How can I troubleshoot the issue of “ utf-8 codec can’t decode byte” for the task of text processing?

130    Asked by DeirdreCameron in Python , Asked on Jan 19, 2024

 I am currently working on a particular project which includes text processing. During the workflow, I encountered a scenario where an error message occurred which was showing “ utf-8 codec can’t decode byte”. How can I troubleshoot this particular issue?

Answered by Unnati gautam

 In the context of Python programming language if you are getting the issue of “ utf-8 codec can’t decide byte” during the task flow of text processing, then here are the steps given of how you can troubleshoot this particular issue:-

Diagnosing the issue

First, try to identify the problematic byte or characters that are causing this error.

Handling the error

You can use the handling mechanism such as “error” parameters for decoding the functions for handling the decoding error seamlessly. Here is the example given of how you can handle the error:-


    # Your decoding operation
    Decoded_text = byte_data.decode(‘utf-8’)
Except UnicodeDecodeError as e:
    Print(f”UnicodeDecodeError: {e}”)
    # Handle the error, e.g., replace or ignore the problematic character
    Decoded_text = byte_data.decode(‘utf-8’, errors=’replace’)

Checking file encoding

If your particular data is coming from a particular file, then try to verify whether the file is encoded in UTF-8 or not. You can use tools like “file” or even text editors which would help in displaying information about the encoding.

Use explicit encoding

Try to specify the encoding explicitly during reading or even writing the data so that you can avoid reliance on the default encoding.

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