JSI Tip 8561. How can I eliminate the need to type the full path of an executable that is not in my path?

The standard solutions to the above problem are:

1. Create and execute a shortcut.

2. Write a script.

3. Place the folder in your path.

4. Use Command Prompt Here.

Here is an alternate solution:

1. Use the Registry Editor to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths.

2. Create a sub-key with the name of the executable. Example: MyProgram.exe.

3. Create a Value Name with a null name ((Default) or <No Name>) and set the data type to Expandable String Value (REG_EXPAND_SZ).

4. Enter the full path to the executable as the data value.

5. Optionally, add a Path Value Name, a REG_EXPAND_SZ data type, and set its value to the path to any library (DLL) files that are located in another folder.

NOTE: Windows uses the entries if it does not find the application in the current PATH AND the application was launched with the ShellExecute() function. Run and the Start command use the ShellExecute() function.

NOTE: You may use a string (REG_SZ) data type instead of REG_EXPAND_SZ.

When you type MyProgram.exe into the Run line, or use the Start command in a CMD.EXE window or batch, Windows will temporarily add the optional Path value to the beginning of the PATH.

NOTE: Look at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\WRITE.EXE for an example:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\WRITE.EXE
  Name:            <NO NAME> (Default)
  Type:            REG_EXPAND_SZ
  Data:            "%ProgramFiles%\Windows NT\Accessories\WORDPAD.EXE"
NOTE: When I installed Windows Media Player, it wrote:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wmplayer.exe
  Name:            <NO NAME> (Default)
  Type:            REG_SZ
  Data:            "C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe"
  Name:            Path
  Type:            REG_SZ
  Data:            "C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player"
NOTE: Windows XP SP1 had a problem and added the Path to the end of the PATH. This was fixed in SP2.

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