Windows XP Environment Variables

If you’re a more advanced user, then you may want to take a closer look at the settings found behind the Environment Variables button on the Advanced tab. Environment variables are settings such as the file extensions that XP will search for when you don’t provide one from the command line or Run command (for example running calc rather than calc.exe) or a list of file paths that XP should search within when a path is not provided. Both user and system variables can be defined – individual users can configure or edit their own user variables, while only an administrator can configure system-wide variables.

If you’re looking to customize your system with different time-saving shortcuts, then definitely take a closer look at the Environment variables help topic in Help and Support Center, as this particular subject is one that requires a greater deal of understanding to use effectively.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.