How to Open JSON File on Windows, Mac, Android & iPhone?

JSON is a not-so-common file format used to store data and objects. Thus, the majority of the operating systems don’t have a built-in program to identify and open a JSON file. Are you currently struggling with a JSON file and want to open it on your PC or mobile? If yes, then this post is specifically developed for you.

Here, I will guide you on how to open JSON files on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. I will share multiple ways to deal with the JSON files on any device. Using them, you’ll be able to read and extract invaluable data out of those.

What is a JSON File?

A JSON file is a text-based, lightweight, and human-readable standard data interchange format. Basically, JSON is the acronym for JavaScript Object Notation format. This type of file format is used for storing simple objects and data structures. It uses the “.json” file extension and is very similar to the XML file format.

A very common use of JSON files is to take backup of data that is able to be restored back to the program when required. Earlier, JSON was JavaScript subset-based but now, it is looked upon as a format that is independent of the language. It is also supported by many programming APIs. Thus, JSON is often used as an XML alternative.

However, mainstream operating systems like Windows, Android, etc may often trouble users in identifying the JSON format. They may mark it as an unidentified file type as they may lack a built-in app that is able to read it.

What are the uses of a JSON File?

JSON files are used to store data and transmit it between the server and web applications. Generally, they are used as backup files. However, they are now used for multiple purposes.

For example, Instagram uses JSON files to store user data. JSON files are used by Google+ to save profile data. Mozilla Firefox uses them to save bookmark backup. Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and various other NoSQL databases use them to store unstructured data.

JSON files are widely used as they come with a good list of advantages. Some of the most prominent advantages of using JSON files are listed below:

  • Can be created and edited using a text editor.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Almost every programming language supports the JSON file format.
  • Can be read by humans and opens in any simple text editor.

These are some of the reasons for the mainstream uses of JSON files.

How to open JSON File on Any Device?

JSON files are treated as simple text files and can be easily opened using a text editor. That’s why you can open any JSON file on a Windows PC with Notepad. However, opening JSON files with a text editor can be risky at times as you may break the formatting unknowingly.

So, I’d recommend that you open them using a specific application. This way you can easily open, edit, and save the file. You can also open JSON files using several websites. I have shared all the legitimate ways below for different operating systems.

Open JSON File on Windows PC

There are multiple ways to open a JSON file on Windows. The first and the simplest one is to use Notepad to open the file. Follow these steps to know how to do that:

  • Open Notepad on your Windows PC.
  • Now click on “File” and then click on “Open.”
  • Next, navigate to the JSON file.
  • Next, choose “All Files” from the drop-down menu present next to the file name box.
  • Finally, locate the JSON file and double-click on it.

That’s it. You can now view, read, and edit the JSON file in the Notepad itself. Afterward, you can save it just like a normal text file.

Other Apps to open any JSON File on Windows:

1. Notepad++: It is a source code editor that supports multiple languages. You can also use it to open  JSON, XML, or other similar types of files.

2. File Viewer Plus: It is a universal file opening program for Windows that lets you read and write more than 300 file formats. You can use it to view, edit, and save JSON files without breaking the formatting structure.

3. Mozilla Firefox: It is a well-known open-source web browser that allows you to open various types of files including JSON.

Apart from these, you can also visit any website that allows you to open JSON files in a browser. However, I will not recommend that method due to privacy concerns.

Open JSON File on Mac

Just like on Windows, opening JSON files on Mac is a simple task. There are multiple methods available to do that. The simplest one would be to use Apple TextEdit, which is a free and open-source text editor. Follow these steps to know how to use it to open a JSON file:

  • Open TextEdit from the Launchpad.
  • Now click on “File” from the menu, and then click on “Open.”
  • Next, navigate to the JSON file.
  • Select the file and then click on the “Open” button.

That’s it. Now you can view the contents of the .json file on the screen. The complete code will be available in a readable format, and you can also edit it.

Other Apps to open any JSON file on Mac:

1. MacVim: It is a convenient source code editor and a powerful tool that allows you to open JSON files on Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8.

2. BBEdit: It was formerly known as Bare Bones TextWrangler, but was later renamed to BBEdit. It is a free text editor commonly used for editing source code. You can use it to open and edit .json files on Mac.

Similarly, you can also use the Mozilla Firefox browser and several websites to open JSON files on Mac.

Open JSON File on Android & iPhone

There are multiple apps available on the Google Play Store to open JSON files on Android. The two best ones that I’d recommend are:

1. File Viewer for Android: It is a free app that allows to open and view JSON files on Android devices.

2. Json Genie (Editor): It is another developer-friendly Android app that supports viewing and editing .json files.

Similarly, iOS users can find apps to open JSON files on the Apple App Store. The two most recommend ones for iOS users are:

1. Jayson: The most popular and easy-to-use JSON file viewer and editor for iOS devices.

2. JSON Viewer: It is another JSON file viewer for iOS devices. This app is not free to use.

Apart from the apps, you can also open JSON files online using a browser on your Android or iOS device.

Final Words

JSON files store data structure and simple objects for their transmission. Despite their mainstream usage, a lot of operating systems are not able to identify them by default. So, you will have to use special apps to open JSON files. Now you know how to open a JSON file on any device.

That’s all for this post. I hope it helps you enough and you have successfully loaded that .json file on your device. You can ask further questions about it using the comment box.

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