Microsoft DOS path command

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

About path

Path is used to specify the location where MS-DOS looks when using a command. For example, when using the command "format", if the path is not specified to where the command is you will receive bad command or file name. See our path definition for a full explanation and examples of paths on computers.


The path command is an internal command that is available in the below Microsoft operating systems.

All Versions of MS-DOS
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows ME
Windows NT
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 10

Path syntax

Displays or sets a search path for executable files.

PATH [[drive:]path[;...]]

Type PATH ; to clear all search-path settings and direct Windows to search only in the current directory.

Type PATH without parameters to display the current path.

Path examples


Typing "path" by itself shows the current path information. Below is an example of the output you may get when typing this command. As can be seen in the example below, there are multiple directories in the path that are each separated by a semicolon.

PATH=C:\Program Files (x86)\NVIDIA Corporation\PhysX\Common;C:\Program Files (x8 6)\WinSCP;C:\Perl\site\bin;C:\Perl\bin;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOWS;C:\WINDOWS \System32\Wbem;C:\WINDOWS\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Program Files (x86 )\Windows Live\Shared;C:\Program Files (x86)\FAHClient;


The above command would set the path to C:\windows\command, which is where many of the Windows commands are located.

Additional information

DOS limits the path to 122 bytes. Every command is limited to 127 bytes; however, 127 - 5 (minus 5 because of PATH=) = 122.

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