Simple Steps to Recover 0 Byte Files: A Complete Guide

Important files suddenly become 0 bytes? You can refer to this article and find out what caused such issue as well as how to solve recover 0 bytes files.


by Delia Updated on April 6, 2023

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User Case: 0 Byte File Recovery


All my .exe files and documents, such as, word, excel, ppt suddenly become 0 bytes, and I cannot open or use it. What’s worse, I don’t backup all my files and folders in advance. How do I recover 0 byte file? Any kindly advice will be appreciated.

What Does 0 Byte File Mean?

Zero byte file is a damaged file that has a name, but does not contain any written data. In addition, the file is not readable and the length of file become zero. In other words, if you has zero byte file, you cannot open or use it to save any data.

If these data are very important, you can choose to restore files from backup or use a professional data recovery software.

Why My Folder Showing 0 Byte?

In general, most files have several bytes, kilobytes, or megabytes of contents. Why my file suddenly become 0 byte? That’s because something wrong with the file system or storage device.

Next, I’ll show you the specific reasons for folder showing 0 byte:

  • Improper shutdown or unexpected power loss. If your computer shutdown suddenly while writing data, your file or storage device may be damaged.

  • Corrupt partition or bad sectors. If you save a file on a corrupt partition or the partition has bad sectors, your file is not readable.

  • Viruses or malicious software. If your computer has a virus or malicious software, your file may be attacked by them and become 0 byte suddenly. What’s worse, your partition or hard drive will become raw.

  • Improper removal of external storage devices without safe permission.

  • File transferring, uploading and downloading. Zero byte file may be caused by Incompletely file downloading via Web or file transfer protocol client, or incorrectly transmitting email attachment.

  • Save the file with empty content.

  • Corrupted index table in the file system.

  • Computer cannot handle files or folders with extremely long name.

When you encounter 0 byte file issue, there is no need to worry as there are recovery methods available to 0 byte file recovery. You can try the following methods.

Method 1: Recover 0 Byte Files with File Extensions

Changing the File Extensions can be helpful to solve files and folders showing 0 byte or 0KB issue.

To restore 0 byte file with file extension, use the following steps:

Step 1. Open properties. Right-click on the storage device or its partition,then choose the Properties option.

Step 2. Check file history error. In the properties window, click the Check button in the Tools menu, tick Automatically fix file system errors and then click Start button.

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Step 3. Click the Close button to exit.

Step 4. Rename the FOUND.000 file. Go to This PC, open the storage device or its partition, type FOUND.000 in the address field, then rename this file with the same name and extension as o byte file. And save the file in a separate hard drive partition.

Step 5. Open the file and see if there are any content.

Method 2: Recover Zero Byte Files with CMD

You can also make use of CMD to recover 0 byte files if your important files suddenly start showing a file size of 0 byte.

To restore 0 byte file back, see detailed steps below:

Step 1. Open cmd. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Win + R keys together, then type cmd in the Run dialog box and pressing Enter.

Step 2. Type chkdsk /f g: and then press Enter. (The parameter g is the name of the storage device or partition of the hard drive that holds the 0 byte file.)

CMD Recovery

Step 3. Wait for 0 byte file recovery result and use your file again.

Backup Your Disk After Recovering 0 Byte Files

After 0 kb file recovery, it is highly recommended to make a disk image backup with AOMEI Backupper. If you just want to backup important data, you can choose to backup files as instead. With a backup in hand, you can avoid this problem and restore files from backup no matter what happened.

AOMEI Backupper Professional is free and reliable backup and restore software which can be applied to Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista and supports system backup, disk backup, partition backup and file backup. This software support multiple backup storages, such as, USB drive, external hard drive, SSD, internal hard drive, NAS, cloud drive, etc.

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If you are afraid of forgetting to create a backup at regular, you can enable schedule backup and select one of the settings under general or advanced tab, such as, daily backup, event-trigger backup, incremental or differential backup. Also, you can combine both general and advanced settings, for example, daily incremental backup.

Schedule Settings General

Note: If you are not sure which backup type you should choose, you can keep reading below to learn details.
Daily, weekly, monthly backup: This feature is used to help you backup disk or files per day, week, month. You can choose the interval you like.
Event-trigger backup: This feature is used to backup disk or files at a specific event, such as, User Logon, System Shutdown, and so on.
USB plug in: This feature is designed for USB drive and this software will automatically backup disk or files at the next time if you create a schedule backup with “USB Plug in” feature.
Incremental or differential backup: Both features are very similar and only backup changed files or folders after the first full backup. It can help you save disk space and backup time.

Backup scheme is indispensable for schedule backup. As time goes by, you will have more and more backups and your disk will run out of space sooner or later. To get rid of this issue, you can enable backup scheme to delete backup files at a specific role.

Enable Backup Scheme

Reading here, you may get that backup is very necessary for you to protect your files from being damaged. If you still don’t have any backup, just download AOMEI Backupper Professional and backup entire disk or just important files.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.