List Environment Variables in Powershell

All environment variables in PowerShell are stored in PS Drive under the Env: path. You can see that by running the following command:

Here are three different methods you can use to get the Environment variables from “Env:”

  • Method 1: Using the Get-ChildItem cmdlet or its aliases,
  • Method 2: Using the System.Environment class in .NET framework,
  • Method 3: Using the “$Env:VARIABLE_NAME” command.

Within Method 1, we will also see how to use regular expressions to match specific environment variables, sort the list of environment variables and send it to a file.

Method 1: Using the Get-ChildItem Cmdlet or its Aliases

You can get the list of all environment variables by running the following command in PowerShell:

And if you want to get a value of a specific environment variable, use the command “Get-ChildItem Env:VARIABLE_NAME”, For example.

You can also use wildcards to match specific environment variables. In the example below, we retrieve all environment variables starting with “Program”.

The Get-ChildItem cmdlet has three aliases: dir, ls, and gc. You can see that by calling the Get-Alias cmdlet, as shown below.

Get-Alias -Definition Get-ChildItem

You can use any of them to retrieve environment variables in a similar manager, as shown below

Sorting the environment variables list and sending it to a file

The following command sorts the list by Name and then sends the result to a text file using the Out-File cmdlet. Note that you can also sort by Value.

Matching with regular expressions

Using wildcards to match patterns may be limiting. For that reason, you can use the -match operator to match regex patterns. For example

You can read more about regular expressions in PowerShell from these links: Regular Expression – Quick Reference and about_Regular_Expressions

Method 2: Using System.Environment Class

The System.Environment class in the .NET framework contains a static method called GetEnvironmentVariables() that retrieves all environment variables and their values. You can use the method to get a list of all environment variables by running the following command:


Or get a specific environment variable using this command

Method 3: Using “$Env:VARIABLE_NAME” Command

The $Env variable is a built-in variable that provides access to all environment variables in the system. This variable can be queried to retrieve a specific environment variable using the command “$Env:VARIABLE_NAME”. For example



This post discussed three methods for getting a list of environment variables in PowerShell. The first method uses Get-ChildItem to list the contents of the Env: path (a path that hosts the environment variables). The second and third method uses System.Environment class and $Env variable, respectively.

In most cases, using the Get-ChildItem cmdlet discussed in Method 1 is sufficient. That is why, in that method, we discussed more – including how to sort the environment variable list, use regular expressions to match results, and send the output to a file.