Accept-Charset

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The Accept-Charset request HTTP header advertises which character encodings the client understands. Using content negotiation, the server selects one of the encodings, uses it, and informs the client of its choice within the Content-Type response header, usually in a charset= parameter. Browsers usually don't send this header, as the default value for each resource is usually correct and transmitting it would allow fingerprinting.

If the server cannot serve any character encoding from this request header, it can theoretically send back a 406 Not Acceptable error code. But for a better user experience, this is rarely done and the Accept-Charset header is ignored.

In early versions of HTTP/1.1, a default character encoding was defined: ISO-8859-1. This is no longer recommended, and now each content-type may have its own default.

UTF-8 is now well-supported and the overwhelmingly preferred character encoding. To guarantee better privacy through less configuration-based entropy, all browsers omit the Accept-Charset header: Internet Explorer 8+, Safari 5+, Opera 11+, Firefox 10+ and Chrome 27+ no longer send it.
Header type Request header
Forbidden header name yes

Syntax

Accept-Charset: <charset>

// Multiple types, weighted with the quality value syntax:
Accept-Charset: utf-8, iso-8859-1;q=0.5

Directives

<charset>
A character encoding name, like utf-8 or iso-8859-15.
*
Any charset not mentioned elsewhere in the header; * is used as a wildcard.
;q=<weight>
Any encoding is placed in an order of preference, expressed using a relative quality value called the weight.

Examples

Accept-Charset: iso-8859-1

Accept-Charset: utf-8, iso-8859-1;q=0.5

Accept-Charset: utf-8, iso-8859-1;q=0.5, *;q=0.1

Specifications

Specification Title
RFC 7231, section 5.3.3: Accept-Charset Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Context

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
Accept-CharsetChrome No support ? — 27Edge No support NoFirefox No support ? — 10IE No support ? — 8Opera No support ? — 11Safari No support ? — 5WebView Android No support ? — ?Chrome Android No support ? — 27Firefox Android No support ? — 10Opera Android No support ? — 11Safari iOS No support ? — 4.2Samsung Internet Android No support ? — 1.5

Legend

No support  
No support

See also