CodeQL documentation

Encoding error

ID: py/encoding-error
Kind: problem
Severity: error
Precision: high
   - reliability
   - correctness
Query suites:
   - python-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

Encoding errors prevent a module being evaluated and thus imported. An attempt to import a module with an invalid encoding will fail; a SyntaxError will be raised. Note that in Python 2, the default encoding is ASCII.

The existence of an encoding error in a module may suggest other problems as well. Either the module is never imported in practice and could be deleted or a try statement around the import is mistakenly discarding the SyntaxError.


Fixing the encoding error is the obvious fix. However, it is worth investigating why a module containing an encoding error was able to persist and address that problem as well.

If a different encoding should be used for the file, specify it explicitly by putting an encoding specification at the top of the file. For instance, to specify UTF-8 encoding, add the line # coding=utf-8.