Windows – Setting $HOME in PowerShell

environment-variablespowershellwindowswindows 7

How do I change my default home directory to "C:\Users\khornsby" for every time I open powershell?

I am running Windows 7. Below is info about the state of my environment.

Windows PowerShell
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PS P:\> cd ~
PS P:\> echo $HOME
PS P:\> HOME="C:\Users\khornsby"
The term 'HOME=C:\Users\khornsby' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet,
function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or
if a path was included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
At line:1 char:25
+ HOME="C:\Users\khornsby" 

PS P:\> Set-Variable HOME "C:\Users\khornsby"
Set-Variable : Cannot overwrite variable HOME because it is read-only or
At line:1 char:13
+ Set-Variable 

PS P:\> dir env:home*

Name                           Value
----                           -----
HOMEPATH                       \
HOMEDRIVE                      P:
HOMESHARE                      \\fileserv\khornsby$

PS P:\>

Best Answer

The variable is read only by default, but can be removed with the -Force switch to Remove-Variable. To make your change persistent across sessions, you can make a profile file which is much like a .bashrc (For bash on Linux) except for Powershell.

In your Documents directory (normally C:\Users\YOUR_USERNAME_HERE\documents) for your user account, create a WindowsPowerShell folder (named exactly like that) if one does not already exist. Inside the folder, create a text file called profile.ps1 (ensure it's not profile.ps1.txt).

Inside the file, place anything you want executed when you open Powershell.


Write-Host "Hi John, welcome back!"
Remove-Variable -Force HOME
Set-Variable HOME "C:\Users\khornsby"


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