Call Us! 1-800-383-5193
Call Us! 1-800-383-5193
Call Us! 1-800-383-5193

Need Help?

Emergency Response Time custom

Our experts have had an average response time of 11.98 minutes in June 2021 to fix urgent issues.

We will keep your servers stable, secure and fast at all times for one fixed price.

DirectAdmin invalid characters in mail autoresponder – Quick fix

by | Mar 8, 2021

In DirectAdmin, are you receiving invalid characters in the mail autoresponder? We can help you resolve it.

This happens as, by default, no character encoding is specified for auto-replies or vacation messages.

Here at Bobcares, we often receive requests to fix errors relating to DirectAdmin as part of our Server Management Services for web hosts and online service providers.

Today, let’s see how to fix these invalid characters in the mail autoresponder.


How to fix DirectAdmin: Invalid characters in mail autoresponder

Now let’s take a look at how our Support Engineers resolve this error message.

Recently, one of our customers approached us saying to us that his clients were getting invalid characters on the mail autoreply message. The mail was wrongly formatted because of the special characters. The wrong characters display when we try and enter the correct text in autoresponder form and then save and opened again.

This happens because, by default, no character encoding is specified for auto-replies or vacation messages.

Here is how we resolve it.


1. For the Directadmin theme that is used, we have to set the correct encoding. For instance, in our case, we used the default “enhanced” theme. So, we edit it as below:

# vi /usr/local/directadmin/data/skins/enhanced/lang/en/lf_standard.html

Then we find the variable “LANG_ENCODING” and correct it to our needs. In our case, we corrected it to UTF-8:



2. Another option is to add the following code in the uservacation and userautoreply transport sections of /etc/exim.conf.

headers = Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”UTF-8″

Here, we adjust the charset value for the header as required.

Note: for the subject line, try this:

subject = “${if def:h_Subject: {Autoreply: \”${escape:${length_50:$rh_Subject:}}\”} {I am on vacation}}”

There are also reports of the use of $rh_Subject instead of $h_Subject working.

Another possible subject line:

subject = ${if def:h_subject: \
{Autoreply: ${rfc2047:${quote:${escape:${length_60:$h_subject:}} }} }\
{Autoreply Message} \


3. Another option is to change the default encoding to UTF-8 by editing exim.cfg by typing

headers = MIME-Version: 1.0\nContent-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8\nContent-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
subject = ${if def:h_Subject: {Autoreply: ${quote:${escape:${length_50:$h_Subject:}}}} {Autoreply Message}}

[Need any further assistance in fixing DirectAdmin errors? – We’d be happy to help you]



Today, we saw how our Support Engineers resolve this invalid character error in mail-in DirectAdmin.


Never again lose customers to poor server speed! Let us help you.

Our server experts will monitor & maintain your server 24/7 so that it remains lightning fast and secure.


var google_conversion_label = "owonCMyG5nEQ0aD71QM";


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Privacy Preference Center


Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID - Preserves user session state across page requests.

gdpr[consent_types] - Used to store user consents.

gdpr[allowed_cookies] - Used to store user allowed cookies.

PHPSESSID, gdpr[consent_types], gdpr[allowed_cookies]


Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_ga - Preserves user session state across page requests.

_gat - Used by Google Analytics to throttle request rate

_gid - Registers a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how you use the website.

smartlookCookie - Used to collect user device and location information of the site visitors to improve the websites User Experience.

_ga, _gat, _gid
_ga, _gat, _gid


Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

IDE - Used by Google DoubleClick to register and report the website user's actions after viewing or clicking one of the advertiser's ads with the purpose of measuring the efficacy of an ad and to present targeted ads to the user.

test_cookie - Used to check if the user's browser supports cookies.

1P_JAR - Google cookie. These cookies are used to collect website statistics and track conversion rates.

NID - Registers a unique ID that identifies a returning user's device. The ID is used for serving ads that are most relevant to the user.

DV - Google ad personalisation

IDE, test_cookie, 1P_JAR, NID, DV, NID
IDE, test_cookie


These are essential site cookies, used by the google reCAPTCHA. These cookies use an unique identifier to verify if a visitor is human or a bot.