How come Win+R prompt can open Python when it's not in my path?



The Windows Run feature (WinR) is an invaluable tool for system administrators. It allows administrators to quickly launch any program on a system without having to navigate through the Start menu or other menus. However, sometimes WinR can launch programs that are not included in the system’s PATH environment variable. This can be confusing for administrators, so it is important to understand why this happens.

When a program is launched from the Windows Run feature, the system looks for the executable file in the current directory and in the directories specified in the PATH environment variable. If the executable file is not found in either of these locations, the system will then search for the program in the Windows directory. This is why programs that are not in the PATH environment variable can still be launched from WinR. For example, if the PATH environment variable is set to “C:\\Windows” and the executable file for Python is located in “C:\\Program Files\\Python”, the system will be able to launch Python from the Windows Run feature.

The PATH environment variable is used by the system to determine the location of programs and other files on the system. It is important to note that this environment variable is only used when a program is launched from the command line, not when it is launched from the Windows Run feature. So, even if a program is not included in the PATH environment variable, it can still be launched from the Windows Run feature.

In addition, it is important to note that the PATH environment variable does not have to contain the full path to the program’s executable file. It is possible to launch a program from the Windows Run feature by entering only the program’s filename. For example, if the executable file for Python is located in “C:\\Program Files\\Python”, it is possible to launch Python by simply entering “python” into the Windows Run feature.

In summary, the Windows Run feature can launch programs that are not included in the PATH environment variable because it searches for the program’s executable file in the Windows directory. It is also possible to launch a program by entering only the program’s filename into the Windows Run feature, regardless of whether the program is in the PATH environment variable. This makes the Windows Run feature an invaluable tool for system administrators and makes it easier to quickly launch programs on the system.

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