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How to Convert Strings to bytes in Python

In this tutorial let’s learn about How to Convert Strings to bytes in Python.

A byte object is a collection of bytes. These byte objects are machine-readable and can be saved directly to disc. Strings, on the other hand, are human-readable and must be encoded in order to be stored on a disc.

There are various types of encodings that can be used to map text to disc. The ASCII and UTF-8 encoding systems are the most widely used. ​

Convert strings to bytes Python

Converting Python strings to Bytes has grown in popularity since Python 3’s introduction. This is partly due to the fact that many file management and machine learning approaches necessitate conversion. Before we get into how to convert them, it’s important to understand what they are and how they differ.

Strings and bytes were the same type in Python 2; however, after the introduction of Python 3, Byte objects are regarded to be a sequence of bytes, whereas strings are believed to be a sequence of characters. In essence, strings are human-readable and must be transformed to byte objects before they can be machine-readable. This conversion also allows the data to be saved directly on the disc.

There are different methods for converting Python strings to bytes; however, we will focus on the most frequent and basic methods.

  1. Using bytes() Constructor
  2. Using encode() Method

Convert String to bytes using bytes() Constructor in Python

The generic bytes function can be used to convert a string to bytes. To convert a string to bytes, we may use Python’s built-in Bytes class: simply supply the string as the first parameter to the constructor of Bytes class followed by the encoding as the second argument.

Syntax for bytes()

bytes(string, encoding)

It raises a TypeError if we doesn’t specify any encoding to the bytes function.

Code Example :

string = 'Python string example'

# bytes()
bytes_string = bytes(string, 'utf-8')

print('type :',type(bytes_string))

Output :

b’Python string example’
type : <class ‘bytes’>

Convert String to bytes using encode() in Python

In Python, the encode function of the string class might also be used to transform a string to bytes. It has one advantage over the previous way in that it does not require you to declare the encoding if your target encoding is utf-8.

The encode function is the best suggested technique for doing this work because it eliminates one extra linking to a specific library, which this function directly calls.

Syntax for encode()

string.encode(encoding=encoding, errors=errors)


Encoding – The encoding method you are looking to use. UTF-8 has become the default from Python 3

Error – A string containing the error message.

Both are optional parameters

Code Example :

string = 'String to bytes'

# encode()
bytes_string = string.encode(encoding = 'UTF-8')
print('type :',type(bytes_string))

#printing individual bytes
for bytes in bytes_string:
    print(bytes, end = ' ')

Output :

b’String to bytes’
type : <class ‘bytes’>

83 116 114 105 110 103 32 116 111 32 98 121 116 101 115

To convert back from bytes to string here the following article How to Convert Bytes to String in Python .


In this tutorial we learnt different ways to convert a string to bytes and below are the observations.

  1. Both ways efficiently address the same problem, and selecting one method over the other is a matter of personal preference. However for beginners, I would recommend the second method.
  2. The byte() method returns an object that cannot be changed. As a result, if you need a changeable object, consider using bytearray().
  3. The object must have a size of 0 <=x < 256 when utilizing the byte() method.

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