I am using Wampserver for my Windows Apache-PHP-MySQL stack. The file accessed has a header that defines it as utf-8, meta tag in HTML also defines it as utf-8. My best guess so far is that it has something to do with Apache. Searching through Google was of little help thanks to rather common keywords used. When I enter: [protocol]://localhost/originnode/?test=õäöü .. the browser converts the URL to .. [protocol]://localhost/originnode/?test=%F5%E4%F6%FC .. and same applies to $_GET string returned to the document. Now I know that a hosting service I am using has no such problem, the same file functions as expected on one of the virtualhosts I am renting. This only happens on localhost. Any solution to this problem? Where to look? One of the threads I found from Google mentioned the value 'AddDefaultCharset', which is not defined in my install. Language configuration does have AddCharsets (which does include utf-8) as well as languages, but that value was not defined. When I defined it myself as "AddDefaultCharset utf-8" in the end and restarted, nothing changed and the URL was still convered. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!