How many bytes and KB are there in one MB?

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Megabytes, kilobytes and bytes are probably the most common measures of digital capacity that we come across on a daily basic as the average users of personal computers: from bytes for .txt notepad files and KB for text documents to MB for e-books, short films and audio files.

Megabytes per second are also used as the measure of your internet speed but often get confused with megabits per second. That is why it may come in handy to be familiar with the unit conversions.

According to the metric (SI) system, one megabyte of data is equal to:

1 MB =
1 000 KB
1 000 000 B (bytes)
8 000 000 b (bits)


However, a megabyte is sometimes interpreted as 1024 bytes (and not 10002 as shown in the table above) due to the binary architecture of computers (which means that they operate on powers of 2). This standard is commonly used in reference to RAM memory. To make things even more complicated, there is also a mixed approach (in which 1 MB = 1000x1024 B) used for stating the capacity of an HD floppy disk.

To resolve the customers’ confusion, IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) came up with a new standard of naming the binary prefixes:

Kibibyte
1024 B
Mebibyte
1024B
Gibibyte
1024B
Tebibyte
1024B


as opposed to the metric multiples:

Kilobyte
1000 B
Megabyte
1000B
Gigabyte
10003B
Terabyte
1000B


Did you know?

1. 1 MB is roughly the size of a short, non-illustrated e-book or a minute of high-quality recording.
2. 5 MB was the memory of the world’s first hard disk drive.
3. 750 MB is the capacity of a CD.

Have you heard about the difference between ‘megabytes’ and ‘mebibytes’ before?

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