I am using Windows XP. I am looking for a tool that for given directory will find all files having particular character encoding (like UTF-8). Do you know such a tool?

  • 3
    There's no completely reliable way to detect any file's encoding in the first place. Nov 9 '10 at 15:01

This tool works great. Check it out. It shows all files and their encodings for a folder.


There is also this, for bulk changing files to UTF8.



In general this is not possible - apart from the special case of UTF-8 text files with a Byte Order Mark. Since the name of the encoding is not stored in the text file the only way to tell, for example, CP437 from CP850 would be to make a guess based on a statistical analysis of the whole file, looking at frequency of certain character pairs etc.

Solaris users have auto_ef but, so far as I know, there isn't a Windows port.

Perl users have Encode::Guess

According to Wikipedia "The newer versions of the unix File command attempt to do a basic detection of character encoding. (also available on cygwin and mac)"

None of the above will be 100% reliable. If your files are definitely all in one of a handful of known encodings you may be able to do better.


Under Windows this is possible by searching for the right Byte Order Mark (BOM), on the condition that the files were created with a BOM.

You would need a search program for that.
One possibility may be Grep for Windows and search using the beginning of file operator (^^).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.