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URL Decoding in PHP

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I am trying to decode this URL string using PHP’s urldecode function:


This is supposed to output…

'Antônio Carlos Jobim'

…but instead is ouptutting this

'Antônio Carlos Jobim'

I’ve tested the string in a JS-based online decoder with great success, but can’t seem to do this operation server side. Any ideas?

How to&Answers:

Your string is also UTF-8 encoded. This will work:

echo utf8_decode(urldecode("Ant%C3%B4nio+Carlos+Jobim"));

Output: “Antônio Carlos Jobim”.


Actually, you get the desired output, but it is not interpreted as UTF-8. If this is on an HTTP application, you should send a header or a meta tag (or both) which would tell the client to use UTF-8.

Edit: for example:

// replace text/html with the content type you're using
header('Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8');


when I do

echo urldecode("Ant%C3%B4nio+Carlos+Jobim");

Its display correctly in my browser like

Antônio Carlos Jobim

I have tested with XAMPP


Are you also using htmlenteties before echoing it to the page? When I just tested your code it worked fine with just the urldecode("Ant%C3%B4nio+Carlos+Jobim"); part, but when I ran it through htmlentities I got the same output as you did.

It seems to be a problem with the UTF-8 characters and how PHP handles the htmlentities function.


another option is:

$smthing = 'http%3A%2F%2Fmysite.com';
$smthing = preg_replace("/%u([0-9a-f]{3,4})/i","&#x\1;",urldecode($smthing)); 
$smthing = html_entity_decode($smthing,null,'UTF-8');
echo $smthing;

output becomes : http://mysite.com


first you have to decode in urldecoder function “urldecoder()” and then use
utf decoder function “utf_decoder()”