How to make Unicode charset in cmd.exe by default?

866 charset installed by default in Windows' cmd.exe is poor and inconvinient as compared with glorious Unicode.

Can I install Unicode by default or replace cmd.exe to another console and make it default so programms use it instead of cmd.exe?

I understand that chcp 65001 changes encoding only in the running console. I want to change charset at the system level.


After I tried algirdas' solution, my Windows crashed (Win 7 Pro 64bit) so I decided to try a different solution:

  1. Start Run (Win+R)
  2. Type cmd /K chcp 65001

You will get mostly what you want. To start it from the taskbar or anywhere else, make a shortcut (you can name it cmd.unicode.exe or whatever you like) and change its Target to C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /K chcp 65001.

Reg file

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

Command Prompt

REG ADD HKCU\Console /v CodePage /t REG_DWORD /d 0xfde9


sp -t d HKCU:\Console CodePage 0xfde9


regtool set /user/Console/CodePage 0xfde9

Open an elevated Command Prompt (run cmd as administrator). query your registry for available TT fonts to the console by:

    REG query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont"

You'll see an output like :

    0    REG_SZ    Lucida Console
    00    REG_SZ    Consolas
    936    REG_SZ    *新宋体
    932    REG_SZ    *MS ゴシック

Now we need to add a TT font that supports the characters you need like Courier New, we do this by adding zeros to the string name, so in this case the next one would be "000" :

    REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont" /v 000 /t REG_SZ /d "Courier New"

Now we implement UTF-8 support:

    REG ADD HKCU\Console /v CodePage /t REG_DWORD /d 65001 /f

Set default font to "Courier New":

    REG ADD HKCU\Console /v FaceName /t REG_SZ /d "Courier New" /f

Set font size to 20 :

    REG ADD HKCU\Console /v FontSize /t REG_DWORD /d 20 /f

Enable quick edit if you like :

    REG ADD HKCU\Console /v QuickEdit /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Save the following into a file with ".reg" suffix:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Double click this file, and regedit will import it.

It basically sets the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Console\%SystemRoot%_system32_cmd.exe\CodePage to 0xfde9 (65001 in decimal system).


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