How long can a USB flash drive last?

The life expectancy of a USB Flash Drive can be measured by the number of write and erase cycles. If you simply write data to your USB flash drive and put it aside in a safe place for a long while, say a few years, it will work again as soon as you plug it into a compatible device, and all your data will still be there. The number of times reading the stored data in your USB flash drive will not significantly shorten the life expectancy of your usb flash drive.

What if I do write and erase data in my usb flash drive on a regular basis, how long will it last? In general, USB flash drives can withstand between 1,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the memory technology used, mainly the type of chips. Single-Level Cell (SLC) chips have the best data retention with up to 100,000 write/eraser cycles but are most expensive. Trinary-Level Cell (TLC) chips are most affordable but have a much shorter life expectancy with about 1000 write/eraser cycles. If you write and erase files in your usb flash drives once a day, a TLC chip can last about three years. Reading or copying the files in your usb flash drives would not have much impact on the life expectancy of your usb flash drives.

To prolong the life of your flash drive and ensure that it operates properly for years to come, here are some precautions to follow:
1. Cover it with the cap supplied when it is not used, to prevent the accumulation of dusts and contaminants on the chip.
2. Do not expose your flash drive directly under the sun or heat.
3. Never pull the usb flash drive out of the USB port while it is still in operation. In Windows system, always right click the usb drive and select "Eject", before removing it from your computer. Refer to our article "How to safely remove a usb drive when Windows says it's safe to do so" for tips to tackle the most annoying Windows message "this device is currently in use".
4. Do not leave it plugged to the computer for a prolonged period of time. If it is not in use, just unplug it and store it away in a dry and safe place.

All USB flash drives supplied by us are durable and safe to store important documents and files.

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