Skip to main content

File upload problem: UTF-8 encoding not honored when form has multipart/form-data

The problem that I was facing was something like this. I was using Apache Commons File Upload library to upload and download some file.

I had a form in which user can upload a file and another field 'name' in which she can give any name to the file being loaded.

When I submitted the form, the file was uploaded fine but the value in name field was garbled. I followed all the possible suggestions I found:

  1. <%@page pageEncoding="UTF-8"%> set.
  2. <%@page contentType="text/html;charset=UTF-8"%gt; set after the first directive.
  3. <meta equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8"> in the head.
  4. enctype="multipart/form-data" attribute in the form.
  5. accept-charset="UTF-8" attribute in the form.

in the Servlet:
  1. before doing any operations on request object: request.setCharacterEncoding("UTF-8");
For accessing the value

FileItem item = (FileItem);

if (item.isFormField()) {

//For regular form field:

name = item.getFieldName();

//converting from default encoding to UTF-8.

value = new String(item.getString().getBytes(), "UTF-8");


But this too didn't work. Finally after lot of trial and error methods, this is the call which set everything right.

value = item.getString("UTF-8").trim();

I was able to get the value in text field correct, ungarbled!


Farila said…
Thanks for visiting my blog ... I am glad you liked my post. If possible leave a comment on
to help my chances in the pepsi contest. Thank you
gluvce said…
like like like like

The only good solution that I find on internet.

Thank you
Ramanathan said…
Thanks a lot! Lot of time saved.

Please post more details about the solution in StackOverFlow.

Matthias said…
In case you receive the request parameter already as a String, you might want to use new String(parameter.getBytes("ISO-8859-1"), "UTF-8"). At least that solved it for me.

Popular posts from this blog

How to upload to Google Cloud Storage buckets using CURL

Signed URLs are pretty nifty feature given by Google Cloud Platform to let anyone access your cloud storage (bucket or any file in the bucket) without need to sign in.

Official documentation gives step by step details as to how to read/write to the bucket using gsutil or through a program. This article will tell you how to upload a file to the bucket using curl so that any client which doesn't have cloud SDK installed can do this using a simple script. This command creates a signed PUT URL for your bucket. gsutil signurl -c 'text/plain' -m PUT serviceAccount.json gs://test_bucket_location
Here is my URL:…

java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: Malformed \uxxxx encoding

I was getting this exception during build while running ant. Googling didn't help much and I was flummoxed because the same code was running fine till now.

My code reads a text file and does some operations on the basis of values read. It was only when I saw the text files I understood the error. I had copied the text in wordpad and saved it as .txt file. Wordpad had put lot of formatting information before and after the content. Also there was "\par" after every line, which was giving this error.

So moral of the story: if you get this exception check your properties file (or any other file that your code might be reading.)