I'm trying to do a REST call to get current user information without using jQuery to handle the ajax. I've got this code:

var xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();

xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function(){
    if(xmlhttp.readyState == XMLHttpRequest.DONE){
        if(xmlhttp.status == 200){
        } else if (xmlhttp.status == 400){
            console.log("not found")
        } else {

This works, but the response comes back as xml not json. Is there a way to tell the SP to return json when using XHR?

I tried the $format=json parameter, but that evidently isn't supported by the SP 2013 REST api. Nor is XMLHttpRequest.responseType supported by browsers.

1 Answer 1


You have to set the Accept request header to application/json; odata=verbose using XMLHttpRequest.setRequestHeader().

SharePoint looks at this header to decide if the data has to be sent as JSON or XML.

  • That seems to be working. Looking at the documentation you linked to, it looks like setRequestHeader() has support back to IE7, which is good, but is it supported in FireFox?
    – Rothrock
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:35
  • Hmm. Just tested. Looks like it is not working in Firefox. May be you can use a shim just for FF.
    – NLV
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:57

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