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[2024] How to Recover 0 Byte Files in Windows 11/10/8/7

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

I just saved my Word document. After a while, I wanted to open it but found it zero bytes. Why does my file say zero bytes? How do I recover a 0 byte in Word? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Data loss is an unfortunate reality in the digital world, and encountering 0-byte files can be a particularly frustrating experience. These files, which appear to have no content, often result from various factors such as software issues, hardware failures, or accidental actions.

When faced with this problem, it's essential to have a reliable 0kb file recovery strategy in place to regain access to your valuable data.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the reasons behind 0-byte files and provide practical solutions on how to recover them in Windows 11/10/8/7. By following our step-by-step instructions, you can restore your critical data and safeguard your digital assets from future mishaps.

What Do 0 Bytes Mean?

What do zero bytes mean? Zero bytes simply refer to no space and data left. If a hard disk shows 0 bytes, it means the hard drive becomes RAW and has zero space to store more data. When you right-click the hard drive and open the Properties, it shows you that there are 0 bytes of used space, free space, and capacity. You can't write and add data to the internal or external hard drive. Sometimes, you might receive an error message reading "Access Denied Error".

What does it mean when a file is 0 bytes? A zero-byte file means that there is no data being stored in the file and the length of the file also becomes zero. In other words, the file contains no content that can be written and read. When a file becomes 0 bytes, it usually means that something goes wrong with the file system or storage device. 0 bytes files cannot be opened. If they are very important, you have to restore zero-byte files in some safe ways.

Why Do Files Become 0 Bytes?

A zero bytes file can be caused by many different reasons, which can fall into 2 main situations.

Situation 1: Hard Drive Shows 0 Bytes

Hard drives run the risk of corruption and can lose data for several different reasons. This can cause your important files to become 0-byte files. If you ever encounter such an issue then it is evident that your hard drive has either become corrupt or has lost some of the data in your files.

Hard drive 0-byte file is caused primarily because of hard drive corruption. Several factors can result in the corruption of the hard drive. The following are some of those factors.

  • Malicious software infection and virus attack
  • Formation of bad sectors on the hard drive
  • Unexpected computer system crash
  • Interruption when resizing the hard drive partitions
  • Improper shutdown or sudden power outage of the PC
  • Improper removal of the external hard drive, without safe permission

Situation 2: Files Are Corrupted

If a file itself is corrupted, it shows you zero length or zero bytes. Many factors can result in zero-length files.

  • The interruption when transferring, downloading, and uploading files
  • Save a file or document with empty content
  • The interruption when creating the program files
  • The index table in the file system is corrupted
  • The computer can't handle files with extremely long names

Note: An index table is used to indicate the specific storage location of a file or folder. If it is corrupted, the computer can't decode the specific location information of a file, which can bring about zero-byte files.

Whatever causes zero-byte files, there is no need to worry. There are 4 recovery methods available that you can use to recover zero-length files in Windows 10/8/7.


Solution 1. Fix and Recover Zero Byte Files in CMD

You can make use of CMD for restoring 0-byte files if your important files suddenly start showing a file size of 0 bytes. Follow these steps to fix and recover a 0-byte file.

restore zero byte files using CMD

Solution 2. Recover 0-byte Files by Checking for Hidden Files

Solution 3. Change File Extensions for Restoring 0 Byte Files

Sometimes, you can recover 0 bytes Word files after changing the names and extensions. Of course, the method is also true of other types of files, like Excel, Notepad, etc. Follow the below steps to do the job.

change file extensions to recover 0 byte files

Solution 4. Run System File Checker (SFC) for 0 kb File Recovery

sfc /scannow

Solution 5. Fix 0 Bytes Error on RAW Hard Drive [2 Methods]

Fixing a 0 bytes error on a RAW hard drive typically involves converting the RAW file system back to a recognizable file system, such as NTFS or FAT32, without losing data. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to recover 0 byte files on a RAW hard drive, ensuring you have 0 bytes free NTFS issues resolved:

Method 1: Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 using Disk Management:

0 bytes free ntfs

Method 2: Convert RAW to NTFS/FAT32 using Command Prompt:

chkdsk X: /f
convert X: /fs:ntfs

Solution 6. Restore Zero Byte Files with Recoverit

Using the recovery methods mentioned above, you should be able to fix and restore 0-byte files easily. However, if these methods don’t provide you the desired results, you will need to utilize powerful hard drive file recovery software to perform this task. Ordinary data recovery software won’t be able to get this job done. Recoverit Data Recovery is among the few software programs that can help you recover deleted, lost, formatted, or zero-byte files without encountering any problems.

Video: How to Recover Files in Windows?

Recoverit Data Recovery is a desktop data rescue software program, that can help you recover files deleted or lost on any device. Let's watch the 1-minute video and learn how it works.


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Guide: How to Recover Zero-Byte or Zero-Length Files

Here is a guide that has been formulated to provide you the chance to see how the Recoverit file recovery can be used to recover 0-byte files.

Step 1 Select a hard drive with 0-byte files

Launch Recoverit File Recovery. Select the specific hard disk drive to search partition in which the 0-byte file is present. Click the "Start" button to process.

select a hard disk showing 0 bytes files

Step 2 Scan for zero-length files

To help you recover the desired files, Recoverit needs to scan the hard disk drive you select to dig out all the lost and RAW files. Wait a few minutes and get the scanning results.

scan for 0 bytes files

Step 3 Preview and recover zero-byte files

Finally, you can preview the RAW files with a size of less than 30 MB. Then, select one or more zero bytes files from the resulting menu and click "Recover" to get them all back.

You need to save the recovered RAW or 0-byte files in another safe hard drive or removable storage, in case of the data overwriting and thus permanent loss.

0 byte file recovery

Encountering the issue of 0-byte files in Windows 11/10/8/7 can be quite frustrating for the users. It might mean the corruption of the hard drive. If you are facing such a problem, you don’t have to worry that much. You can recover 0-byte files using several different data recovery methods. If these manual methods don’t work, using a third-party recovery tool like Recoverit recovery is a good option. Recoverit Data Recovery can help you recover files from hard drive easily and smoothly.

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Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

Home > Resources > Recover Files > [2024] How to Recover 0 Byte Files in Windows 11/10/8/7