Wrong encoding between apache/php and mysql (xampp)

So I decided to perform an upgrade on the xampp (windows).


  1. PHP Version 7.1.26 (32bit)
  2. Apache/2.4.37 (32bit)
  3. MariaDB 10.1.26 (32bit)


  1. PHP Version 7.1.33 (64bit)
  2. Apache/2.4.46 (64bit)
  3. MariaDB 10.4.14 (64bit)

Somehow it seems like php is now unable to fetch data correctly from mysql base. For example on the forum ” ’ ” shows up as ” ’ ” and if I convert database from ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8 then I get ” ? ” instead. Other site that uses utf8_general_ci also has issues retrieving special characters.
I have checked my.ini and it states default-character-set=utf8mb4, character-set-server=utf8mb4, php.ini has default_charset=”UTF-8″ and httpd.conf AddDefaultCharset utf-8.

What have I tried:

  • Using old mysql database, did not help
  • Reimporting database dump into new database, did not help
  • Checked what encode is used on the browser, encode does not change between old and new versions

So I assume its somewhere between mysql and php/apache. Im kinda at loss of what to try to get this issue fixed at this point.