Windows 7: How To Set Environment Variable without Admin Access

Ok, so you working on Computer where you dont have Admin access. Also you want to set some Environment Variables (PATH, CLASSPATH etc). In Windows XP, you can set environment variables for your user although you dont have admin access. But in Windows 7 if you try to do so, it asks for administrator password. Damn.. So how to set Environment Variables in a Windows 7 machine for non-administrative users?

Well, follow below simple steps and you can easily do this.


Step 1. Open Start Menu, type string Accounts in Search programs and files textbox.

You should see User Accounts in Start Menu as seen in above screenshot. Select User Accounts.


Step 2. This should open User Account panel where you can tweak user level settings. See below screenshot.

Notice a link on left sidebar: Change my environment variables. Voila!! You got it.


Click this link “Change my environment variables”. It should open standard Environment Variable dialog box where you can set user level Env variables although you don’t have administrator access on Windows 7.

Hope this is useful.

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  1. Ramarajan says:

    Useful Post
    R Ramarajan.

  2. Santhosh says:

    Hi ,
    You can also achive this by
    Right click on MyComputer > Properties > Advanced Settings
    Under advance Tab you will see the EnvironmentVariables

    • Hi Santhosh, That will only work if you have Administrator password or you have logged in as Admin. If you are a normal user, this will ask admin credential to work.

      The only way to set environment variable if you don’t have admin access is via steps mentioned in article above.

      • Tharun says:

        How to change system variables without admin rights.

  3. Prakash says:

    Thnx day before only i faced the problem..

  4. atul says:

    just typing environment run opens up the settings

  5. Harish says:

    and what if the user doesn’t have the access to view user accounts section of control panel? is there any way out in such a situation?

  6. vijay says:

    Very much helped me. Thank You.

  7. Thank You Very Much !

  8. Balaji says:

    Timely Help… Thanks!!!!!

  9. bharath says:

    U can directly type environment in startmenu and select the fast option

    • Saravanan says:

      Very Perfect!!!! Thank u so much!!!

  10. Arul says:

    Perfect post – to the point !!!

  11. Edwin says:

    Very good post with clarity !

  12. Java Developer says:

    Thanx :)

  13. Priya says:

    hey really awesome tip ..
    I had been hitting my head for the whole day how to change the env variable without having the admin rights ..
    Thanks a tonn …

  14. nilanshu says:

    i changed environment variable but java is not working till now what to do for this ?

  15. Darpan says:

    Thanks a lot. This was very smart trick.

  16. Mariappan says:

    Thanks a lot Viral. It’s really useful.

  17. chinababu says:

    Thanks for the post.its really helpful

  18. Abhishek Singh says:

    As I dont have the admin right access so set the path for java and maven in user variable
    java is working well.
    However when i m trying to get the version of maven and running the command : mvn –version
    Its thowing an error as Java_Home not found.

    How to get that ???

  19. BoomR says:

    Did not work for me. I followed down to the “T” and this is what pops up “Windows cannot find ‘%windir%\System32\rundll.exe’. Make sure you typed the name correctly and try again.” What the heck?

  20. Leo says:

    What if systems variables are greyed out and I want to change them as well? How do I tackle that issue?

  21. Saba Shaikh says:

    I tried the above steps but still I get a error msg saying
    Exception in thread “main” org.openqa.selenium.WebDriverException: Cannot find firefox binary in PATH. Make sure firefox is installed. OS appears to be: VISTA
    Can you pls pls help

  22. mamatha says:

    Thanks it saved my time

  23. Swarasya says:

    very helpful thanks

  24. Gary says:

    VERY useful, thanks!!!

  25. F says:

    Save me a lot of trouble and time. Thank you!

  26. Jonny Huang says:

    VERY useful. Thank you.

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