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How to bcp export file with encoding ascii

09 December,2020 by Tom Collins

Question: I have a bcp command exporting a sql query which outputs to a file . The problem is the file is being saved as Unicode type - causing a subsequent ETL process to fail. How can I fix? I want the file to export as ascii encoding

bcp "select * FROM myTable" queryout E:\mytable.csv -w -t, -T -S SERVER\MYINST1


Answer:  The quick answer is to     ask you to add the -c and -C switches.     From SQL Server Books Online

Performs the operation using a character data type. This option does not prompt for each field; it uses char as the storage type, without prefixes and with \t (tab character) as the field separator and \r\n (newline character) as the row terminator. -c is not compatible with -w."

"-C { ACP | OEM | RAW | code_page }
Specifies the code page of the data in the data file. code_page is relevant only if the data contains char, varchar, or text columns with character values greater than 127 or less than 32."

You will need to replace trhe -w with -c - as they are not compatible switches.    As a result your bcp statement should look more like:

bcp "select * FROM myTable" queryout E:\mytable.csv -c -C 1252 -t, -T -S SERVER\MYINST1

Read more about encoding 

How to specify encoding when creating Powershell text file using Out-file

Export-CSV Powershell (SQL Server DBA)

Author: Tom Collins (


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