Byte

Computer bit and byteA byte is a term first coined by Werner Buchholz in 1956 and later became more of a standard thanks to Bob Bemer and others. A byte is data equal to either seven or eight bits depending if it needs error correction (parity). You can think of a byte as one letter, for example, the letter 'h' is one byte or eight bits and the word 'hope' as four bytes or 32 bits (4*8).

When looking at the size of a file, a byte is the smallest measurement size listed in operating systems. However, because most files are bigger than 1,024 bytes (one kilobyte), most users will see small files listed in kilobytes.

Tip: A byte is spelled as "byte" and never as "bite."

Byte size standard confusions

Although eight bits in a byte is typically the size of a byte, there is not an official byte standard size because of how different computers treat a "word size."

Byte vs. other data measurements

Byte (B) Value
Byte in a Bit (b) 0.125
Byte in a Nibble (N) 0.25
Byte in a Byte (B) 1
Bytes in a Kilobit (Kb) 125
Bytes in a Kilobyte (KB) 1,000
Bytes in a Kibibit (Kib) 128
Bytes in a Kibibyte (KiB) 1,024
Bytes in a Megabit (Mb) 131,072
Bytes in a Megabyte (MB) 1,000,000
Bytes in a Mebibit (Mib) 131,072
Bytes in a Mebibyte (MiB) 1,048,576
Bytes in a Gigabit (Gb) 125,000,000
Bytes in a Gigabyte (GB) 1,000,000,000
Bytes in a Gibibit (Gib) 134,200,000
Bytes in a Gibibyte (GiB) 1,073,741,824
Bytes in a Terabit (Tb) 125,000,000,000
Bytes in a Terabyte (TB) 1,000,000,000,000
Bytes in a Tebibit (Tib) 1,099,511,627,776
Bytes in a Tebibyte (TiB) 1,099,511,627,776
Bytes in a Petabit (Pb) 125,000,000,000,000
Bytes in a Petabyte (PB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
Bytes in a Pebibit (Pib) 140,700,000,000,000
Bytes in a Pebibyte (PiB) 1,000,000,000,000,000
Bytes in an Exabit (Eb) 125,000,000,000,000,000
Bytes in an Exabyte (EB) 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
Bytes in an Exbibit (Eib) 144,115,188,000,000,000
Bytes in an Exbibyte (EiB) 1,152,921,504,606,846,976
Bytes in a Zettabyte (ZB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Bytes in a Yottabyte (YB) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Related pages

Also see: BIT, Measurement, Hard drive terms, Most significant byte, Nibble, Triplet, Word