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How to Destroy Floppy Disks — The Best Tips!

How to Destroy Floppy Disks — The Best Tips!

Think floppy disks are obsolete? Not so fast — some still use these old-school storage solutions, including the Pentagon

The floppy disk or diskette as it is sometimes called was first available for commercial use in 1971. It was a thin, flexible, and magnetic disk used to store information.

These small square ‘floppys’ were usually found in two different sizes during their heyday.

So, how do you destroy floppy disks?


How to Destroy Floppy Disks

To destroy floppy disks, you can cut, rip, or burn them. You can also erase the data from the disk and recycle it. Floppy disks are quite vulnerable to damage, particularly when subjected to heat, so you may choose to place your floppy disk in direct sunlight for a prolonged period to ruin the disk.

Got floppy disks? Keep reading to learn more about destroying and disposing of them safely!


Ways to Destroy a Floppy Disk

As mentioned, it is easy to damage a floppy disk — but what about destroying one?

There are numerous ways to destroy a floppy disk, including the following strategies!


Shred It

Shred the Information in your Floppy Disk Before Reusing It
Shred the Information in your Floppy Disk Before Reusing It

If you want to remove information from the diskette before you go any further, you will need to run a shredding program on your computer that is compatible with the floppy disk.

This will rewrite the disk and is often referred to as a secure delete program. The information is erased from the disk, which allows you to safely discard, recycle, or reuse the floppy disk.


Cut It

If you are sure that you do not need the disk any longer, rip it open and cut it up with a pair of regular scissors.

You may want to remove the rectangular metal piece on the front first, as well as remove the spring that is underneath.

Cut irregularly, and the more pieces the better to destroy the disk. Dispose of the leftover shards in the trash or recycle as desired.


Dismantle It

Be careful and use a pair of scissors to open up the diskette. Remove the rectangular metal piece and spring, and then simply start dismantling it.

You might need to be a bit forceful to open it up and break it apart, but it can be a very satisfying experience!


Burn It

Using a burn barrel or metal bin to burn the floppy disk is another way to destroy them. Use a bit of lighter fluid and a long lighter to ignite.

Follow proper safety precautions and keep a fire extinguisher nearby when burning. The fumes may be strong and toxic — after all, you are melting plastic — so do it outside in a well-ventilated spot.

Follow local ordinances regarding burning before starting any fires.

Burn the Floppy Disk to Destroy It
Burn the Floppy Disk to Destroy It


Recycle It

Another option is to recycle your diskettes. Take them to a service or station that specifically indicates that they accept this type of material and technology, as not all do.

You can recycle these on your own by using them in arts and crafts projects — take a look on Pinterest for inspiration!


The Floppy Disk

Floppy disks were the popular method of storing computer data back in the 1970s and 1980s. These diskettes, as they were called, were made of a thin, flexible material sealed in plastic.

They were used in cooperation with a floppy disk drive, a common and necessary feature of the computers of that time.

Over time, the size of the floppy has shrunk and the storage capacity has increased. In the 90s, new forms of technology like zip drives, USB drives, and optical drives, came along and made the floppy obsolete.

That is not to say that floppys are not used anymore. They are but know that they are very susceptible to damage that other storage methods are not.

Things like heat, moisture, and dust can damage a floppy disk, rendering it unreadable.


Frequently Asked Questions about How to Destroy Floppy Disks


How do you destroy floppy disks?

Start by dismantling and taking the floppy disk apart, then break or cut it into pieces. You can also burn the remnants in a fire. If you want to be eco-friendly, consider erasing your data and turning floppy disks into nearby recycling or transfer station.


What’s the best way of ridding floppy discs?

You may cut open a floppy disk with a regular pair of scissors. Pull out the metal center and shred the remainder of your diskette.


How do you clean a floppy disk?

Buy and use a floppy disk cleaner that is specially made to clean your diskettes. Do not touch the read and write heads, for best results, and remember that the floppy disks are vulnerable to moisture.


What are floppy disks used for?

A floppy disk is used to store computer data so that it may be used outside of the computer. Floppy disks are a fairly antiquated technology used to store information in the 1970s and 80s, primarily- though they are still used today!


Who still uses floppy disks?

It is reported that the Pentagon still uses these floppy disks for storage of information related to their operation of nuclear weaponry.


What disadvantages do floppy disks have?

Some of the disadvantages of a floppy disk include its vulnerability to damage, low access time, susceptibility to heat damage, small storage capacity, and the fact that there is newer, more efficient technology available.


Conclusion About How to Destroy Floppy Disks

Got a bunch of floppy disks to destroy? Consider these tips to get rid of them once and for all!

Always try to recycle when possible to reduce the carbon footprint left behind, but know that it is easy enough to dispose of decimated floppy disks widely.

Travis Author Givemegadget

My name is Travis and I am a gadget fan. It started when I received my first Nintendo Entertainment system with 6 years old and never ended. I made it my mission to answer all your gadget questions.