31

By default, PowerShell in Windows seems to be outputting UTF-16 (e.g., if I do a simple echo hello > hi.txt, then hi.txt ends up in UTF-16). I know that I can force this to my desired text encoding by instead doing echo hello | out-file -encoding utf8 hi.txt, but what I'd like is for that to just be the default when I use the redirection operator. Is there any way to achieve this?

  • 1
    thanks for the tip for an alternative, doing this from the terminal can be quicker than a text editor sometimes. – Todd Partridge Jun 5 '17 at 15:24
  • In Powershell 6.0, this has been rendered unnecessary - Powershell now defaults to UTF-8 without encoding for redirection. See github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell/issues/4878 – kumarharsh May 22 '18 at 11:44
21

Using a .NET decompiler on the System.Management.Automation assembly (a.k.a. the "Microsoft Windows PowerShell Engine Core Assembly") reveals this code fragment:

// class: System.Management.Automation.RedirectionNode
private PipelineProcessor BuildRedirectionPipeline(string path, ExecutionContext context)
{
    CommandProcessorBase commandProcessorBase = context.CreateCommand("out-file");
    commandProcessorBase.AddParameter("-encoding", "unicode");
    if (this.Appending)
    {
        commandProcessorBase.AddParameter("-append", true);
    }
    commandProcessorBase.AddParameter("-filepath", path);
    ...

So, it looks pretty hardcoded to me.

FYI, this was on Windows 7 Enterprise x64 system with PowerShell 2.0 installed.

  • 5
    Still hard-coded in PowerShell 5 on Windows 10, unfortunately: CommandParameterInternal.CreateParameterWithArgument(PositionUtilities.EmptyExtent, "Encoding", "-Encoding:", PositionUtilities.EmptyExtent, "Unicode", false, false); – Artfunkel Sep 17 '15 at 9:00
3

Not sure if this will do exactly what you're looking for, but you can try setting the environment variable as mentioned here

$OutputEncoding = New-Object -typename System.Text.UTF8Encoding
  • 2
    I don't think $OutputEncoding is quite what I need; that's set to ASCII in PowerShell, and affects how things are displayed. What I want to do is to change the format of text that's saved in a file, which (AFAICT) is different than what $OutputEncoding controls. – Benjamin Pollack Nov 16 '12 at 15:49

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.