MB to GB

If you want to convert MB to GB then you have come to the right site. But let’s be clear straight away about MB in GB, the unit of data “megabyte” has more than one meaning, so if you want to convert megabytes to gigabytes then it really depends if a MB stands for 10002 or 10242 bytes (B), basically whether a kilobyte (kB) has 1000 B or 1024 B. Read on to learn all you need to know about megabytes to gigabytes.

The International Electrotechnical Commission IEC in 1998 defined 1 MB as 1000000 (106) bytes, and since then this standard had been widely adopted by international organizations including, but not limited to the International System of Units. Along the same lines, a gigabyte is 1000000000 (109) bytes.

The prefix “kilo” means one thousand, whereas the prefix “mega” denotes one million, or 10002. Then, “giga” prepended before a unit stands for 10003. With that in mind we can see that MB to GB is always a thousand times less, as one gigabyte has 1000 megabytes. And a kilobyte is 1/1000 of a MB by definition.

However, the term megabyte continues to be extensively used with different meanings: Microsoft Windows for example postulates 1 MB is 1048576 bytes, which is 10242 Bytes, or 220 B in base 2. The idea behind it is that bytes are naturally computed in powers of two and should be expressed the same way. In strict terms however, 1048576 bytes make up a mebibyte (MiB) as proposed by IEC in 1998 as well. In contrast, a megabyte (MB) comprises of 10002 B digital information or storage.

Generally speaking, hard storage manufacturers such as for disks, DVDs and flash drives measure their products in multiples of 1000000 or in multiples of 1000000000 bytes, that is in megabytes or in gigabytes. (Yet, some vendors including Microsoft stick with 1 MB = 1048576 bytes. This is why a hard disk on a Windows computer labeled 500 GB of storage by the vendor shows only 465.66 GB when attached.)

Volatile storage like RAM on the other hand is usually labeled “MB” or “GB”, too, but the meaning is multiples of 1048576 bytes or multiples of 1073742033 bytes, that is mebibytes (MiB) or gibibytes (GiB). Designed to replace megabyte, the terms mebibyte and gibibyte have not yet found widespread use in daily life though, and the same is true for kibibyte, the underlying 1024 B unit.

We have already discussed the base 10 definition in which a MB has 1000000 bytes or 1000 kilobytes (106 B = 10002 B) and the 1 MB = 1048576 bytes definition which can be referred to as both, base 2 (220 B) as well as base 1024 (10242 B). However, there is even a third means to express the digital data capacity:

Known as mixed definition and used in the old age of 1.44 MB 3.5“ floppy disks (1474560 bytes of storage) for example, 1 MB means 1000 * 1024 Bytes, which adds up to 1024000 bytes. The mixed definition has only been listed for the sake of completeness – it’s rarely ever used any more so we haven’t incorporated it into our MB to GB converter below.

How many MB in a GB?

If you entered How many MB in a GB in the search engine then you may have been redirected to us. If you have read the sections above about MB in GB then you are aware that when you convert MB into GB then you have to take into account the kind of data storage under consideration, soft or hard, as well as some vendor exceptions. We stick with the official definitions. Using our MB to GB converter below, you know which is which.

MB to GB converter

To make a MB to GB conversion enter the value in megabytes using a decimal point for fractions and hit convert. Our MB to GB calculator accepts either megabyte, gigabyte, mebibyte or gibibyte as input, and automatically converts the input into all other multiples of byte.


Units of Digital Information

By now, you have read a lot about MB in GB, but what are Bits, Bytes, Megabytes …? Here’s in a nutshell what you need to know about the basic unit of digital information, along with an overview its multiples.

A bit is the basic digital unit, used to represent two states of information, such as 1 or 0, and yes or no. Bit stands for binary digit, the symbol is b, lowercase.

A byte is a unit of digital information usually consisting of eight bits, representing 256 states of information from 0 through 255 such as letters and numbers. The symbol is B, uppercase. Think of a byte as the storage capacity of a single character, or ten bytes for a word. Hundred bytes would then accommodate to store a sentence of average length.

A kilobyte is a multiple of the unit byte. The prefix “kilo” denotes thousand. So, the kilobyte comprises of 1000 bytes of storage or date. The symbol is kB, k lowercase, B uppercase. If 100 bytes can hold a sentence, a kilobyte would approximately be a paragraph. Assumed a page has ten paragraphs, then 100 kilobytes make up the entire page in a text. A kibibyte (KiB) on the other hand means 1024 bytes; the prefix “kibi” stand for 210.

A megabyte has 1 million bytes, or 1000 kilobytes. The “mega” prefix denotes 106. The symbol is MB, uppercase. Sometimes, Mbyte, is used, too. When 100 kB are the size of an average page, then a megabyte can store ten thousand pages of text, which are many books. The equivalent of a megabyte in base 2 terms is a mebibyte (MiB), 1048576 bytes = 1024 kibibytes. The “mebi” prefix denotes 220.

A gigabyte (GB) has 10003 = 109 bytes as “giga” denotes 109. Nowadays, storage capacity has increased beyond gigabytes to terabytes even on home computers. A gigabyte is enough to store 300 times the number of pages found in the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, hardbound edition of 2010, which comprises of 32,640 pages. The gigabyte equivalent with binary prefix is gibibyte (GiB), 1024 mebibytes or 1073741824 bytes, gibi denoting 230.

A terabyte (TB) is 10004 = 1012 bytes. That’s a 1 followed by 12 zeroes number of bytes. Doing the math, we can see that a terabyte of text stored is about the content of an entire library. To the terabyte in base 10 corresponds the tebibyte (TB) in base 2: 1024 gibibytes or 1099511627776 bytes; “tebi” stands for 240.

Beyond terabyte, the multiples of byte are:

A petabyte (PB) is 10005 = 1015 bytes / pebibyte (PiB), 250 B
An exabyte (EB) 10006 = 1018 bytes / exbibyte (EiB), 260 B
A zettabyte (ZB) 10007 = 1021 bytes / zebibyte (ZiB), 270 B
A yottabyte (YB) 10008 = 1024 bytes / yobibyte (YiB), 280 B

About MB in GB

The idea about this site MB to GB came up when I bought a second hard disk and inserted it to my Windows 7 based PC. The amount of storage on the label was not exactly compared to what I saw on free space, which was quite confusing. So it started to do some research on MB to GB and figured out that hard disk drives as well as DVDs, CD ROMs and flash devices for example go with 1 MB = 1000000 B, whereas for volatile storage including Random Access Memory such DRAM, SRAM, DDR RAM as vendors use the 1 MB = 1048576 B equation. The difference is not much, in stark contrast to the confusion, especially for Microsoft operating systems calculating disk space in gibibyte by definition, but labeling it in GB.

Disk Capacity on Windows 7

So I decided to make a comprehensive website about MB to GB in order for visitors have all the information they need, along with a useful MB to GB converter which also accepts binary prefix byte values. If you have any questions or feedback, they are really appreciated! Just use the comment form below or send me an email. If you are happy about my website please hit the like and +1 buttons, and let the world know about MB to GB. Thanks for your visit, and don’t forget to bookmark mbtogb.com as MB to GB.

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One comment on “MB to GB
  1. Dwayne Frost says:

    Well thank you you figured out my problem and I would like to thank you for that because I needed a MB to GB – MB in GB

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