How to remove/delete an exported environment variable?

Hi all,

I was working with a remote API and I exported my API key so that I could have it available as an environment variable for my current shell session, as follows:


However my workflow requires that at some point this env variable should be deleted, but I don’t want to log out and log in back again each time.

What is a good way to delete an environment variable?


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Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
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July 22, 2021
Accepted Answer


What I usually do is to use the unset command. All that you need to do is to run the following:

  1. unset API_KEY

If you are writing a script, for example, to check if this is working you could have the following check:

if [ ${API_KEY} ] ; then 
    echo $API_KEY 
    echo "No API Key Found"

Or you could also use the printenv command which would print all of your currently available environment variables.

Hope that this helps!

Regards, Bobby

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