Moodle Installation Error: Database unicode character

When installing Moodle on a new database, if the encoding is not set correctly, the following error will occur.

It is required that you store all your data in Unicode format (UTF-8).
New installations must be performed into databases that have their default
character set as Unicode. If you are upgrading, you should perform the
UTF-8 migration process (see the Admin page).

To fix this error, you will need to set the database collation in to utf8_unicode_ci through PhpMyAdmin. The following will explain how to do this.

Changing the database collation in PhpMyAdmin

  1. Login to your cPanel
  2. Navigate to Databases > PhpMyAdmin.
  3. Select the database on the left that was created for the Moodle site.
  4. On the top right click Operations.
  5. On the Collation drop box, select utf8_unicode_ci.
  6. Click Go.

Adjust the $CFG->dboptions array in your config.php to make sure that Moodle uses the right collation when connecting to the MySQL Server:

$CFG->dboptions = array(
  …
  'dbcollation' => 'utf8mb4_unicode_ci',
  …
);
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