Some data are so important that you need to keep them for decades or even centuries. What are the best ways to store data for decades? If you are curious about it, this post of MiniTool deserves your attention. It collects some methods to conduct long-term data storage.

Possible Issues with Long-Term Data Storage

It is not easy to store data for long term. You may encounter some challenges and issues during the storing process. For instance, digital storage media like hard drives and SSDs will degrade over time and fail to work eventually.

Therefore, you need to make backups of stored data before the hard drive failure occurs. Generally speaking, HDDs last 3-5 years, while SSDs last up to 10 years or more. You should perform the backup operation in advance.


You need to get a piece of hard drive cloning software to back up data. MiniTool Partition Wizard is an ideal option for you. You can do that by using the Copy Disk or Migrate OS to SSD/HDD feature. Additionally, it also enables you to check the hard drive for bad sectors and file system errors. Importantly, it helps you recover lost data or partitions due to various reasons. 

MiniTool Partition Wizard DemoClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Another thing you should take into consideration is file format obsolescence. As technology advances, some file formats may get outdated or incompatible with newer software. Then the saved data could not be read by newer devices and become useless.

The data might degrade in some way after you migrate it to a newer format several times. Besides, hackers, malware, and natural disasters may pose a threat to the stored data. Hence, it is essential to implement powerful security measures to keep the data safe.

What are the best ways to store data for decades? This post provides you with several ways to do that. You just need to pick one from them.

#1. Use External Hard Drives to Store Data for Long-Term

External hard drives are commonly used for long-term data storage. Though they are cheap, they can be bulky. Besides, they have delicate moving parts inside, so you need to treat them with care. If they are removed from operation and safely stored, they may last a decade or two before magnetic properties diminish to the point of generating unrecoverable errors.

However, in constant use, mechanical stresses shorten a drive’s lifespan to three to five years. Hence, power up drives every year to get the parts moving. You can buy an external hard drive from manufacturers like WD, Samsung, Seagate, and SanDisk.

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#2. Use Flash Drives to Preserve Data

Flash drives like USBs, memory cards, and SSD drives can be applied to long-term data storage. Data written on non-volatile flash memory can last for 10 years at least. Compared with SSDs, USB flash drives and memory cards can store information permanently even if there’s no power applied for long periods.

Though 128GB and 512GB flash drives become common and affordable, they are still more costly than hard drives. However, they are a great option for you if you don’t need to back up or archive terabytes of data. You can find the difference between several storage media in the posts below.

#3. Use CDs or DVDs to Keep the Data for Decades

One of the biggest advantages of CDs and DVDs is that they can last for a long period of time. To be specific, they can last 50 years with proper storage. Unfortunately, most modern computers don’t come with CD/DVD drives and they may die out like floppy disc drives.

Therefore, it is very likely that they can’t be read in a few years. You should think twice before using them.

#4. Use Cloud Storage to Store Data for Long-Term

Many users prefer to use cloud storage for long-term data storage. Whatever you store on your computer can be automatically copied to the cloud, which is time-saving and convenient. Moreover, this method is safer than physical backup.

You would lose your main computer and backup drive once disasters like floods and earthquakes happen. Differently, you can still access the data only if you can remember the cloud account and the password.

If you are searching for best ways to store data for decades, this post is what you need. It offers you 4 ways to store data for long term.

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