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What is the best way to convert UTF-8 byte[] to string?


I have a byte[] array loaded from a file that includes UTF-8, as far as I know.

I need to convert it to a string in some debugging code. Is there a one-liner that’ll suffice?

It should just be an allocation and a memcopy behind the hood, so even if it isn’t implemented, it should be doable.

Asked by BCS

Solution #1

string result = System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(byteArray);

Answered by Zanoni

Solution #2

There’re at least four different ways doing this conversion.

A full example:

byte[] bytes = { 130, 200, 234, 23 }; // A byte array contains non-ASCII (or non-readable) characters

string s1 = Encoding.UTF8.GetString(bytes); // ���
byte[] decBytes1 = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(s1);  // decBytes1.Length == 10 !!
// decBytes1 not same as bytes
// Using UTF-8 or other Encoding object will get similar results

string s2 = BitConverter.ToString(bytes);   // 82-C8-EA-17
String[] tempAry = s2.Split('-');
byte[] decBytes2 = new byte[tempAry.Length];
for (int i = 0; i < tempAry.Length; i++)
    decBytes2[i] = Convert.ToByte(tempAry[i], 16);
// decBytes2 same as bytes

string s3 = Convert.ToBase64String(bytes);  // gsjqFw==
byte[] decByte3 = Convert.FromBase64String(s3);
// decByte3 same as bytes

string s4 = HttpServerUtility.UrlTokenEncode(bytes);    // gsjqFw2
byte[] decBytes4 = HttpServerUtility.UrlTokenDecode(s4);
// decBytes4 same as bytes

Answered by detale

Solution #3

When you don’t know the encoding, here’s a general technique for converting from byte array to string:

static string BytesToStringConverted(byte[] bytes)
    using (var stream = new MemoryStream(bytes))
        using (var streamReader = new StreamReader(stream))
            return streamReader.ReadToEnd();

Answered by Nir

Solution #4


public static string ConvertByteToString(this byte[] source)
    return source != null ? System.Text.Encoding.UTF8.GetString(source) : null;


string result = input.ConvertByteToString();

Answered by Erçin Dedeoğlu

Solution #5

Converting a byte[] to a string appears straightforward, but any encoding is likely to cause problems with the resulting string. This small function just works, with no unexpected outcomes:

private string ToString(byte[] bytes)
    string response = string.Empty;

    foreach (byte b in bytes)
        response += (Char)b;

    return response;

Answered by AndrewJE

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