How do I get and set Environment variables in C#?


Question

How can I get Environnment variables and if something is missing, set the value?

1
174
11/3/2008 4:18:23 PM

Accepted Answer

Use the System.Environment class.

The methods

var value = System.Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable(variable [, Target])

and

System.Environment.SetEnvironmentVariable(variable, value [, Target])

will do the job for you.

The optional parameter Target is an enum of type EnvironmentVariableTarget and it can be one of: Machine, Process, or User. If you omit it, the default target is the current process.

241
9/24/2018 1:09:28 PM

I ran into this while working on a .NET console app to read the PATH environment variable, and found that using System.Environment.GetEnvironmentVariable will expand the environment variables automatically.

I didn't want that to happen...that means folders in the path such as '%SystemRoot%\system32' were being re-written as 'C:\Windows\system32'. To get the un-expanded path, I had to use this:

string keyName = @"SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment\";
string existingPathFolderVariable = (string)Registry.LocalMachine.OpenSubKey(keyName).GetValue("PATH", "", RegistryValueOptions.DoNotExpandEnvironmentNames);

Worked like a charm for me.


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