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How Much Will That Hold?

Saturday, January 7th, 2017 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, File & Disk Management, Hardware & Peripherals

One of the most common questions we get around here is just how much of a particular file a specific size of a storage device like a flash drive, memory card, or external hard drive will hold. Some of you are concerned about the size of Word documents, eBooks, or photographs, movies, or music files. So I thought I’d break down how many of several common file types these storage devices will hold.

Let’s start with something I’ve see a lot of questions about: eBooks. I’ve had more than one person tell me they’re worried that their computer can’t hold a 400-page eBook. In reality, eBooks don’t take up very much space at all.  The numbers below are an average size for entire eBooks, not just the number of pages.

  • 4GB –1600
  • 16GB – 6,400
  • 32BG – 12,800
  • 64GB- 25,600
  • 256 GB – 102,400
  • 1 TB- 400,000

Up next is another file that doesn’t take up a tremendous amount of space, Word files. If you’re using plain text, you’ll get even more space. Documents with photos, sound, or interactive elements will take up more space.


  • 4GB –520,000
  • 16GB – 2,080,000
  • 32BG – 4,160,000
  • 64GB- 8,320,000
  • 256 GB – 33,280,000
  • 1 TB- 130,000,000

An important use of external storage is for backups.  Here’s how many complete backups you could expect to get on some common-sized drives.


  • 32BG – 1
  • 64GB- 2
  • 256 GB –9
  • 1 TB- 32

Photos are probably the item I get asked the most questions about. Let’s check out the numbers for a 12MP image.

  • 4GB –1000
  • 16GB – 4000
  • 32BG – 8,000
  • 64GB- 16,000
  • 256 GB – 64,000
  • 1 TB- 256,000

A 12 MP image is pretty large. You can blow that up to a 16″ by 20″ without losing any resolution. If you willing to stick to an 8MP image, which can be enlarged to up to 11″ by 14″ without losing quality, you can store quite a few more photos.

  • 4GB –1500
  • 16GB – 6000
  • 32BG – 12,000
  • 64GB- 24,000
  • 256 GB – 96,000
  • 1 TB- 384,000

The same holds true for video. If you want to store 4K video, you won’t fit a lot of movies on a drive.

  • 16GB – 1
  • 32BG – 2
  • 64GB- 5
  • 256 GB – 21
  • 1 TB-  83

For compressed MP4 movies, you’ll get a few more.

  • 4GB –3
  • 16GB –14
  • 32BG – 28
  • 64GB- 56
  • 256 GB – 224
  • 1 TB- 896

When it comes to MP3 files, it’s not hard to back up your whole music library.

  • 4GB –1038
  • 16GB –4151
  • 32BG – 8302
  • 64GB- 16,605
  • 256 GB – 66,418
  • 1 TB- 265,672

I hope this helps.

~ Cynthia

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