HomeHome : Help Center : Question

What is a zero-byte file?

Answer: A zero-byte file is a file that does not contain any data. While most files contain several bytes or megabytes of information, the aptly named zero-byte file contains zero bytes.

Zero-byte files are typically created when a file transfer does not complete successfully. This may happen when a file is downloaded via the Web or an FTP client, or when an e-mail attachment is not transmitted correctly. The result may be a file that has a name, but no data. If someone sends you a zero-byte file, the best solution is to ask them to send the file again using a different program if possible.

Since zero-byte files do not contain any data, they cannot be opened and should be deleted. However, some systems may be unable to delete zero-byte files, since they may be corrupt. You might receive an error that says, "Cannot delete file: Cannot read from source file or disk," or a similar message. If this happens, you will need to use a program like DelinvFile or another file utility program to remove the file.

Published: May 27, 2008 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center