File sizes explained and its conversions (Bytes, kB, MB, GB, TB)

In this article, you’ll get the file sizes explained and its conversions. Understanding file sizes is not always that simple. There are a bunch of different units regarding computer storage and that can lead to a lot of confusion.

The “kilo-“, “mega-“, “giga-” and “tera-” prefixes are similar to their use in any other unit of measurement, like meters or watts. They were established long before the computer era, along with many more units used in the metric system too, such as “centi”, “milli”, “micro”, and others. They were all based on powers of 10.

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Roughly, this is how the conversions are done:

  • 1 B = 1 byte;
  • 1 kB = 1000 bytes;
  • 1 MB = 1000 kB or 1 000 000 000 bytes;
  • 1 GB = 1000 MB or 1 000 000 000 bytes;
  • 1 TB = 1000 GB or 1 000 000 000 000 bytes.

However, to make things a little bit more confusing, in the tech world, a factor of 1,000 is actually 1,024, 1,000,000 is 1,048,576 and 1,000,000 is in fact 1,073,741,824. That happens because computer components are built around binary numbers, they don’t make use of decimals.

Computers do use powers of 2 instead of powers of 10. When talking about computer memory, considering the way it is conceived, it became common in the computer world to use those prefixes to refer to the nearest multiple of 1024.

This is because semiconductor memory doubles in size for each one of the address lanes added to an integrated circuit package. As a result, it favors counts that are powers of two.

Historical review

In today’s world, terms like bytes, kilobytes, or even megabytes are gradually disappearing from the tech vocabulary of the younger generations.

It’s not common anymore to find hard drives (or even SSDs) with less than some hundreds of gigabytes of storage. Even most smartphones are now offering at least 64 or 128GB.

But, if we go back to the 90s, it was a very common practice to use floppy disks, the thumb drives of the era. Those floppy disks, also known as “diskettes” used to have a storage capacity of up to just 1440 KB (roughly 1,44 MB).

File sizes explained and its conversions (Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB)

There was also during the 90s that most computers started to be equipped with hard disk drives, with just a couple of megabytes at first.

File sizes explained and its conversions (Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB)

Focusing on RAM (Random Access Memory), most computers from the late 80s and early 90s were equipped with just 512 KB or 640 KB. It was only during the late 90s that we started to see “bigger” capacities of 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, and 64 MB. Higher than that was only reserved for servers and higher-end machines of the era.

File sizes explained and its conversions (Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB)

File sizes explained and its conversions (Bytes, KB, MB, GB, TB)

Let us start with some practical examples to get things clearer in your mind.

What is a byte?

A byte is the smallest addressable unit of memory in the computer architecture and it is represented by a “B”. It consists of 8-bits (a series of eight zeros and ones), which is the number of bits used to encode one single text character in the computer world.

One byte can be used to represent 256 different values. The byte was originally created to store and symbolize a single text character since 256 different values were enough to represent all lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols in western alphabets.

As a byte contains so little information, the measuring of storage capacities of computer hardware is usually given in megabytes, and more commonly in gigabytes or even in terabytes.

How many bytes in a kilobyte?

Roughly you can say that there are 1 000 bytes in a KB, but that is not precise as we have pointed above.

Stating the facts with precision, the kilobyte is traditionally used to refer to 1024 bytes. So 1 KB equals 1024 bytes.

How many bytes in a megabyte?

What is a megabyte? The megabyte or MB is commonly used to measure 10242 bytes. Like the previous examples, 1 MB equals 1024 x 1024 which is 1,048,576 bytes.

How many bytes in a gigabyte?

What is a gigabyte? One gigabyte is roughly one billion bytes. To be precise, 1 GB equals 1024³, or 1024 x 1024 x 1024, which is 1,073,741,824 bytes.

How many bytes in a terabyte?

How big is a terabyte? The prefix tera represents the fourth power of 1000. 1 TB equals 10244 bytes, or 1024 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 which is 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.

What comes after terabyte?

What is bigger than a terabyte? “Tera-” is the fourth power of 1000 or 10004 as stated above. The prefix after tera when considering computer tech, is 10245, or “peta-“. So, after a terabyte, comes the petabyte.

Wrap Up

Computer storage units can lead to a lot of confusion. Especially because computer components don’t make use of decimals, they’re built around binary numbers instead.

We hope that by reading this article you get things clearer on your mind and understand easily how you can convert Gb to Mb, Gb to Tb, Tb to Gb, Mb to Tb, etc.


Various common conversions

How much is 1000 Kb to Mb?

1000 Kilobytes (Kb) equals 0.97656 Megabytes (Mb).

How to convert 1 Mb to Kb?

1 Mb is exactly 1024 Kilobytes (Kb).

How much is 100 Mb to Gb?

1 GB = 1,024 MB, so 100 Megabytes (Mb) equals 0.09766 Gigabytes (Gb).

How much is 500 Mb to Gb?

1 GB = 1,024 MB, so 500 Megabytes (Mb) equals 0.48828 Gigabytes (Gb).

How much is 1000 Mb to Gb?

Following the above conversion, so 100 Megabytes (Mb) equals 0.97656 Gigabytes (Gb).

How to convert 1024 Mb to Gb?

1 GB = 1,024 MB, so 1024 Megabytes (Mb) is exactly 1 Gigabyte (Gb).

How much is 2000 Mb to Gb?

1 GB = 1,024 MB, so 2000 Megabytes (Mb) equals 1.95313 Gigabytes (GB).

How much is 2048 Mb to Gb?

Taking into account that 1024 Mb equals 1 GB, 2048 Mb = 2 GB.

How much is 10000 Mb to Gb?

Following the above conversions, 10000 Megabytes (Mb) equals 9.7656 Gigabytes (Gb).

How much is 1 Gb to Mb?

1 Gb equals 1,024 Megabytes (Mb).

How to convert 8 Gb to Mb?

1 Gigabyte (Gb) is exactly 1,024 Megabytes (Mb), so 8 Gb equals 8192 Mb.

How much is 100 Gb in Mb?

Taking into account that 1 Gb equals 1,024 Megabytes (Mb), 100 Gb equals 102.400 Megabytes (Mb).

How to convert 1 Tb to Gb?

1 Terabyte (Tb) = 1024 Gigabytes (Gb).


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How many Megabytes are in a Gigabyte?

There are 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte.

  • How many Gigabytes are in a Terabyte?

There are 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte.

  • How many Kilobytes in a Megabyte?

There are 1,024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte.

  • How many Kilobytes in a Gigabyte?

There are 1,048,576 Kilobytes in a Gigabyte.

  • Which is bigger Mb or Kb? Is Kb bigger than Mb?

There are 1,024 Kilobytes (Kb) in 1 Megabyte (Mb). So an Mb is 1024 times bigger thank a Kb.

  • What does kb stand for?

Kb stands for Kilobyte.

  • What does Mb mean?

Mb is the acronym for Megabyte.

  • What does Tb stand for?

What does Tb mean? Tb is the acronym for Terabyte.

  • What is a Terabyte?

A Terabyte (Tb) is a measure of computer memory which equals approximately a trillion Bytes (B). More precisely, 1 Terabyte is defined as 1,024 Gigabytes, 1,048,576 Megabytes, and 1,073,741,824 Kilobytes.