How to Recover 0 Byte Files in Windows?

Learn how to recover 0 byte files with/without data recovery software using the corresponding methods in this article. You can also get useful tips about 0 byte files.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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What does 0 bytes mean?

A zero-byte file or zero-length file is a computer file containing no data. Precisely, zero-byte files refer to files that have been corrupted or damaged. Despite having file names, these files are unreadable and no longer save any data.


To regain access and usability of these files, you need to recover 0 byte files in Windows 10/11 with the aid of data recovery software or through alternative methods.

What causes 0-byte files?

Typically, most files consist of multiple bytes, kilobytes, or megabytes of data. “So why is my file showing 0 bytes?” This occurrence usually indicates there’s something wrong with its file system or storage device.

Let’s get an overview of the following potential reasons.

Improper shutdown or unexpected power loss: When a PC unexpectedly shuts down during the writing process, the file might become damaged and unreadable.
Improper file transfers, uploads, and downloads: Faulty or incomplete file transfers can create zero-byte files. So it’s necessary to double-check file transfers for accuracy.
Corrupted/damaged partitions: If the saved storage place of your files is a corrupted partition on your computer, zero-byte files may arise.   
Viruses or malicious software: File corruption is likely to occur as your PC is infected with viruses or malware, resulting in zero-byte files.
Failure to eject external storage devices: Improper ejection can cause the occurrence of zero-byte files. After seeing Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media, you’re ready to remove your connected external portable device.
Excessively long file names: Sometimes, files with extremely long names can result in zero-byte files because computers cannot handle files with extremely long filenames.

Part 1. How to recover 0 byte files with ease?

So is it possible to recover 0-byte files? It turns out it is possible. But please note that recovering 0 byte files in Windows 10/11 PCs refers to recovering deleted & lost 0 byte files from computer hard drives instead of fixing corrupted or damaged zero-byte files.

If you’ve deleted zero-byte files from your local hard drives, you’re advised to get them back first because the subsequent repair process might result in data loss.

As stated earlier, data recovery software is the second-to-none choice to recover deleted & missing 0 byte files from local hard drives. Among the available options, professional MyRecover stands out due to its extensive range of features and capabilities.   

Key features of MyRecover: 
All-inclusive: Apply to a variety of data loss scenarios such as deletion, disk formatting, system crashes, or virus attacks.
High-efficiency: Recover 200+ types of files such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, and WPS files, folders, compressed files, photos, audio, songs, videos, and websites from internal & external HDDs, USB sticks, SD cards, etc.   
Advanced scanning method: MyRecover runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. Specify the filename, saved path, date, or size to filter your needed files.
Convenience: Retain the original filename, path, and format for the deleted files.   
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

Don’t hesitate to download and install MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Sever PC!

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Step 1. Launch MyRecover. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted 0 byte files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. MyRecover will automatically scan your selected hard drive and detect all the recoverable files.

You can also preview or filter your needed zero-byte files according to Document Type, Name, Date, or Path.

  • Name: Type the related filenames to locate your desired deleted/lost files quickly. 
  • Date modified: Set a customized date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, etc.)


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and select the files you want. Then click “Recover x files” to start the Windows data recovery process.


After recovery, please remember to store your retrieved files in another drive instead of the original hard drive.
MyRecover can recover your 500MB of files for free. If you desire to recover a large number of deleted & missing files from local hard drives, upgrading MyRecover to the Professional or Technician edition is a more cost-effective choice. 

Part 2. How to recover 0 byte files without software?

In certain scenarios, it is possible to recover 0 byte files Windows 10/11 without relying on data recovery software. Please refer to the following alternative methods.

Solution 1. Use the correct Zip utility

In some cases, incorrect or incompatible Zip utilities can discourage users from opening zero-byte files. So you can use the appropriate Zip tool to see if this issue can be solved or not.

Solution 2. Show hidden files, folders, and drives

Sometimes, your zero-byte files might be invisible to you instead of missing. To recover 0 byte files, please refer to these steps to check & show hidden files, folders, and drives.   

If your Windows 10 show hidden files not working, you can use the attrib/dir command to show hidden files.

Step 1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer > click View > Options.


 Step 2. In the Folder Options interface, click View > Show hidden files, folders, and drives > Apply > OK to save these changes.


Solution 3. Re-upload, re-download, re-send Files

Is there another way to perform 0 byte file recovery? One simple solution is to re-upload, re-download, or re-send the files that have turned into zero bytes. This solution resolves issues caused by improper file transfers.

To illustrate this further, suppose a doctor sends patient images for a checkup, but the link may expire due to improper file transmission, causing zero-byte files. So this doctor needs to resend the files to ensure successful delivery and access to the intended content.

Step 1. Check the previous records that you’ve sent.


Step 2. Check whether the link is expired or not.


Step 3. If it has expired, this doctor will send these files again to recover zero-byte files.

Solution 4. Manual Restoration of 0 byte files by changing the file extension

Another approach to recover zero-byte files is to manually change their file extension, which also can fix JPG that can’t open in Windows 10/11 PCs. Let’s show how it works.

Step 1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer > select the drive that saves your needed zero-byte files > right-click on it > click Properties > Tools > Check.


Step 2. Select “Repair drive” to fix detected disk errors.


Step 3. After the process, open This PC or My Computer and locate the FOUND.000 folder (this folder usually situates in your PC’s root directory).


Step 4. Please tick the option File name extensions in View > right-click the CHK file > change the extension to the original extension of the lost files.


After that, these 0 byte files could be viewed. You can get more details on another page to recover files from Found.000 folder if needed.

Solution 5. Fixing 0 byte files issue using command prompt

File system errors and bad sectors on your hard drive are also blamed for zero-byte files because these errors can prevent you from accessing these files.

To fix this issue, you need to enter CHKDSK with f, /r, /x, or /b parameters to fix errors on the volume.    

Please be aware that running CHKDSK can potentially fix the external hard drive taking a long time to open files issue, but it may also cause data loss.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search bar and select “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Type “chkdsk F: /f /r /x” in the window. Please remember to replace F with the real drive letter of your local hard drive.


Please wait to see this notice: Windows has made corrections to the file system.

Bonus tips: How do I prevent data loss on my hard drive?

Without a doubt, only regular backups are the best data loss prevention measure. If you are bothered by complicated steps and many restrictions of Windows features and prefer more flexible features & easier operation steps, AOMEI Backupper Standard is a good choice for you.

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Step 1. Install and run this free Windows backup software on your Windows PC. Then click Backup > select File Backup.


Step 2. To distinguish your target saved folder from other folders, you’d better create a new task name. Then click the “Add Folder/Add File” button.


Step 3. Select a saved path to save a copy of your desired files.


Step 4. To backup files or folders automatically, click Schedule Backup > to enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, or USB plug in. Please Start Backup if you’ve confirmed all the configured backup settings.


What does 0 bytes mean? What causes 0-byte files? How to recover 0 byte files? Please find the corresponding answers from the respective part.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.