Floppy disk
A floppy disk is a disk storage
Disk storage
Disk storage or disc storage is a general category of storage mechanisms, in which data are digitally recorded by various electronic, magnetic, optical, or mechanical methods on a surface layer deposited of one or more planar, round and rotating disks...

 medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage
Magnetic storage
Magnetic storage and magnetic recording are terms from engineering referring to the storage of data on a magnetized medium. Magnetic storage uses different patterns of magnetization in a magnetizable material to store data and is a form of non-volatile memory. The information is accessed using...

 medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles. They are read and written by a floppy disk drive (FDD).

Floppy disks, initially as 8 inch media and later in 5.25 inch and 3.5 inch sizes, were a ubiquitous form of data storage and exchange from the mid-1970s well into the first decade of the 21st century.

By 2010, computer motherboards were rarely manufactured with floppy drive support; " floppies could be used with an external USB drive, but ", 8", and non-standard drives could only be handled by old equipment.

While floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity, such as USB flash drive
USB flash drive
A flash drive is a data storage device that consists of flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus interface. flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than a floppy disk. Most weigh less than 30 g...

s, portable external hard disk drives, optical disc
Optical disc
In computing and optical disc recording technologies, an optical disc is a flat, usually circular disc which encodes binary data in the form of pits and lands on a special material on one of its flat surfaces...

s, memory card
Memory card
A memory card or flash card is an electronic flash memory data storage device used for storing digital information. They are commonly used in many electronic devices, including digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers, MP3 players, and video game consoles...

s, and computer network
Computer network
A computer network, often simply referred to as a network, is a collection of hardware components and computers interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information....


The earliest floppy disks, developed in the late 1960s, were 8 inches (20.3 cm) in diameter; they became commercially available in 1971.
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