Configuring your HttpClient to automagically decompress the response


Recently I was writing a simple HttpClient to interface with a REST API.  Typically I just pass the response string to a JSON converter and get my object out the other end.  However, in my case I was getting the following error from my converter:

Newtonsoft.Json.JsonReaderException was caught
  _message=Unexpected character encountered while parsing value:  . Path '', line 0, position 0.
  Message=Unexpected character encountered while parsing value:  . Path '', line 0, position 0.
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.ParseValue()
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.ReadInternal()
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonTextReader.Read()
       at Newtonsoft.Json.Serialization.JsonSerializerInternalReader.ReadForType(JsonReader reader, JsonContract contract, Boolean hasConverter)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.Serialization.JsonSerializerInternalReader.Deserialize(JsonReader reader, Type objectType, Boolean checkAdditionalContent)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonSerializer.DeserializeInternal(JsonReader reader, Type objectType)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonSerializer.Deserialize(JsonReader reader, Type objectType)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject(String value, Type type, JsonSerializerSettings settings)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject[T](String value, JsonSerializerSettings settings)
       at Newtonsoft.Json.JsonConvert.DeserializeObject[T](String value)
       at WSDSForumAPI.StackOverflow.<GetPostsForTag>d__0.MoveNext() 

When I looked into the issue the string being passed to the converter looked like this:


I attached fiddler, and then realized that my response content was compressed, as the response had the following header:

Content-Encoding: gzip

So I set out to figure out how to decompress the content.   It turns out this is fairly simple.   Just create a HttpClientHandler and set its AutomaticDecompression to the type of compression used in the response.  The following code snippet is what I ended up with for my scenario:

Copy Code:

HttpClientHandler handler = new HttpClientHandler(); handler.AutomaticDecompression = System.Net.DecompressionMethods.GZip; _client = new HttpClient(handler);

That is it for this blog post.  Simple and to the point.  Until next time have fun coding!

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- Bret Bentzinger(Microsoft) @awehellyeah

Comments (2)

  1. andreas hammar says:

    Thanks for sharing, I've stumbled upon this too, in a cross platform web hybrid project.

    Both Android and IOS have auto decompression on by default. Any idea why it's not on by greatly in .net?


  2. Lancelot Software says:

    I recommend expanding on this to include the Deflate algorithm. Here's my approach:



    handler.AutomaticDecompression = DecompressionMethods.GZip | DecompressionMethods.Deflate;


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