Most people probably won’t bother fixing up their environment variables nor would even be aware it exists. But for developers like me, it’s something we tend to take for granted — which almost always ends up getting it horrendously cluttered. What’s worse is that most of the time, we aren’t really given a choice. It just ends up that way after all the installations we do.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty particular about being organized (at least, in my computer 😋). That’s why I constantly look for ways on how to keep my PC organized and neat.
❗ Notice: This tip only applies to Windows 8.1 and below. As far as I know, Windows 10 already updated their environment variables menu to be more user-friendly, thus making this article unnecessary.
Get an Environment Variables Editor
You have to know though, using an editor for your environment variables not only keeps it tidy, but it makes editing, adding, and deleting a breeze. Gone are the days of concatenating lengthy strings! If you’ve ever tried reading a variable, you should know how much of a headache it is! I’ve also had to remove duplicates before and it was unnecessarily difficult to do.
The editor I use is simply called, Rapid Environment Editor. It’s very straightforward and easy to use. 👍
The user interface is easy to understand and navigate. You’re pretty much presented with everything you need already. The environment variables are listed under System Variables and User Variables. The variables are expandable, which lets you list under them their semi-colon separated values. The grey variables are read-only and cannot be modified.
Pressing “Insert” on your keyboard adds another variable, and “Alt + Insert” inserts a value under a selected variable. You can also reorder values by simply dragging and dropping or by pressing “Ctrl + Up” or “Ctrl + Down”. You can even drag and drop variables and values from the system to the user! Nuts I know! Well, maybe I’m exaggerating but you can’t disagree how this makes everything else convenient.
It’s a nifty software and all, so please do consider donating if you’ve got cash to spare.
If RapidEE is not your thing, there’s also Eveditor. I still prefer RapidEE though, but do check it out to see what’s for you.