RtlAnsiStringToUnicodeString function

RtlAnsiStringToUnicodeString converts the given ANSI source string into a Unicode string.


NTSYSAPI NTSTATUS RtlAnsiStringToUnicodeString(
  PUNICODE_STRING DestinationString,
  PCANSI_STRING   SourceString,
  BOOLEAN         AllocateDestinationString



Pointer to a UNICODE_STRING structure to hold the converted Unicode string. If AllocateDestinationString is TRUE, the routine allocates a new buffer to hold the string data, and updates the Buffer member of DestinationString to point to the new buffer. Otherwise, the routine uses the currently-specified buffer to hold the string.


Pointer to the ANSI string to be converted to Unicode.


Specifies if this routine should allocate the buffer space for the destination string. If it does, the caller must deallocate the buffer by calling RtlFreeUnicodeString.

Return Value

If the conversion succeeds, RtlAnsiStringToUnicodeString returns STATUS_SUCCESS. On failure, the routine does not allocate any memory.


The translation conforms to the current system locale information.

If caller sets AllocateDestinationString to TRUE, the routine replaces the Buffer member of DestinationString with a pointer to the buffer it allocates. The old value can be overwritten even when the routine returns an error status code.

This routine is not declared in a header file. However, you can copy the following declaration to your source code:

    __inout PUCHAR *SourceCharacter

You can use the following routines to convert single-byte and double-byte characters to Unicode characters:





For more information about these and other string-handling routines, see Strings.

RtlAnsiCharToUnicodeChar has security deficiencies. Consider using the RtlAnsiStringToUnicodeString routine instead.

If, on entry, *SourceCharacter points to a one-byte buffer that contains the first byte of a two-byte character code, RtlAnsiCharToUnicodeChar overruns the buffer when it tries to read the second byte.

At system startup, the operating system determines the user language from the locale settings and installs the appropriate system ANSI code page. RtlAnsiCharToUnicodeChar uses this code page to convert a single-byte or double-byte character to the corresponding Unicode character.

If the system ANSI code page defines a single-byte character set (that is, the ANSI character set), RtlAnsiCharToUnicodeChar speeds up the conversion operation by simply zero-extending an ANSI character in the range 0x00 to 0x7f to produce the corresponding Unicode character. The routine converts the ANSI value 0x5c to the backslash character (""), even if the single-byte code page defines this character as the yen sign.

If, on entry, *SourceCharacter points to an invalid character code, RtlAnsiCharToUnicodeChar returns the Unicode space character code, 0x0020. The following list shows examples of invalid character codes:

  • The first byte of the character code is a value that is valid only as the second byte of a two-byte character code.
  • The second byte of a two-byte character code is a value that is valid only as the first byte.


Windows version Available starting with Windows 2000.
Target Platform Universal
Header wdm.h (include Wdm.h, Ntddk.h, Ntifs.h)
Library NtosKrnl.lib
DLL NtosKrnl.exe

See Also