Custom charset encoding in filenames when using FTP

FTP is often used to transfer files from one server to another or to create a backup of a website. In most cases, copying all the required files works just fine. Problems might occur though, if some of the filenames use an unexpected charset encoding. When downloading and re-uploading such a file, the filename will be broken and the website won’t be able to serve it anymore. How can you ensure, to always download files with their correct charset encoding?
1 answer

I will explain a solution for the popular Open-Source tool Filezilla. Other FTP tools might handle charset encoding differently.

FileZilla offers three different charset settings:

  1. Autodetect
  2. Force UTF-8
  3. Use custom charset

Per default, FileZilla tries to detect the correct charset on its own. If this doesn’t work and your server uses some custom charset encoding, you need to set it via the Site Manager. In the tab “Charset”, a custom charset encoding can be specified for each individual server. Once it’s set, the specified charset encoding will be used for all future connections to this server and the filenames will be correct.