Naturally, a lot of my search engine traffic comes here from searching for terms like “system root in <insert language here>” or “%systemroot%”. So, to live up to my domain, and you Googler’s expectations, I’ve decided to write a post about how to get the path to the system root in a few languages. If you know more, drop a comment and I’ll add it here.


In C#, you can use the System.Environment.ExpandEnvironmentVariables (docs) method to get the system root. Note that this will get the %systemroot% from the system’s environment variables and may be different from the System.Environment.SystemDirectory (docs) property.


In C++, you can use the getenv() (docs) function from stdlib.h.


In Java, we can use the System.getenv() method (docs) to get the systemroot environment variable. This is basically the same as C++.

That’s about it. If you know any more from other languages, leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list. 🙂