How to check what your database encoding is set to

For a version 5 database, and if you use PHP MyAdmin, you can check what the database is set to by logging into PHP MyAdmin,

UTF-8 Database Setup


This screen shows a typical version 5 MySQL blank database setup settings. For example, my old version 4 database specified the following:

incorrect encoding of my old database

Where en-iso-8859-1 is equivalent to latin1.


However, you must also check what the individual tables are set to by clicking on one of the tables in the left frame:

database individual table encoding


And you can also check individual fields by clicking on Browse and / or Structure tabs on top:

database individual field encoding


In text-only mode for those with mobile devices, dialup, and images forcibly turned off: How to check the encoding of your database:

Open your database in PHP MyAdmin and click on the database name. Check your database collation type (note: this column will not be shown for MySQL version 4, since it defaulted to latin1).

With an incorrect import to MySQL version 5, collation will be listed as:


or latin1_german_ci, or latin1_swedish_ci, or similar.

Your task is to have the collation set to:


If you get it, utf8_unicode is a worse option according to my limited research (but I may be wrong on this one).

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Page last modified 31-Dec-12 22:09:27 EST

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