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The Life Span Of A Flash Drive

Monday, November 17th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Quick Tips

Rosie asks,

How long does a flash drive last (when they are constantly having files either deleted or added)? Once in awhile, I back my info up with an external hard drive. I purchased my first flash drive from WorldStart and I’ve had it almost 8, maybe 9 years. It’s a Mr. Flash and it has 512 MB of space. I have tons of files but I still have 213 MB of space left. I even have it partitioned with a passcode for my most private files.


The life span of a flash drive does not depend on years but more on how many times the flash drive is written to. Flash memory does have a life cycle, anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 write cycles. To be honest, if you’ve had your flash drive for that long, you may find it will “wear out” soon and possibly give you and error, or it may not save your files correctly.


I would suggest, based on the length of time you’ve had the drive and you stating it’s been constantly written to, replacing that drive. Also make sure that you back it up pretty often now if you do not want to lose any of the files. It does sound as if that flash drive may be nearing the of its life span.

– Audra

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2 Responses to “The Life Span Of A Flash Drive”

  1. Keorapeste says:

    Nice tip,I always keep my flash drive a free space to avoid getting full now I wonder if it will still give errors/lose my files after a period of time.

  2. Eva O'Brien says:

    Nice tip, however there is a side factor. I am a 70 yr. who fell in love with flash drives and had one for each topic (ie: health, crafts ideas, family communication etc.) They had been written with .wps on my Toshiba xp computer. When the computer went down from old age, I found my new Toshiba with Windows 7 would not read these. They needed to be written as .docx I took them to the Geek Squad who I thought had fixed the matter for me, but I had to go back a second time to have something installed that could read the .wps

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