When working extensively with Plain Text files with the TXT file extension, individuals may encounter documents with garbled text instead of the expected content. This issue often occurs when the corrupted text document is written in a non-Latin alphabet-based foreign language. Still, it can happen with any file if there are inconsistencies in the settings used during the file’s saving process.
To solve the garbled code on notepad files, you must first understand the cause of the problem. The primary reason is the wrong document format. Generally, there are several reasons for garbled characters:
- Save the Word or website page as a .txt document, which will cause the system to recognize errors and generate garbled characters.
- Each country or region has unique text encoding, such as the commonly used big5 code, which cannot appear in other dedicated Windows systems. Encodings in other areas will also be warped in different language systems.
- There is an error in the computer’s font library, and the lack of font files will cause garbled characters in the Notepad file.
- The text in the Notepad file is displayed incorrectly.
Methods to Fix the Garbled Code on Notepad Files
Method 1: Convert the File Extension
First, let’s solve the problem caused by the file format disorder. Just change the file extension back to the original format. For example, if your file is originally a word file, you can change its file extension to .doc or .docx. If it is a web page file, change it to .html, etc. Then open these files with the appropriate program.
Method 2: Change the Encoding Option
Mismatched encoding formats for text files can also lead to garbled code. In such case, you need to change the encoding form as follows:
- Open the garbled file with Notepad and select Save>Save As.
- Choose ANSI or UTF-8 as encoding format and click Save.
Method 3: Change the System Locale
When opening various text documents with Notepad results in gibberish, it’s typically a system issue. The problem could be that the encoding used for the file is not compatible with the native character encoding used by the version of Windows you have.
So if the previous method doesn’t work, we can change the default system language in Windows.
- Search control panel in the search bar and open it.
- Click on Change date, time or number formats under Clock and Region.
- Select the Administrative tab and click on Change system locale option.
- In the next window, choose the language you need from the drop-down menu and click OK.
- Close Control Panel and restart your computer to make the changes effective.
Method 4: Use Restore Previous Version
You will also get a Notepad garbled codes issue when a Notepad file gets corrupted. Several common reasons can cause Notepad file corruption or damage, such as file header corruption, improper system shutdown, virus attacks, and incomplete download and compression issues.
Many Windows users enable Windows backup tools such as file history to protect data security and regularly back up their files. If this is the case for you, here are some steps you can take when the above two methods fail:
- Go to the location where the Notepad file is stored.
- Right-click on the corrupted file and select Previous Version from the context menu.
- Choose the correct previous version and click on Restore.
- Now, open the Notepad file to see if the problem is fixed.
Method 5: Use Microsoft Word to Repair Notepad Files
- Open the Word app, then click File and select Options.
- Shift to the Advanced tab and navigate to the General section.
- Check Confirm file format conversion on open and click OK to save changes.
- Click File and select Open.
- When the Open window appears, hit the Browse button.
- Choose All Files and select Recover Text from Any File (*.*).
- Select the corrupted notepad file from the list and click Open.
- Now, you can check whether this method helps to repair the text file.
Method 6: Open Notepad Files in the Browser
The simplest and most effective way to view the original file is by opening it with a web browser. Web browsers are designed to translate data between encoding schemes. You can use either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to open the text file, and it will display the language correctly.
The garbled code of the Notepad file is not a big problem. When you encounter garbled code on Notepad files, the six recommended methods in this article should solve the problem in no time. If you have any other valuable methods or suggestions, welcome to leave a comment below.