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How many MB in a GB

Pragya T Aug 20, 2020
Do the questions of how many MB in a GB, how many KB in a MB, etc., boggle you? Do not fret, just read on to know about the different units of a computer memory.
The plain simple answer to how many MB in a GB is 1024. However, many times it may happen that you will forget this answer, and won't understand how big your files are in the different units. There are some simple ways to remember byte measurements.
Most document or text files in your personal computers will always be in kilobytes. Your mp3 music files or tracks will always be in megabytes, and bigger files, like folders containing some episodes of television series, or your hard drives will be in gigabytes.

Basic Data Storage Unit

The basic unit for computer data storage is called a bit, short for the word binary digit. These bits are numbers 1 and 0, which use the binary language to communicate with computers.
So, all the files stored in our computers are translated into words, pictures, and audio by the software. The system of 1 and 0 is called 'binary number system', because it has only these two numbers.

Why 1024 and not 1000

This might seem a very silly and trivial question, but is, in fact, a very smart one. The thing is, simply remembering the number '1024', will make it easy for you to convert your files or burn your CD's. The 'decimal number system', as opposed to the binary number system has ten unique digits, from 0 to 9.
The computer data and the file size is measured in binary code, using the binary number system, which is counted by factors of two, which are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. The prefixes for the multiples are based on the metric system, and the nearest binary number to 1000 is 2^10 (2 to the power of 10), which is 1024. Hence, the number 1024 is the conversion number.
So, in a metric system, one kilo is 1000, but in binary, one kilo is 1024. Just remember this fact, to avoid any confusion; in case you still get confused, just remember the number 1024, and remember that there was a logical conclusion behind it! (Because, one can keep forgetting the technical conversion.)
One way to understand the 1000 or 1024 confusion is that even if you have an 80 GB hard disk capacity, the properties will show the space to be about 79 point something. It is always a bit less than 80, because the manufacturers will consider the data storage in multiples of 1000, and the computer will consider the data storage in 1024.
Those extra 24's will eat up some space of the last gigabyte, and therefore, you will notice that your hard disk capacity is a bit less than what the manufacturers write on the label.

Common Data Storage Units

The most common data storage units we use in our daily life are kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes. Here is a chart you can remember to avoid any confusion about the conversions.

Unit Conversion
1024 Bytes 1 kB
1024 kB 1 MB
1024 MB 1 GB
To remember conversions better, just right click on any text document and check its properties. It will be in kilobytes. Check the properties of your mp3 files, and it will be in megabytes. Your hard disk drives and DVD's will be in the occupying space of gigabytes.
There are higher units like terabyte (TB), where 1024 GB = 1TB. Nowadays, people commonly have a hard disk installed in their computers with a capacity of 1TB. An external or installed 1TB hard disk is a good idea in case you like to store a lot of movies and data, or in case you collect movies with blu-ray discs formats.