A floppy disk, also called a floppy, diskette, or just disk, is a type of disk storage composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic enclosure lined with fabric that removes dust particles. Floppy disks are read and written by a floppy disk drive (FDD).
Floppy disks, initially as 8-inch (200 mm) media and later in 5¼-inch (133 mm) and 3½-inch (90 mm) sizes, were a ubiquitous form of data storage and exchange from the mid-1970s into the first years of the 21st century. By 2006 computers were rarely manufactured with installed floppy disk drives; 3½-inch floppy disks can be used with an external USB floppy disk drive, but USB drives for 5¼-inch, 8-inch, and non-standard diskettes are rare to non-existent. These formats are usually handled by older 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floppy disk drives still have some limited uses, especially with legacy industrial computer equipment, they have been superseded by data storage methods with much greater capacity, such as USB flash sticks, flash storage cards, portable external hard disk drives, optical discs, and storage available through computer networks.