What Is the Capacity of a Floppy Disc?

Floppy disks are data storage devices that appeared in the 1970s. When IBM first produced them, they came in flexible packaging. Even though they come in hard packaging now--usually 3.5 square-inch cases--the term "floppy" is still used.

Composition and Use

A floppy disk is made up of a thin sheet of magnetic plastic covered by a sheet of nonmagnetic plastic. Data on a floppy disk can be erased, and the disk can be used again. To be used, a floppy disk requires a floppy disk drive. The capacity of a floppy disk depends on the density of the material of which it's made.

Double-Density Disks

Double-density floppy disk are the less-dense sort of disks, in spite of their name. They can store up to 800 KB (kilobytes) of data.

High-Density Disks

High-density disks offer more storage capacity than double-density disks. They can store up to 1.44 MG (megabytes) of data.


Computer storage is measured in bytes. A kilobyte is equal to 1,024 bytes. A megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes. Thus a high-density disk stores more than 1,000 times more data than a double-density disk.

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About the Author

Steve Greechie has been an information professional and writer for ten years. He holds an MBA, an MA, and an MSLIS. He's published in The Boston Business Journal, The Journal of Business and Finance Librarianship, and many other periodicals, and he contributed to The Core Business Web, which the ALA named the best business reference book of 2003.