Unexpected characters for a Wireless connection name on Microsoft Windows

Applies to: Windows 8 EnterpriseWindows 8 ProWindows 8


Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a Wireless Router or Access point that allows the use and broadcast of the Wireless connection's name using Non-ASCII characters. One example would be to use characters out of the UTF-8 character set.
  • You have a Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine installed with a supported wireless Network card. The Windows machine is used to detect and connect to the wireless connection's name being broadcast using Non-ASCII characters.

In this scenario, the Windows View Available Networks user interface displays unexpected characters for the wireless connection being broadcast using Non-ASCII characters.


This is by design as per Microsoft due to the broader use of ASCII characters by a majority of wireless access points globally.


The current work around is to use ASCII characters to specify and broadcast the Wireless connection's name.

More Information

A wireless connection's name is also called its Service Set Identifier that has an industry accepted short form of SSID.

The following examples exhibit the behavior on the English and Korean versions of Windows 8. The user could see similar behavior of the Wireless connection's SSID characters appearing as unexpected characters. This is visible in the View Available Networks UI pane on the right side of the Windows 8 screen, upon clicking the Network connection icon.

On English Windows 8

On Korean Windows 8: