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My operating system is Windows 10.

When I copy a file or folder to the same location they are in, Windows automatically adds the word "copy" to the end of the file name, which is great. But there is a strange phenomenon that at the beginning of the file name are added two unvisible characters.

I made a paste copy of these characters to a binary editor and it turned out that these were the code of each of them: U+200F

And the name of a character is: RIGHT-TO-LEFT MARK

And its binary representation is: e2 80 8f

What to do? How can we get rid of this strange phenomenon?

Edit, operating system details:

Version: Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.17134.885]

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Nls\CodePage:

    AllowDeprecatedCP    REG_DWORD    0x42414421
    ACP                  REG_SZ       1255
    OEMCP                REG_SZ       862
    MACCP                REG_SZ       10005

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion:

ReleaseId    REG_SZ    1803
9
  • I can't reproduce described behaviour. Please edit the question and add output from the following three commands: ver and reg query "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Nls\CodePage" -v *CP and reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion" -v ReleaseId
    – JosefZ
    Aug 4 '19 at 10:06
  • out of curiosity, what Windows languages do you have installed?
    – Peter
    Aug 4 '19 at 11:55
  • @Peter Hebrew and English.
    – google dev
    Aug 4 '19 at 12:08
  • Does it happen when you copy the file using command prompt copy, right click > copy/paste and CTRL+C CTRL+V all the same?
    – Ronaldo
    Aug 6 '19 at 11:22
  • Does the file-name contain Hebrew characters? Please share with us at least one file-name, since Unicode’s “right-to-left” override can be used to hide malware.
    – harrymc
    Aug 6 '19 at 15:34
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+50

I wouldn't have believed it, but after downloading your Zip file, I did find that your file does have this right-to-left override as first character in its name. I went even to hex-editing the directory entry to verify that this is indeed the case.

The good news is that it is entirely harmless, no text being hidden by this character, so your computer is not infected by a malware that uses this esoteric method to hide anything in the file name.

My private opinion, not based on any source since there doesn't seem to be any, is that you found a weird Windows artifact whose sole purpose is to assure the right-to-left display of the Hebrew word for "copy", עותק.

My conclusion is that this is a not-too-clever localization of an English feature to Windows in Hebrew. The source of this character may have come from the translator who probably mechanically translated strings used in Windows without understanding their context or use. He may in this way have introduced this Unicode character into the string, maybe even without noticing that it was there. Since then Hebrew Windows keeps on blindly adding this character.

I must say that I'm impressed that you have even managed to analyze this problem, probably the world's first Hebrew-reader to have done so. (I did find one person who also discovered the same for the Persian language.)

I don't think there is any remedy to this problem. This has become a Windows "feature". The most you may do is file through the Feedback Hub a complaint with Microsoft.

Realistically speaking, you may either ignore the problem, or avoid copying files with the same names, or use some renaming utility to take the character out of the name.

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Unicode uses the special character 'U+202F' to tell the computer to display the text that follows it in right-to-left order.

Right to Left Override is used for the writing and the reading of Arabic or Hebrew text.

You mentioned that you have Hebrew and English installed, so the behaviour you are seeing is normal from what I understand.

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  • This behavior is not considered normal, on all other Windows 10 installed computers with Hebrew and English languages this behavior does not happen. If there was a real need for this special character, why does it only appear when you make a paste copy into the same folder? This character is not visible and the user does not understand why he cannot find a file by name.
    – google dev
    Aug 6 '19 at 13:03
  • May I ask what Region settings this PC has set if you take a look in 'Additional date, time, & region settings'? Can you compare this users region settings to another that does not have the issue?
    – Clare
    Aug 6 '19 at 13:30
  • Not sure if this is helpful, it is a similar issue: Why is there an invisible U+202A at the start of my file name?
    – Clare
    Aug 6 '19 at 13:59

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