I have a few org files encoded in UTF-8. Everything works fine, also with German umlaute (ä, ö, ü, ß). These files I sync with Git between different PCs (mostly running Debian). When I synced one of the files with a windows machine it showed strange encodings in my Debian machine.

Example should be:

via operations called „push“ and

But shows:

via operations called \342\200\236push\342\200\234 and

where \342 and all \XXX are counted as one character.

The characters which make problems are: Ä,ä,Ö,ö,Ü,ü,ß,„,“,/,–

I tried to encode with C-x C-m c <encoding> RET C-x C-w RET in UTF-8 but this produces the error, that it couldn't be encoded with UTF-8. I only can use raw-text or no-conversion.

What can I do to encode back to UTF-8?

Thanks for your help.

  • Have you considered revert-buffer-with-coding-system C-x C-m r utf-8 on the file?
    – Marco Wahl
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


Your problem is not one of encoding but one of decoding. Try C-x RET r utf-8 RET, which should re-decode your file as utf-8 rather than that which was used by default. I recommend you add a -*- coding: utf-8; -*- on the first line of your file to avoid those problems (alternatively, you can change your Windows's Emacs config so as to default to using utf-8 like Debian).


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