How Long Do External Hard Drives Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 3 To 5 Years

Most people think of hard drives and Solid State Drives (SSDs) when it comes to computer storage. These two types of storage devices differ in how they store data, but both have a common drawback: they can be damaged if one drops their laptop or experiences some other type of impact. 

This is where external hard drives come in. External hard drives are portable hard drives that connect to their laptop or desktop computer. They come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect for backing up data or storing large files that they don’t want to clutter up the computer’s internal drive. 

How Long Do External Hard Drives Last

How Long Do External Hard Drives Last?

Type Duration
External hard drive3-5 years
SSD hard drive10 years

External hard drives provide a convenient way to store one’s data, and one can use them to back up the computer’s files. In addition, one can use external hard drives to store music, movies, and photos.

External hard drives can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years, depending on the quality of the drive and how it is used.

Most external hard drives use spinning disks inside them to store data. Over time, these disks will slowly wear out and eventually fail. 

The more a disk is used, the faster it will wear out. Sometimes, it depends on various factors, including the quality of the drive, how it’s been used, how it’s been treated, and the environment in which it’s stored. However, most external hard drives should last at least three years if used regularly.

Hence, if one uses an external hard drive all the time, it’s likely to fail sooner than if they only use it every once in a while.

Some newer external hard drives use solid-state storage instead of spinning disks. These drives are much more durable and will last longer than traditional drives, but they also tend to be more expensive.

External hard drives offer several benefits. First, they provide a convenient way to store data. External hard drives are easy to use – plug them into the computer’s USB port, and it’s ready to go. They are also portable, so one can take them wherever they go. 

Why Would External Hard Drives Last So Long?

There are a few reasons why external hard drives tend to last longer than internal ones. First, they’re not subjected to the same kind of wear and tear as internal ones since they’re not constantly being accessed. 

Second, they have better cooling mechanisms, which helps them stay cool and function well for longer periods. Finally, they’re built with more robust materials to withstand more wear and tear.

Internal hard drives are constantly spinning around to read and write data, which can cause them to wear down over time. 

On the other hand, external hard drives don’t have to spin around to be accessed because they’re connected to the computer via a USB port. 

Importance of external hard drive:

External hard drives are important because they provide an extra layer of security for the data. If one’s computer crashes or is damaged, one can still access the data by plugging the external hard drive into another computer.

External hard drives are also a great way to back up the data. By copying files to an external hard drive, one can ensure that they are safe in the event of a computer crash or theft.

External hard drives are also useful for storing large files that would take up too much space on the computer’s hard drive. If one has a lot of music or video files, they can store them on an external hard drive instead of on the computer’s hard drive. 


External hard drives are an important part of any computer setup, whether a business person or a student. They provide extra storage space for the files, making it easy to back up the data. 

External hard drives can be used as backup devices for the computer’s files. If the computer ever fails, one can use the external hard drive to restore the lost files.

Make sure to handle the external hard drive carefully, just like how one world takes care of a baby to extend its long life. 



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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