“I recently saw that some of my files have been reduced to 0 bytes when they obviously shouldn’t be. Why does this happen and how do I fix it?”
Noticing a file that has a size of 0 bytes when it should clearly have a much larger size is, for most people, startling. Your first thought might be that your precious files are gone but this isn’t necessarily the case. 0 bytes means that a file is empty/has no contents, but this isn’t the same as no size being shown at all – don’t confuse these two errors. Thankfully it’s possible to restore 0 byte files in Windows 10/8/7 and we’re going to show you how.
Learning about an error and what causes it is always a good idea. It gives you an insight into why it occurred and in turn, might give you a quick realisation that helps you fix it without further help. For the 0 bytes file size there are plenty of things that could cause it:
Sudden Power Loss: Whether there was a power cut or you forcibly turned off your computer, sudden loss of power can indirectly corrupt data.
Corrupt Partition: Storage devices use “partitions” and if a file is stored on a corrupt partition, it won’t be readable.
Incorrect Disconnect: External storage devices can’t be disconnected too quickly or while a file transfer is taking place. Doing this will risk corrupting the data being transferred and if that happens, it’ll display as 0 bytes.
Viruses or Malware: If your computer has malware or a virus which targets user files, any files affected by the attack will corrupt and become 0 byte files.
One thing these all have in common is corruption – there’s a small chance of Windows simply not displaying the correct file size, but corruption is usually the concern.
After learning the possible reasons that cause 0 byte files, you may want to know how to fix this error. Here are 3 solutions that may help you deal with this issue. Follow the solutions below to restore your 0 byte files.
When a virus is wreaking havoc on your computer the best thing to do is run an anti-virus scan using the protection software you have installed. The majority of viruses/malware will be detected by anti-virus almost instantly, but every so often there are dangerous files that aren’t picked up.
So first of all, use your anti-virus software to run a scan and see what it finds. If there aren’t any threatening files found but you’re certain of a virus, try this manual approach instead.
Step 1 – Press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC to open the Task Manager.
Step 2 – In the Processes tab, scroll down to find and select SYSWIN, and click “End Task”.
Step 3 – Next, go to the Start-up tab and find SYSWIN again.
Step 4 – Click the start-up process and disable it, then right-click it and click “Open File”.
Step 5 – Delete the file which you’re taken to and this will remove the virus.
Don’t see the SYSWIN file? If your folder settings are set to hide hidden files, enable them by:
Searching “Show hidden files and folders” and clicking the main result.
Enabling “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, clicking “Apply” then “OK”.
Step 6 – Navigate to the C: drive’s root folder and delete the “BOOT” folder.
Step 7 – Search and launch the “Registry Editor” app and within “HKEY_CLASSES_BOOT”, locate SYSMWIN and remove it to prevent an identical attack in the future.
This might seem like a lot to take in to learn how to restore 0 byte files in Windows 10/8/7, and somewhat technical, but it has proven to be an effective approach.
Another thing you can do is modify the file extension of a disk repair file that is generated using the error-checking tool. The extension of the 0 byte file doesn’t matter because this fix isn’t limited to specific formats.
Step 1 – Go to the This PC menu, right-click on the external storage device, and select “Properties”.
Step 2 – In the “Tools” menu click “Check now…” and if an admin prompt appears, click “Yes”.
Step 3 – On the new menu that appears, check the “Automatically fix file system errors” option and click “Start”.
Step 4 – After the scan begins, click on the window’s red X and then “Cancel”. Let this scan run in the background for a few minutes before continuing.
Step 5 – Now go to This PC and double-click the storage device. In the explorer’s search bar enter “FOUND.000” and rename this file so that it has the same name and extension as the 0 byte file.
Ideally, once you’re done using this fix you should do a format of the external storage device. In addition, because a format is somewhat needed, it’s only a good idea to try this approach on external storage devices instead of internal hard drives.
The third thing you can try to recover 0 byte files in Windows 10/8/7 is the Command Prompt. A lot of users shy away from using this app because it appears more technical than it actually is, but if the previous fixes haven’t yielded the results you were hoping for then it’s definitely worth your time to see if these steps restore 0 byte files.
Step 1 – Search “Command Prompt” in the taskbar’s search menu, right-click the top result, and click “Run as Administrator”.
Step 2 – In the app’s command line, enter the command “CHKDSK /F D:”, and replace the letter D with whatever drive the 0 byte file is stored on.
Step 3 – This will run a scan and if there are file errors, they will be repaired.
With this quick and easy command, we can analyse a storage drive, check if there are any system errors lingering, and repair them instantly.
As useful as it is to try those methods to recover 0 byte files in Windows 10/8/7, the best way that ensures the highest chance of recovery is to use AnyRecover. This multi-purpose data recovery solution - AnyRecover can recover any file in any situation and does so safely.
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Recovers 0 byte media, documents, and most other file formats.
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Step 1: Download and install AnyRecover, launch it. Open the program, then select a disk under the “Hard Disk Drives” tab.
Step 2: After selecting the disk drive where you stored 0 byte files, hit “Start” button to start scanning. Allow the program to do all-round scan for lost data.
Step 3: After the scan results appear, use the folder views on the left menu to locate the 0 byte files and select them. Click on the “Recover” button and choose a folder to restore the original 0 byte files to (make sure the folder is different from where the file was corrupted).
Hopefully, it’s now clear that fixing the 0 bytes file size error is possible as well as being able to restore 0 byte files in Windows 10/8/7. There’s no doubt about the fact that seeing an important file suddenly have this file size is distressing, but AnyRecover is the best program you can download and use to retrieve the lost data effortlessly.
By Simon Marcus , to Hard Drive Recovery
Posted on Dec 10, 2019 ( Updated: Jun 01, 2020 )