JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)


I am getting error Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0) when trying to decode JSON.

The URL I use for the API call works fine in the browser, but gives this error when done through a curl request. The following is the code I use for the curl request.

The error happens at return simplejson.loads(response_json)

response_json = self.web_fetch(url)
response_json = response_json.decode('utf-8')
return json.loads(response_json)

def web_fetch(self, url):
    buffer = StringIO()
    curl = pycurl.Curl()
    curl.setopt(curl.URL, url)
    curl.setopt(curl.TIMEOUT, self.timeout)
    curl.setopt(curl.WRITEFUNCTION, buffer.write)
    response = buffer.getvalue().strip()
    return response


File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/django/core/handlers/base.py" in get_response
  111.                         response = callback(request, *callback_args, **callback_kwargs)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/pricestore/pricemodels/views.py" in view_category
  620.     apicall=api.API().search_parts(category_id= str(categoryofpart.api_id), manufacturer = manufacturer, filter = filters, start=(catpage-1)*20, limit=20, sort_by='[["mpn","asc"]]')
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/pricestore/pricemodels/api.py" in search_parts
  176.         return simplejson.loads(response_json)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/__init__.py" in loads
  455.         return _default_decoder.decode(s)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/decoder.py" in decode
  374.         obj, end = self.raw_decode(s)
File "/Users/nab/Desktop/myenv2/lib/python2.7/site-packages/simplejson/decoder.py" in raw_decode
  393.         return self.scan_once(s, idx=_w(s, idx).end())

Exception Type: JSONDecodeError at /pricemodels/2/dir/
Exception Value: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)
Asked By: user1328021



Your code produced an empty response body; you’d want to check for that or catch the exception raised. It is possible the server responded with a 204 No Content response, or a non-200-range status code was returned (404 Not Found, etc.). Check for this.


  • There is no need to use simplejson library, the same library is included with Python as the json module. (This note referred to the question as it was originally formulated).

  • There is no need to decode a response from UTF8 to Unicode, the simplejson / json .loads() method can handle UTF8-encoded data natively.

  • pycurl has a very archaic API. Unless you have a specific requirement for using it, there are better choices.

Either requests or httpx offer much friendlier APIs, including JSON support. If you can, replace your call with:

import requests

response = requests.get(url)
response.raise_for_status()  # raises exception when not a 2xx response
if response.status_code != 204:
    return response.json()

Of course, this won’t protect you from a URL that doesn’t comply with HTTP standards; when using arbitrary URLs where this is a possibility, check if the server intended to give you JSON by checking the Content-Type header, and for good measure catch the exception:

if (
    response.status_code != 204 and
        return response.json()
    except ValueError:
        # decide how to handle a server that's misbehaving to this extent
Answered By: Martijn Pieters

Check the response data-body, whether actual data is present and a data-dump appears to be well-formatted.

In most cases your json.loadsJSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0) error is due to :

  • non-JSON conforming quoting
  • XML/HTML output (that is, a string starting with <), or
  • incompatible character encoding

Ultimately the error tells you that at the very first position the string already doesn’t conform to JSON.

As such, if parsing fails despite having a data-body that looks JSON like at first glance, try replacing the quotes of the data-body:

import sys, json
struct = {}
  try: #try parsing to dict
    dataform = str(response_json).strip("'<>() ").replace(''', '"')
    struct = json.loads(dataform)
    print repr(resonse_json)
    print sys.exc_info()

Note: Quotes within the data must be properly escaped

Answered By: Lorenz Lo Sauer

With the requests lib JSONDecodeError can happen when you have an http error code like 404 and try to parse the response as JSON !

You must first check for 200 (OK) or let it raise on error to avoid this case.
I wish it failed with a less cryptic error message.

NOTE: as Martijn Pieters stated in the comments servers can respond with JSON in case of errors (it depends on the implementation), so checking the Content-Type header is more reliable.

Answered By: Christophe Roussy

There may be embedded 0’s, even after calling decode(). Use replace():

import json
struct = {}
    response_json = response_json.decode('utf-8').replace('', '')
    struct = json.loads(response_json)
    print('bad json: ', response_json)
return struct
Answered By: bryan

I had exactly this issue using requests.
Thanks to Christophe Roussy for his explanation.

To debug, I used:

response = requests.get(url)

I was getting a 404 response back from the API.

Answered By: Kelsie C

I was having the same problem with requests (the python library). It happened to be the accept-encoding header.

It was set this way: 'accept-encoding': 'gzip, deflate, br'

I simply removed it from the request and stopped getting the error.

Answered By: Seu Madruga

Check encoding format of your file and use corresponding encoding format while reading file. It will solve your problem.

with open("AB.json", encoding='utf-8', errors='ignore') as json_data:
     data = json.load(json_data, strict=False)
Answered By: Ramineni Ravi Teja

A lot of times, this will be because the string you’re trying to parse is blank:

>>> import json
>>> x = json.loads("")
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/3.7.3/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/json/__init__.py", line 348, in loads
    return _default_decoder.decode(s)
  File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/3.7.3/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/json/decoder.py", line 337, in decode
    obj, end = self.raw_decode(s, idx=_w(s, 0).end())
  File "/usr/local/Cellar/python/3.7.3/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/json/decoder.py", line 355, in raw_decode
    raise JSONDecodeError("Expecting value", s, err.value) from None
json.decoder.JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

You can remedy by checking whether json_string is empty beforehand:

import json

if json_string:
    x = json.loads(json_string)
    # Your code/logic here 
    x = {}
Answered By: Alex W

Be sure to remember to invoke json.loads() on the contents of the file, as opposed to the file path of that JSON:

json_file_path = "/path/to/example.json"

with open(json_file_path, 'r') as j:
     contents = json.loads(j.read())

I think a lot of people are guilty of doing this every once in a while (myself included):

contents = json.load(json_file_path)
Answered By: alex

For me, it was not using authentication in the request.

Answered By: Neel0507

For me it was server responding with something other than 200 and the response was not json formatted. I ended up doing this before the json parse:

# this is the https request for data in json format
response_json = requests.get() 

# only proceed if I have a 200 response which is saved in status_code
if (response_json.status_code == 200):  
     response = response_json.json() #converting from json to dictionary using json library
Answered By: FastGTR

If you are a Windows user, Tweepy API can generate an empty line between data objects. Because of this situation, you can get “JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)” error. To avoid this error, you can delete empty lines.

For example:

 def on_data(self, data):
            with open('sentiment.json', 'a', newline='n') as f:
                return True
        except BaseException as e:
            print("Error on_data: %s" % str(e))
        return True

Twitter stream API gives JSONDecodeError("Expecting value", s, err.value) from None

Answered By: drorhun

Just check if the request has a status code 200. So for example:

if status != 200:
    print("An error has occured. [Status code", status, "]")
    data = response.json() #Only convert to Json when status is OK.
    if not data["elements"]:
        print("Empty JSON")
        "You can extract data here"
Answered By: Wout VC

I received such an error in a Python-based web API’s response .text, but it led me here, so this may help others with a similar issue (it’s very difficult to filter response and request issues in a search when using requests..)

Using json.dumps() on the request data arg to create a correctly-escaped string of JSON before POSTing fixed the issue for me

requests.post(url, data=json.dumps(data))
Answered By: ti7

I encounterred the same problem, while print out the json string opened from a json file, found the json string starts with ‘’, which by doing some reserach is due to the file is by default decoded with UTF-8, and by changing encoding to utf-8-sig, the mark out is stripped out and loads json no problem:

open('test.json', encoding='utf-8-sig')
Answered By: user9571515

I had the same issue trying to read json files with


I solved the problem with

with open("file.json", "r") as read_file:
   data = json.load(read_file)

maybe this can help in your case

Answered By: Galuoises

In my case it is because the server is giving http error occasionally. So basically once in a while my script gets the response like this rahter than the expected response:

<head><title>502 Bad Gateway</title></head>
<body bgcolor="white">
<h1>502 Bad Gateway</h1>
<p>The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.<hr/>Powered by Tengine</body>

Clearly this is not in json format and trying to call .json() will yield JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

You can print the exact response that causes this error to better debug.
For example if you are using requests and then simply print the .text field (before you call .json()) would do.

Answered By: Qin Heyang

I had the same issue, in my case I solved like this:

import json

with open("migrate.json", "rb") as read_file:
   data = json.load(read_file)

I did:

  1. Open test.txt file, write data
  2. Open test.txt file, read data

So I didn’t close file after 1.

I added


and now it works

Answered By: parsecer

This is the minimalist solution I found when you want to load json file in python

import json
data = json.load(open('file_name.json'))

If this give error saying character doesn’t match on position X and Y, then just add encoding='utf-8' inside the open round bracket

data = json.load(open('file_name.json', encoding='utf-8'))

open opens the file and reads the containts which later parse inside json.load.

Do note that using with open() as f is more reliable than above syntax, since it make sure that file get closed after execution, the complete sytax would be

with open('file_name.json') as f:
    data = json.load(f)
Answered By: Aditya Rajgor

In my case I was doing file.read() two times in if and else block which was causing this error. so make sure to not do this mistake and hold contain in variable and use variable multiple times.

Answered By: Ashish Sharma

if you use headers and have "Accept-Encoding": "gzip, deflate, br" install brotli library with pip install. You don’t need to import brotli to your py file.

In my case it occured because i read the data of the file using file.read() and then tried to parse it using json.load(file).I fixed the problem by replacing json.load(file) with json.loads(data)

Not working code

with open("text.json") as file:

working code

with open("text.json") as file:

#On Python 3.9, I used this:

with open("intents.json") as file:
Answered By: Manzini Lionel .T

The same issue occurs, when issuing an HTTP HEAD method request on an API endpoint, which, for instance, would normally respond with JSON data in the response body to a GET request. However, a response to a HEAD method does not normally have a body.

Hence, when trying to call the json() method on the response, as follows:

import requests

url = ''

r = requests.head(url)  # perform a HEAD request
print(r.json())  # attempting to read an empty response body as JSON would raise an exception

would raise the following exception(s):

json.decoder.JSONDecodeError: Expecting value: line 1 column 1 (char 0)

… During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

requests.exceptions.JSONDecodeError: [Errno Expecting value] : 0

Therefore, when performing HEAD requests, make sure that there is a body in the response (which normally there isn’t), before calling r.json() method. You could use print(r.content) instead, which would print out the response content in byte form, or simply b'', if the response body was empty.

Answered By: Chris
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