UseAltRegionalCharset registry value is enabled on Exchange 2000 Server

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at]  

Topic Last Modified: 2005-12-15

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool reads the following registry entry to determine whether the UseAltRegionalCharset is being used for the client language setting for Microsoft Outlook® Web Access:


The level of the browser determines message encoding if the following conditions are true:

  • The UseAltRegionalCharset key is not set or is set to 0.

  • The related UseRegionalCharset is similarly not set or is set to 0.

The UseAltRegionalCharset key only changes the behavior for browsers configured for the languages in the following list:

  • Korean : KS_C_5601-1987

  • Japanese: shift_jis

  • Western Europe: windows-1252

  • Russian: windows-1251

  • Central Europe: windows-1250

If the UseAltRegionalCharset key is set to 1, both uplevel and earlier browsers send messages in the following encodings:

  • Korean : euc_kr

  • Japanese: iso-2022-jp (JIS)

  • Western Europe: iso-8859-1

  • Russian: koi8-r

  • Central Europe: iso-8859-2

The Exchange Server Analyzer queries the Active Directory® directory service to determine the value of the serialNumber attribute for all objects that have an object class of msExchExchangeServer. If the string value includes "Version 6.0", the computer is running Exchange 2000 Server.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that the UseAltRegionalCharset is configured to use a value of anything larger than 0 on a computer that is running Exchange 2000 Server, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays a non-default configuration message.

This message indicates that the UseAltRegionalCharset registry parameter on this Exchange 2000 server is enabled. If you expect Outlook Web Access users in your organization to send mail frequently to recipients who use a variety of character sets, you can modify the registry settings so that users who are running Internet Explorer 5 or later versions can use UTF-8 encoded UNICODE characters to send mail. If you do not need multiple character sets, you can use the following procedure to restore the default configuration.

This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to restore the registry, view the "Restore the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe.
To restore the default language setting for Outlook Web Access
  1. On the Exchange computer, open a registry editor such as Regedit.exe or RegEdt32.exe.

  2. Navigate to: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeWEB\OWA\

  3. In the right pane, delete the UseAltRegionalCharSet registry value.

  4. Close the registry editor.

Before you edit the registry, and for information about how to edit the registry, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 256986, "Description of the Microsoft Windows registry" (

For more information about Outlook Web Access language settings, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 311342, "XCCC: Exchange 2000 Server SP2 Server-Side OWA Registry Keys" (