When I insert this URL in the browser's address field:


then the plus characters are replaced by space characters in the Google search field:

enter image description here

How can this bug be avoided?

  • 1
    Special character Encoding in URLs is not a bug at all !
    – C0deDaedalus
    May 5, 2018 at 15:45

3 Answers 3


This isn't a bug - when encoding URLs, the character set becomes more limited, meaning that there needs to be a way to represent the full character set that is now unavailable.

  • A plus (+) is used to mark a space - you will also see a space encoded as %20.
  • A question mark (?) is often used to separate the resource path and the query string.
  • A percent sign (%) is used to initiate the escape sequence.

If you want to make use of a literal + then you must escape it, using the standard %xx sequence, and providing the hex value for the character.

In this case, you want to represent a +, the ASCII value for which is 43 decimal, or 0x2B hexadecimal.

This means that you need to use %2B in place of the +.

Similarly if you want to represent a literal %, then you must "escape" it, because it is used to initiate the escape sequence... you must use %25 in place of a %.

Research "URL Encoding" to find out more

Try entering notepad++.exe into the box on this page: HTML URL Encoding Reference.


You have to escape the '+'

fixed URL: https://www.google.de/search?q=notepad%2B%2B.exe

Some characters arent supported or have a specific purpose in URLs thus you cant just put them in where ever you want. You can get around that problem by escaping them like this:

%[insert hexadecimal representation of the character]


How can this bug be avoided?

It actually isn't a bug.

However, you can use notepad%2B%2B++.exe, instead to get around the intentional behavior.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.