How to Change the Default Character Encoding in Notepad

notepad default character encoding windows 10

This post explains how to change the default character encoding in Notepad (e.g., UTF-8 to ANSI) on Windows 10.

ANSI has been the default encoding in Notepad in earlier versions of Windows 10. Since Windows 10 version 1903, the default Notepad encoding is UTF-8.

When you launch notepad.exe, the default encoding is shown in Notepad’s status bar in Windows 10 v1903 and higher.

notepad default character encoding windows 10

When saving a file in Notepad in any version of Windows 10, you can choose one of these character encoding types:

  • ANSI
  • UTF-16 LE
  • UTF-16 LE
  • UTF-8 (default)
  • UTF-8 with BOM
notepad default character encoding windows 10
(Refer to Character encodings at w3.org.)

UTF-8 is preferred if you want to use Unicode characters like Č, Ć, Š, ä, ö, ü, ß in your text file. Some of these accented characters will be lost if you save the file as ANSI. Notepad also warns you when you do so:

This file contains characters in Unicode format which will be lost if you save this file as an ANSI encoded text file. To keep the Unicode information, click Cancel below and then select one of the Unicode options from the Encoding drop down list. Continue?

notepad ansi warning unicode

Some users need ANSI to be the default

There are users who want to change Notepad’s default encoding from UTF-8 to ANSI. For example, VBS/WSH script coders may want ANSI as the default – because CScript.exe or WScript.exe can’t run UTF-8 encoded .vbs files.

Let’s see how to change Notepad’s default encoding to ANSI or another encoding in Windows 10.
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dragheight dragwidth registry pixels

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notepad plus replace debugger notepad.exe

If you’re looking at how to replace Notepad with Notepad++ or any third-party editor, this post explains how to do it. Notepad++ is a free source code editor and Notepad replacement that supports several languages. Let’s see how you can replace Notepad with Notepad++ without replacing any system files.

Notepad is a lightweight program suitable for users who need only very minimal text editing features. For additional features and functionalities, third-party editors like Notepad++ and Sublime Text are awesome with many features built-in.

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