Characters Not Supported by ASCII are Being Displayed as Question Marks

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Platform notice: Server and Data Center only. This article only applies to Atlassian products on the server and data center platforms.


Non-English characters typed into JIRA are displayed as question marks, e.g. umlauts ( ä ) or Asian characters ( 要 ).


Character encoding used by one of the JIRA components is set to use encoding that doesn't support given characters.


  1. Change encoding to -Dfile.encoding=utf-8 to your application startup parameters. See Setting Properties and Options on Startup.
  2. If the database was not created with the utf8 charset:
    1. Append to URL &useUnicode=true&characterEncoding=UTF8 to the database URL in <jira-install>/conf/server.xml.
    2. Recreate a new database with correct encoding CREATE DATABASE jiratest CHARACTER SET utf8;
    3. Point server.xml's database configuration to the new database
    4. Create an XML backup
    5. Restart JIRA
    6. Import the XML backup into your new database

Last modified on Apr 29, 2022

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