Ask Difference

Size vs. Size on Disk — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 28, 2023
Size indicates the actual data content of a file; Size on Disk shows how much storage space it consumes on a disk, influenced by the disk's allocation unit.
Size vs. Size on Disk — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Size and Size on Disk

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Key Differences

Size refers to the actual amount of data that a file contains. Size on Disk, on the other hand, represents the space that file occupies on the storage device, which may be greater than the file's actual data size.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
When looking at a file's properties, the Size value will tell you the exact amount of data in that file. The Size on Disk value might differ due to how storage devices allocate space in blocks or sectors. A file might not use an entire block, but it still reserves that whole block, impacting the Size on Disk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
Understanding the difference between Size and Size on Disk can help in assessing storage efficiency. If there's a significant disparity between these values, it might indicate that a lot of storage space is being wasted due to the disk's allocation unit size.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023
Both Size and Size on Disk are crucial metrics. Size provides a straightforward measure of the data contained in a file, while Size on Disk gives insights into storage management and efficiency on a disk or drive.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

Actual data content of a file
Space a file occupies on a storage device
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Nov 28, 2023
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Determined By

File content
Disk's allocation units and file content
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Nov 28, 2023

Storage Implication

Reflects direct data quantity
Reflects storage efficiency and allocation
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Nov 28, 2023

Can they be the same?

Yes, especially with exact block or sector fit
Yes, but often larger due to allocation overhead
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Nov 28, 2023

Relevance

Helps understand file's data volume
Helps understand disk storage utilization
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Nov 28, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Size

Size denotes the magnitude or dimensions of something.
The size of the shirt is medium.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size on Disk

Size on Disk gives an understanding of storage efficiency.
The size on disk value showed there was some wasted space.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size

Size can refer to the extent of an area or surface.
The size of the room was impressive.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size on Disk

Size on Disk can differ from the actual content size.
Although the document had little content, its size on disk was substantial.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size

Size might refer to a specific category of magnitude.
The shoe is available in various sizes.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size on Disk

Size on Disk is influenced by factors like file system and disk fragmentation.
After defragmenting, the size on disk of the files became more optimized.
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Oct 16, 2023

Size

The physical dimensions, proportions, magnitude, or extent of an object.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size on Disk

Size on Disk considers the allocation units of a storage device.
The image's size on disk was impacted by the disk's sector allocation.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size

Any of a series of graduated categories of dimension whereby manufactured articles, such as shoes and clothing, are classified.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size on Disk

Size on Disk describes the storage space a file takes on a drive.
The file's size on disk was larger than I expected.
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Oct 16, 2023

Size

Considerable extent, amount, or dimensions
A debt of enormous size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Relative amount or number, as of population or contents
What size is Cleveland?.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Character, value, or status with reference to relative importance or the capacity to meet given requirements
Try this proposal on for size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

The actual state of affairs
That's about the size of the situation.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Any of several gelatinous or glutinous substances usually made from glue, wax, or clay and used as a glaze or filler for porous materials such as paper, cloth, or wall surfaces.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To arrange, classify, or distribute according to size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To make, cut, or shape to a required size.
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Size

To treat or coat with size or a similar substance.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Sized. Often used in combination
Bite-size appetizers.
An economy-size package.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

An assize.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(obsolete) A regulation determining the amount of money paid in fees, taxes etc.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(obsolete) A fixed standard for the magnitude, quality, quantity etc. of goods, especially food and drink.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

The dimensions or magnitude of a thing; how big something is.
The size of the building seemed to have increased since I was last there.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(obsolete) A regulation, piece of ordinance.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A specific set of dimensions for a manufactured article, especially clothing.
I don't think we have the red one in your size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(graph theory) A number of edges in a graph.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Degree of rank, ability, character, etc.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, used for measuring the size of pearls
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A thin, weak glue used as primer for paper or canvas intended to be painted upon.
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Size

Wallpaper paste.
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Size

The thickened crust on coagulated blood.
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Size

Any viscous substance, such as gilder's varnish.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(transitive) To adjust the size of; to make a certain size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(transitive) To classify or arrange by size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(military) To take the height of men, in order to place them in the ranks according to their stature.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(mining) To sift (pieces of ore or metal) in order to separate the finer from the coarser parts.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To approximate the dimensions, estimate the size of.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(intransitive) To take a greater size; to increase in size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(transitive) To apply glue or other primer to a surface which is to be painted.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Six.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A thin, weak glue used in various trades, as in painting, bookbinding, paper making, etc.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Any viscous substance, as gilder's varnish.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A settled quantity or allowance. See Assize.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

An allowance of food and drink from the buttery, aside from the regular dinner at commons; - corresponding to battel at Oxford.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Extent of superficies or volume; bulk; bigness; magnitude; as, the size of a tree or of a mast; the size of a ship or of a rock.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Figurative bulk; condition as to rank, ability, character, etc.; as, the office demands a man of larger size.
Men of a less size and quality.
The middling or lower size of people.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A conventional relative measure of dimension, as for shoes, gloves, and other articles made up for sale.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

An instrument consisting of a number of perforated gauges fastened together at one end by a rivet, - used for ascertaining the size of pearls.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size

To cover with size; to prepare with size.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To fix the standard of.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To adjust or arrange according to size or bulk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size

To swell; to increase the bulk of.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size

To bring or adjust anything exactly to a required dimension, as by cutting.
We had to size up our fellow legislators.
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

To take greater size; to increase in size.
Our desires give them fashion, and so,As they wax lesser, fall, as they size, grow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size

To order food or drink from the buttery; hence, to enter a score, as upon the buttery book.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 12, 2023

Size

The physical magnitude of something (how big it is);
A wolf is about the size of a large dog
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

The property resulting from being one of a series of graduated measurements (as of clothing);
He wears a size 13 shoe
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Any glutinous material used to fill pores in surfaces or to stiffen fabrics;
Size gives body to a fabric
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

The actual state of affairs;
That's the size of the situation
She hates me, that's about the size of it
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

A large magnitude;
He blanched when he saw the size of the bill
The only city of any size in that area
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Cover or stiffen or glaze a porous material with size or sizing (a glutinous substance)
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Sort according to size
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Make to a size; bring to a suitable size
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

(used in combination) sized;
The economy-size package
Average-size house
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Oct 12, 2023

Size

Size signifies how big or small an entity is.
The size of the dog was intimidating.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 16, 2023

Size

Size can depict the capacity or volume of an object.
The size of the storage box was adequate for the books.
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Oct 16, 2023

Common Curiosities

What does Size on Disk mean in context to storage devices?

Size on Disk shows the space a file occupies on the storage device, considering the disk's allocation units.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can the Size and Size on Disk values be the same for a file?

Yes, especially if the file's data fits exactly into the disk's allocation units.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Why might there be a discrepancy between Size and Size on Disk?

Discrepancies arise due to the way storage devices allocate space in blocks or sectors.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Does defragmenting a disk change the Size on Disk value?

It can optimize storage, potentially reducing the Size on Disk for some files.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

What does Size refer to when speaking about files?

Size refers to the actual amount of data a file contains.
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Nov 28, 2023

Does a larger Size on Disk than Size always indicate wasted space?

Generally, it indicates storage inefficiency, but it's inherent to how disks allocate space.
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Nov 28, 2023

Does the file system type impact Size on Disk?

Yes, different file systems have different allocation unit sizes which can influence Size on Disk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How can I reduce the Size on Disk of a file?

Utilizing disk tools, choosing efficient file systems, or compressing files can help reduce their Size on Disk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Is it beneficial to understand both Size and Size on Disk?

Absolutely, as it aids in assessing data content and storage efficiency.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Does Size impact how quickly a file can be transferred or shared?

Yes, typically a file's transfer speed is influenced by its Size.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Which value is more relevant for assessing available storage space?

Size on Disk is more relevant since it indicates the actual storage space utilized.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

How does disk allocation work in relation to Size on Disk?

Disks allocate space in blocks/sectors, and even if a file doesn't use an entire block, it still occupies it, affecting Size on Disk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Which value should I consider when backing up files?

Consider Size on Disk, as it reflects the storage space you'd need.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

If I compress a file, will it affect both Size and Size on Disk?

Yes, compression reduces both the actual data Size and the Size on Disk.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

Can the Size value be larger than Size on Disk?

Typically no, since Size on Disk accounts for the file size plus any additional allocation overhead.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 28, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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