I want every document that I create or open in Notepad++ to always (no matter what) be encoded in UTF-8. It seems, that either I'm missing something or this is not possible.

In Settings > Preferences... > New Document > Encoding I have UTF-8 without BOM selected in the list plus Apply to opened ANSI files checked as well. I'm using version 6.7.4.

Everyhing is fine, when I create a new file directly in Notepad++. Then, yes, it has UTF-8 w/o BOM encoding set by default. But, when I select New > Text Document in Windows Explorer, create a new empty text file and then double click it, it opens in Notepad++ with ANSI encoding by default.

What is wrong? For me, option Apply to opened ANSI files seems to be not working at all.

  • 1
    Perhaps you need to realize that (what Windows incorrectly calls) ANSI and UTF-8 are identical if your text doesn't contain any actual explicit UTF-8 characters. So if Notepad++ opens it and detects its character endoding, it doesn't really matter if it's UTF-8 or "ANSI" if the file is pure ASCII (as in, for instance, English text, or usually, source code).
    – tripleee
    Mar 2, 2015 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


Nothing is wrong. It is just, how Notepad++ is working. Files are actually saved as UTF-8 w/o BOM.

Whenever an ANSI-encoded text file is opened in Notepad++, editor displays its correct encoding (ANSI). However, after actually saving that file, it will be saved as UTF-8 w/o BOM, if Apply to opened ANSI files option is checked. To verify this, one must create a new text file in the Windows Explorer, open it in Notepad++, change contents, save and reopen. It will be recognized as encoded in UTF-8 w/o BOM.

Tip: There's a fairy easy way to force Windows Notepad to always save files in UTF-8:

It requires some tweaks in Windows registry, but allows you to have all files always encoded in UTF-8, no matter, what editor you're using.

  • Fails for me, I think. I have a file containing Unicode characters. It displays as pairs of hex digits instead of the Unicode. The status line says "Windows (CR LF) UCS-2 LE BOM". I want to see it in Unicode glyphs. Oct 3, 2019 at 16:52

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