Complete list of environment variables on Windows 10, 11

Use these environment variables to browse Windows 10 locations on any computer quickly.

Windows 11 environment variables
Windows 11 environment variables

UPDATED 8/1/2023: On Windows 11 (and 10), environment variables are predefined names representing the path to certain locations within the operating system, such as a drive or a particular file or folder.

Environment variables can be helpful in many scenarios, but they’re particularly useful if you’re a network administrator or troubleshooting a device, as you can quickly navigate to certain locations without even knowing the username or full path to a system folder.

For example, instead of browsing a path like “C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming,” you can open the “Run” command, type this variable “%APPDATA%,” and press Enter to access the same path. Or you can use the “%HOMEPATH%” variable to access the current user’s default profile folder location (where the system stores the folders for Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and OneDrive).

This guide will teach you the list of the most common environment variables you can use on Windows 11 (and on Windows 10).

Windows 11 (and 10) default environment variables

VariableWindows 10 and Windows 11
%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%C:\Program Files\Common Files
%COMMONPROGRAMFILES(x86)%C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files
%CommonProgramW6432%C:\Program Files\Common Files
%PROGRAMFILES%C:\Program Files
%ProgramW6432%C:\Program Files
%PROGRAMFILES(X86)%C:\Program Files (x86)
%USERDOMAIN%Userdomain associated with current user.
%USERDOMAIN_ROAMINGPROFILE%Userdomain associated with roaming profile.
%DriverData% C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\DriverData
%CD%Outputs current directory path. (Command Prompt.)
%CMDCMDLINE%Outputs command line used to launch current Command Prompt session. (Command Prompt.)
%CMDEXTVERSION%Outputs the number of current command processor extensions. (Command Prompt.)
%COMPUTERNAME%Outputs the system name.
%DATE% Outputs current date. (Command Prompt.)
%TIME% Outputs time. (Command Prompt.)
%ERRORLEVEL%Outputs the number of defining exit status of previous command. (Command Prompt.)
%PROCESSOR_IDENTIFIER%Outputs processor identifier.
%PROCESSOR_LEVEL% Outputs processor level.
%PROCESSOR_REVISION%Outputs processor revision.
%NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS%Outputs the number of physical and virtual cores.
%RANDOM%Outputs random number from 0 through 32767.

Although you can use environment variables to access certain locations within Windows 11 quickly, you’ll typically use these variables when building a script or an application.

Keep in mind that some of the variables mentioned are not location-specific, including %COMPUTERNAME%, %PATHEXT%, %PROMPT%, %USERDOMAIN%, %USERNAME%.

You can always view all the environment variables available on your device using the Get-ChildItem Env: | Sort Name PowerShell command.

While this guide is focused on Windows 10 and 11, it’s important to note that these variables will also work on Windows 8.1, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].