Skip to main content

GB to GiB Converter

Manufacturers use GB to label storage devices, whereas operating systems measure them in GiB. And this creates confusion. Use this simple tool to convert GB to GiB and vice versa.

Here's a quick GB to GiB converter.

Enter either field and it instantly converts the other field.

What's the difference between GB and GiB?

GB is GigaByte, whereas GiB is Gibibyte. The main difference is that GB follows the metrics systems and is equal to 1,000³ bytes (1,000,000,000 bytes). At the same time, GiB follows the binary system and is equal to 1,024³ bytes (1,073,741,824 bytes). This way, 1 GB roughly equals 0.93 GiB.

Storage device manufacturers and operating systems differ

This confusion often comes when you have a storage device. Let's say you get a disk that promises 1 TB. When you plug it in, your operating system only shows around 931 "GB".

When the storage device manufacturer mentions 1 TB, it means 1000 GB or, to be more precise 1012 bytes. That's because they are counting it in the decimal system.

But the operating system is a computer and things are in binary here. Every thing is counted in the power of 2. 1 TB for an OS is 1024 GB or 240 bytes to be more precise.

Where did GiB come from? Was it not always GB?

The confusion starts because of the use of terms like kilo, mega, giga, tera etc in computing.

In the normal metric system, kilo equals 1,000, mega equals 1000 kilo, giga equals 1000 kilo and so on.

In the initial days of computing, storage was scarce. Things were in the binary system and when it reached 210 bytes which was 1024 byte, the value was close to a kilo (1000). So people in computing field started calling it a kilo (KB).

When they reached 1024x1024 bytes i.e. 1024x1KB, they called it a megabyte (MB) as a mega is equal to 1000 kilos.

And so, the computing world created a parallel measuring system where a kilo was not 1000 but 1024.

This all went fine until the computing reached normal people for whom a kilo meant 1000.

Thus, the confusion started about whether 1 KB meant 1000 bytes or 1024 bytes.

So International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), suggested different units for computing with Kibibyte (KiB), Mibibyte (MiB), Gibibyte (GiB), Tebibyte (TiB) for the binary system.

Table of comparison

Measuring Unit Byte
Kilobyte (kB) 1,000¹ = 1,000
Megabyte (MB) 1,000² = 1,000,000
Gigabyte (GB) 1,000³ = 1,000,000,000
Terabyte (TB) 1,000⁴ = 1,000,000,000,000
Petabyte (PB) 1,000⁵ = 1,000,000,000,000,000
Measuring Unit Byte
Kibibyte (KiB) 1,024¹ = 1,024
Mebibyte (MiB) 1,024² = 1,048,576
Gibibyte (GiB) 1,024³ = 1,073,741,824
Tebibyte (TiB) 1,024⁴ = 1,099,511,627,776
Pebibyte (PiB) 1,024⁵ = 1,125,899,906,842,620

I hope things are a bit clear now and you understand the difference between GB-GiB, KB-KiB, MB-MiB better.