How to set default encoding to UTF-8 for notepad


This sample demonstrates how to set default encoding of notepad to UTF-8.


For the VBScript version, please visit


The Windows notepad program sets ANSI encoding as default. Very often, when non-English user types a lot of Unicode words and save it, the notepad will pop up an alert to ask for saving as Unicode. If user click no accidently, all his input will be lost except ANSI characters.


This script can help users set the default notepad encoding to UTF-8.


• PowerShell 2.0 or above versions


• Open and decompress the archive of the sample

• Run the PowerShell as administrator at the folder containing the script and a txt file

• Run the command “Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned” and type “A” at prompt

• Run the script “SetDefaultUTF8Encoding.ps1” directly

• To check the result, you can create a txt file by right clicking the desktop and then clicking save as, so that you will find the encoding automatically set as UTF8.


Here are the code snippets for your reference


$RegistryPrefix = "Registry" 
$NotePadKeyPath = "$RegistryPrefix::HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.txt\ShellNew" 
$FileNameKey = "FileName" 
$NotePadTemplatePath = "TXTUTF-8.txt" 
Function Set-NotePadUTF8Default 
    $NotpadRegistryItem = Get-Item -Path $NotePadKeyPath 
    If (-not ($NotpadRegistryItem.Property.Contains($FileNameKey))) { 
        New-ItemProperty -Path $NotePadKeyPath -Name $FileNameKey -Value $NotePadTemplatePath 
    } else { 
        Set-ItemProperty -Path $NotePadKeyPath -Name $FileNameKey -Value $NotePadTemplatePath 
    Copy-Item -Destination "$Env:windir\ShellNew\" -Path $NotePadTemplatePath -Force 


Additional Resources

• MS community:


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