i'm talking about a single-server sp2013 foundation setup, outgoing mail settings for the farm (and web application) are set via central administration.

but the character encoding in the sent alerts body is not working properly: especially the german umlauts are causing trouble -.-

either they get displayed in the alert as a mix of question marks and unrelated characters or "|" instead of "ü" the funny thing is though: the email subject is displayed correctly. which might be due to the explicit encoding in the email header:

Subject: =?utf-8?Q?<correctlyDisplayedUmlauts>?=

however, this is is not present in the body, so i guess the

Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8

in the header should take care of that, but it doesn't :|

[i've tried various settings for the charset: 1200(unicode), 1250(central european), 1252(western european), 28695(latin-9(iso)) and the default 65001(unicode utf-8). those were set in the web application outgoing mail settings, since those should override the farm settings, right? none of them did the trick though]

i'm starting to think, that the content-transfer-encoding might be responsible for the faulty mails but i'm not really familiar with mail notification settings so any ideas how to resolve this issue would be much appreciated.

(just in case that it's relevant: i'm using smtp4dev to receive the mails and view them in thunderbird/outlook2013)

  • We got the same setup as you do (also german) but never has this issue. Generally speaking I would always suggest to install SharePoint using the english version and adding a german language pack. Which version does you farm have? SP1? Any CUs installed? I'm not sure, but for a non-customized farm, I can't believe that this would be a general issue which hasn't been fixed yet.
    – Andreas
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 12:03
  • ps tells me that the buildversion is 15.0.4420.1017 and i did install foundation in english, added the language pack and nothing else. this starts looking like a fault in my vm though, since colleagues also told me that they never had this kind of problem with alerts or generally sending mails generated from templates.
    – garglblarg
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


This seems to be an issue with your environment since we're having the same setup and it's working like a charm.

Since you're still using SharePoint 2013 Foundation RTM I strongly suggest you upgrade to at least SP1 since it's not supported anymore. Using the May 2015 CU could improve your experience further.

You could try to restart owstimer and/or the whole server and sometimes clearing the SharePoint Cache does magical things. Here is how you do that:

  1. Stop the OWSTIMER service on ALL of the MOSS servers in the farm.
  2. On the Index server, navigate to: Server 2008 location: Drive:\ProgramData\Microsoft\SharePoint\Config\GUID and delete all the XML files from the directory.
  3. Delete all the XML file in the directory. NOTE: ONLY THE XML FILES, NOT THE .INI FILE.
  4. Open the cache.ini with Notepad and reset the number to 1. Save and close the file.
  5. Start the OWSTIMER service on the Index server and wait for XML files to begin to reappear in the directory.
  6. After you see XML files appearing on the Index server, repeat steps 2, 3 & 4 on each query server, waiting for XML files to appear before moving to subsequent servers.
  7. After all of the query servers have all been cleared and new .xml files have been generated, proceed to the WFE and Application servers in the farm, following steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 for each remaining server.

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