /M will change the PATH in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE instead of HKEY_CURRENT_USER.
    i.e. a system variable, instead of user's.
    example: SETX /M PATH "%PATH%;C:\your path with spaces"

If you want to directly change an environment variable for currently running processes, well, yeah, that's complicated and apparently not recommended:

Altering the environment variables of a child process during process creation 
is the only way one process can directly change the environment variables of 
another process. A process can never directly change the environment variables 
of another process that is not a child of that process.

Otherwise, like Oleg says, programmatically the best way is to change the registry and send WM_SETTINGCHANGE and hope the apps are nice enough to pick it up.

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