I just installed TeXLive 2021 on a Windows 10 system where TL2020 was installed. The installation was slow but went well. Once it was done, I clicked too fast on the last dialog box that may have had some instructions to update the path. Currently, running kpsewhich --var-value=TEXMFROOT still returns C:/texlive/2020, instead of C:/texlive/2021. The TL manager gui does show the 2021 folder but anything on command line points to 2020. One consequence is that when I tried adding the tlcontrib RSA key, the key was installed to the 2020 folder, and the only way to have it in the right folder was to input the full path to tlmgr.

I checked the Windows environment variables and there is no TeX-related variable. Where does one update that default folder so the right version is called?

  • I've just checked my Windows set up, and provided my PATH is correct, all is OK. Have you made sure that you've not got TL'20 in the path before TL'21?
    – Joseph Wright
    May 10, 2021 at 8:28
  • it should be enough to add the path to the PATH environment variable. May 10, 2021 at 8:28
  • I've got it, thanks. The problem was that the path to TL2021 was in the PATH variable for my own account (upper part of the "environment variables" box), and the path to TL2020 was in the system PATH variable (lower part of the "environment variables" box). I do not get how this can happen, maybe I had started the TL2020 from an admin command line.
    – Peter
    May 10, 2021 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


In windows, the user path is appended to the system path, so the system path always gets priority!!! But the TL command-prompt menu item has a custom path, with the TL2021 path prepended.

As to file associations, if they matter to you: the 2021 user settings should override the 2020 system settings.

Uninstalling 2020 might solve your problems. Please note: a user installation is uninstalled from the start menu, and a system installation from the settings app or from the control panel.

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