"The character encoding on these files are different" error or file corruption occurs when you run an auto-merge operation in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010


When you run an auto-merge operation on a Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2010 server, the following issues may occur:
  • A file is corrupted after you perform an auto-merge operation on the file. This issue occurs if Visual Studio 2010 detects an encoding that differs from the actual encoding of the file.
  • The encoding method for a file differs from the encoding method for the file on the TFS server. Therefore, the merge operation stops when you try to merge the file. Additionally, you receive the following error message:
    The character encoding on these files are different. Only files with the same character encoding can be merged or compared.
Note This issue does not occur if you perform a manual merge operation on the file or if you use Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 on a TFS 2008 server.


This issue occurs because of an error in the auto-detect encoding method policy in TFS 2010.


Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft. However, it is intended to correct only the problem that this article describes. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft website:Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


To apply this hotfix, you must have Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 installed.  

Restart information

You do not have to restart the computer after you apply the hotfix if the affected files are not being used.

Registry information

You do not have to change the registry after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any other hotfixes.

File information

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time item in Control Panel.
File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.