Skip to content

Binary data#

Binary data is any file-type data, such as image files or documents.

This page collects resources relating to binary data in n8n.

Working with binary data in your workflows#

You can process binary data in n8n workflows. n8n provides nodes to help you work with binary data. You can also use code.


There are three key nodes dedicated to handling binary data files:

There are separate nodes for working with XML and HTML data:

And nodes for performing common tasks:

You can trigger a workflow based on changes to a local file using the Local File trigger.

To split or concatenate binary data items, use the data transformation nodes.


You can use the Code node to manipulate binary data in your workflows. For example, Get the binary data buffer: get the binary data available in your workflow.

Configure binary data mode when self-hosting#

You can configure how your self-hosted n8n instance handles binary data using the Binary data environment variables. This includes tasks such as setting the storage path and choosing how to store binary data.

Your configuration affects how well n8n scales: Scaling | Binary data filesystem mode.

Reading and writing binary files can have security implications. If you want to disable reading and writing binary data, use the NODES_EXCLUDE environment variable. Refer to Environment variables | Nodes for more information.