UseAltRegionalCharset registry value is enabled on Exchange Server 2003

[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 look for the presence of the UseAltRegionalCharset registry value:


The UseAltRegionalCharset registry value enables Microsoft Outlook® Web Access users to encode e-mail using an alternative character set.

The Exchange Server Analyzer also 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 6.5", the computer is running Exchange Server 2003.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds the UseAltRegionalCharset registry value is set to anything larger than 0 on an Exchange 2003 server, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays a non-default configuration message.

This message indicates that UseAltRegionalCharset has been configured on this Exchange 2003 server. This setting may cause unintended character set encoding for Outlook Web Access messages, where some messages may be unreadable by some clients. We recommend that you verify that the client language settings are correct.


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 on Exchange Server 2003

  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. If the UseRegionalCharset registry value does not exist, follow these steps to create it:

    1. On the Edit menu, click New, and then click DWORD Value.

    2. Type UseRegionalCharset for the name of the DWORD, and then press Enter.

  5. If UseRegionalCharset exists, double-click it to modify it.

  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.

  7. 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 the UseAltRegionalCharSet and UseRegionalCharset registry values, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 283214, "XCCC: Outlook Web Access May Send a Japanese-Language Message in SJIS" (