3 Ways to Fix ‘Mac Files Show Zero Bytes’ Error

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by Robert on May 31, 2024 | Approved by Christian Cawley

It always happens that Mac files show zero bytes after reboot or all of a sudden. The fact is, there is content in the 0 bytes file on Mac. You can open the file, learning it is a normal file. It is not empty at all. In this case, you might be wondering why Mac files how zero bytes in file size and how to fix this error. There are 3 ways to fix Mac files show zero bytes error.

  1. Quit different programs.
  2. The Mac files might be opened or used by two or more programs simultaneously, which might cause the Finder to show the files are 0 bytes. You might say you haven’t opened the files with different programs at all. Why does it happen? The programs might be opened once you start your Mac. In this case, you should quit the programs first, then check whether the Mac files still show zero bytes or not. Many people have tried this way, and it works.

  3. Make a copy of the zero bytes files
  4. As I have mentioned, though it shows 0 bytes in Finder for the folder or files, there is content. The 0-byte files are normal files. In this case, you just need to open them one by one, then create new files by copying and pasting the files. After then, you can feel free to delete the 0 bytes files on Mac.

  5. Fix hard drive/partition showing 0 bytes.
  6. If a partition or hard drive shows 0 bytes, but there are files there, then you should consider that the file system data structure is corrupted. In this case, you should run the First Aid in Disk Utility to repair that volume.

    1. Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock > Find Disk Utility and click it.
    2. Click View > Show All Devices.
    3. In the sidebar, select a volume > click First Aid > Run to check and fix the error. Repeat this process to fix all volumes.
    4. In the sidebar, select a container > click First Aid > Run to check and fix the error there. Repeat this process to fix all containers.
    5. in the sidebar, select a hard drive > click First Aid > Run to check and fix an error for the hard drive.

    After fixing errors in volumes, partitions, and hard drives, then the 0 bytes error for Mac files might be fixed.

The above-mentioned 3 ways are the proven useful ways to fix files show zero bytes error on Mac. You can try them one by one to solve the problem.

However, there is another situation "removing 0 bytes unconsciously". Since "Mac files show zero bytes file size", many people might think the files or folder must be a duplicate and useless. They delete the mac files which show 0 bytes, which of course, might get the file deleted permanently. After then, they realize they have made a mistake. What to do to restore deleted 0 bytes of Mac files?

No matter what you delete from your Mac, you should notice, that it is not gone right away. It is still in the original folder but marked as useless, inaccessible, and invisible. In this case, you should make use of data recovery software to scan the folder or hard drive, display the deleted files, and let you decide whether to recover them or not.

iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is a professional file recovery tool specially developed to run on Mac to recover files from Mac internal hard disks as well as connected external hard drives. It is free to download, scan, and display recoverable files, and lets you preview and get wanted files back. Here are the steps for how to use it to restore the mistakenly deleted so-called Mac zero-byte files.

  1. Download and install the best recovery software for Mac. It’s free to download and install. Make sure you have enabled system preferences such as "install apps from App Store and identified source".
  2. Run it on your Mac. In the first window, undo unwanted file types and click the "Start" button
  3. Next, select the hard drive from where you have deleted the zero-byte Mac files to scan. Click it and click "Scan".
  4. Wait for the scanning process to finish, then check the scanning result. You can go to the directory, and target the file path to find the recoverable files.
  5. Select the found files, and open them to preview, making sure what you will recover is what you need.
  6. Select needed files and click "Recover" to save them to a new location on Mac, not in the original folder where they were deleted.

When Mac files show zero bytes error, what you need to do is to fix this error and not delete the files. Any deletion will cause a data loss issue. Just make sure what you delete is useless.

Frequently Asked Questions for Mac Files Show Zero Bytes

  1. How do I fix 0 bytes on Mac?
  2. 3 methods you can try: quit all programs, open and copy the 0 bytes file content for creating new copies, and run Disk Utility to fix the partition or hard drive.

  3. Why does my file say 0 bytes?
  4. There are many unsure reasons, like system errors, update errors, hard drive/partition file system corruptions, or the file being opened by different programs at the same time.

  5. Can I delete zero-byte files?
  6. Yes, you can delete zero-byte files. Before you delete them, open them to check whether they contain the content you need. If you’re not sure whether the content is useful, my suggestion is instead of deleting them, keep them.

  7. How do I fix 0 bytes on a hard drive?
  8. Run the First Aid in Disk Utility to scan and fix the hard drive. Generally, it will work. If not, the last resort is formatting the hard drive, which of course, might cause a data loss issues. You can try your luck to run iBeesoft Mac data recovery software to rescue the formatted hard drive data.