# Why does Cyrus reject 8-bit characters in the headers of my messages?¶

8-bit characters are not allowed in the headers of an RFC 822 message.

We’re not about to consider a patch to “fix” the problem of replacing 8-bit characters with ‘X’s that doesn’t at least supply a default character set and properly QP-encode the nonconforming header.

Another possibility is suggested by Chris Newman:

The correct long term thing to do is to interpret unlabelled 8-bit as
UTF-8 if it meets the UTF-8 syntax, and otherwise give it the "unknown"
charset label and downconvert to 7-bit using RFC 2047.

If you want to do
something really fancy, you might allow a mapping from the hostname in
the envelope from address to a default 8-bit charset (Innosoft's MTA
includes an equivalent facility) so the administrator can set up private
agreements with specific hosts.