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How to destroy a floppy disk

Updated February 14, 2019

The term "floppy disk" refers to two types of removable computer storage media. Both 3 1/2-inch and 5 1/4-inch disks are referred to as floppy disks, even though 3 1/2-inch disks are made of a hard plastic. Unfortunately, magnetically erasing a floppy disk or overwriting new information onto the disk is not always adequate to destroy the disk's existing information. Fortunately, it is easy to destroy a floppy disk and ensure that any information contained on it cannot be retrieved.

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  1. Lift the edges of the metal plate at the top of the disk and pull it off the disk.

  2. Remove the metal spring at the top of the disk, between the two plastic halves.

  3. Pull the two plastic halves apart to expose the inside of the disk.

  4. Remove the flat, shiny disk sandwiched between the two pieces of felt. This is the part of the disk that stores information.

  5. Pop the metal core out of the shiny disk.

  6. Cut the disk into small pieces with a pair of scissors or a paper shredder.

  7. Tip

    Large, 5-1/4 inch disks can simply be cut into pieces with a pair of scissors. These disks do not need to be taken apart first.


    Never melt or burn floppy disks because they can release dangerous chemicals when melted.

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Things You'll Need

  • Floppy disk
  • Scissors

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.

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