How do I add my PHP directory to the PATH on Windows?

On Windows NT+ and Windows Server 2000+:

  • Go to Control Panel and open the System icon (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System, or just Start -> Control Panel -> System for Windows XP/2003+)
  • Go to the Advanced tab
  • Click on the ‘Environment Variables’ button
  • Look into the ‘System Variables’ pane
  • Find the Path entry (you may need to scroll to find it)
  • Double click on the Path entry
  • Enter your PHP directory at the end, including ‘;’ before (e.g. ;C:\php)
  • Press OK


On Windows 98/Me you need to edit the autoexec.bat file:

  • Open the Notepad (Start -> Run and enter notepad)
  • Open the C:\autoexec.bat file
  • Locate the line with PATH=C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND;….. and add: ;C:\php to the end of the line
  • Save the file and restart your computer


Note: Be sure to reboot after following the steps above to ensure that the PATH changes are applied.

The PHP manual used to promote the copying of files into the Windows system directory, this is because this directory (C:\Windows,C:\WINNT, etc.) is by default in the systems PATH. Copying files into the Windows system directory has long since been deprecated and may cause problems.

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