What Is the Default Data Type of a PyTorch Tensor?


Angela Bailey

What Is the Default Data Type of a PyTorch Tensor?

When working with PyTorch, understanding the default data type of a tensor is essential for performing accurate computations and achieving optimal results. In this tutorial, we will explore the default data type used by PyTorch tensors and how it affects your machine learning models.

Default Data Type

By default, PyTorch tensors are created with a data type called Float32. This means that all elements within the tensor are represented as 32-bit floating-point numbers. The Float32 data type is commonly used due to its balance between precision and memory efficiency.

PyTorch provides support for various other data types, such as:

  • Float16: Represents 16-bit floating-point numbers. It offers reduced precision compared to Float32 but consumes less memory.
  • Float64: Represents 64-bit floating-point numbers.

    It offers higher precision but consumes more memory compared to Float32.

  • Int8: Represents signed 8-bit integers. It is commonly used in quantization techniques for model compression.
  • Int16: Represents signed 16-bit integers.
  • Int32: Represents signed 32-bit integers.

Changing the Data Type

If you need to change the data type of a tensor, PyTorch provides a simple method called .to(). This method allows you to convert a tensor to a different data type easily. Here’s an example:

import torch

# Create a tensor with default data type (Float32)
tensor = torch.tensor([1, 2, 3])

# Convert the tensor to Int64 data type
tensor_int64 = tensor.to(torch.Int64Tensor)

print(tensor_int64.dtype)  # Output: torch.int64

In the above example, we created a tensor with the default data type (Float32) and then converted it to Int64 using the .to() method. The resulting tensor, tensor_int64, has a data type of Int64.


In this tutorial, we learned about the default data type used by PyTorch tensors, which is Float32. We also explored other available data types and how to change the data type of a tensor using the .

Understanding and managing the data types of your tensors is crucial for successful machine learning applications. Whether you need higher precision or reduced memory consumption, PyTorch provides the flexibility to choose an appropriate data type for your specific requirements.

We hope this tutorial has provided you with a clear understanding of the default data type in PyTorch tensors and how to work with different data types effectively.