I am trying to search a folder for an ID number. The folder contains various different file types. The ID can be found in several .json files, but non of them show up.

If I rename the .json file to .json2 or .jsont then the files show up in the search: enter image description here

If I try and use terminal and mdfind it is the same, .json files wouldn't show up when searching for the ID.

Is there some setting I need to change such that spotlight/mdfind will search inside .json files? Or will I have to rename all files?

Note: Some of the .json files are quite large (~16 MB). Does this matter?

  • 2
    possible duplicate (but without answer) of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/86852/…
    – grg
    Jan 27, 2014 at 16:30
  • 1
    This is very interesting. Even after adding "json" to the Richtext.mdimport Spotlight file and re-indexing it will still not show the file in the results when searching for text that is in the contents of a JSON file. It will show JSON files in the results if they are searched for by name though... odd... Jan 27, 2014 at 20:06
  • See also this answer, suggesting a third party, but free, software solution: apple.stackexchange.com/a/87231/185129 Dec 27, 2018 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


You could try adding JSON to the Spotlight RichText importer. The process for XHTML is described here, and should be analogous for JSON:


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