How to Resolve Issues when Reading JSON Files in Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of reading and managing JSON files in Python without encountering common errors. You’ll learn how to handle issues like JSONDecodeError and efficiently parse JSON data.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When working with JSON files in Python, it’s not uncommon to face challenges related to formatting or incorrect handling of data. These issues can lead to errors like JSONDecodeError, hindering your progress. This guide aims to address these obstacles by providing effective solutions for reading and utilizing JSON files seamlessly in your projects.

One prevalent problem is encountering a JSONDecodeError when trying to load a JSON file using the json module. Such errors often stem from malformed JSON syntax within the file. We’ll delve into troubleshooting techniques and strategies to rectify these errors, ensuring smooth processing of JSON data in your Python scripts.


import json

# Specify the path to your JSON file
file_path = 'data.json'

    with open(file_path) as f:
        data = json.load(f)
except json.JSONDecodeError as e:
    print(f"Error decoding JSON: {e}")

# Copyright PHD


  • Import the json module for working with JSON data.
  • Define a variable file_path containing the path to your target JSON file.
  • Use a try-except block to open and load the file using json.load().
  • Print the loaded data if successful; handle JSONDecodeError exceptions otherwise.
    How do I fix “JSONDecodeError” when reading a JSON file?

    If you encounter a JSONDecodeError, it typically indicates an issue with your JSON syntax. Ensure that your file adheres to valid JSON format without any syntax errors.

    Can I read multiple lines of JSON objects from a single file?

    Yes, you can store multiple valid JSON objects line by line within a single file. Iterate through each line individually for processing.

    Is there a way to pretty-print my loaded JSON data for better readability?

    After loading your data, use json.dumps() with indent parameters (e.g., indent=4) for improved readability.

    What should I do if my program crashes while reading large-sized JSON files?

    Optimize memory usage by processing data chunks instead of loading everything at once for large files.

    How can I handle encoding-related issues when dealing with UTF-8 characters in my JSON files?

    Specify encoding explicitly (e.g., ‘utf-8’) when opening or writing files using functions like open().

    Are there useful third-party libraries for advanced manipulation of complex nested structures in loaded JSON data?

    Yes, libraries like jq or ‘jsonpickle’ offer additional functionalities beyond Python’s built-in json module.

    Can I modify my loaded dictionary-like object directly from parsed/loaded .json content?

    Once loaded into a dictionary-like object (dict, etc.), you can freely modify its contents similar to any other dictionary object in Python.


    Mastering the handling of JSON files is essential for various Python applications dealing with structured data formats. By implementing the strategies discussed here and exploring additional resources on efficient JSON handling within Python, you’ll elevate your skills as a developer working on diverse projects involving data serialization tasks.

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