How to Edit and Delete Environment Variables in Windows

This guide shows how to manage environment variables in Windows, including how to edit, clear, and delete them.


  • Windows 7 or newer
  • Administrative rights for some actions

What are Environment Variables?

Environment variables are key-value pairs that store configuration settings and can influence the behavior of software and operating systems.

In Windows, there are two types:

  • System-Wide: These variables apply to all users and are typically to manage the operating system or shared applications.
  • User-Specific: These variables are set per user and won’t impact other users on the same machine.

How to Edit Environment Variables

  1. Open the Start Menu: Simply press the Windows key.
  2. Search for Environment Variables: Type “Edit the system environment variables” and click on it.
  3. Access Environment Variables: Click the “Environment Variables” button in the new window.
  4. Edit or Add: You can either edit an existing variable or add a new one. Make your changes and click “OK”.

How to Delete Environment Variables

  1. Follow Steps 1-3 from above: This will get you to the list of environment variables.
  2. Select and Delete: Select the variable you wish to clear, and click the “Delete” button.

PowerShell Script for Automation

# Display current environment variables
Get-ChildItem Env:

# Remove a specific environment variable
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable('VAR_NAME', $null, [EnvironmentVariableTarget]::User)


  • System Stability: Be cautious when editing or deleting system-wide environment variables as it can affect system stability.
  • Administrative Rights: You’ll need administrative rights to modify some system-wide variables.