Byte

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope
Computer bit and byte

A 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."

How large is a byte?

The size of a byte depends on the computer hardware. Usually, it is eight bits. However, the size of a byte is not defined by any standard.

What unit comes before a byte?

A nibble (typically four bits) comes before a byte.

What unit comes after a byte?

A kilobyte and kilobit come after a byte.

Converting bytes to another unit of data

Below is a listing of byte values in comparison to other units of measurements.

Byte (B) Value
Byte in a Bit (b) 0.125
Byte in a Nibble (N) 0.5
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

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