How long do flash drives typically last?

Howdy. Wondering how many installs a typically-priced flash drive lasts most people here. I’ve installed distros about 3 to 4 times on my current one and I’m afraid of bricking it as I’ve heard they tend to stop working after so many reads/writes. On the other hand I’ve had people say you’d have to install distros thousands of times over for a flash drive to stop working, but I’m still paranoid as I only have one right now. How long do they usually last?


i’m at least 20>30 installs on my usb 3 flash drives. i have 3 i rotate, i often run a os for months on them.
i format them pretty regularly trying different os’s & setups.

the thing with flash drives is they do get hot under load & slow down.

I’ve had a particular flash drive for years and it’s still operational after all those years of using it for different purposes, even writing numerous and different distros to it. I realize one day it’s going to give up the ghost, but as to when that day will be it’s anyone’s guess.

It also depends upon the individual flash drive and its quality.

Everything you mentioned is true. Lifespan is a guessing game at best, even with the typical better known drive brands.

Paranoid is pretty harsh. If you’re concerned about losing your personal files, then have a contingency plan. You could encrypt your files locally and keep a copy in a Nextcloud community hosting instance. You could pick one from here and even sign up for a free account …

it depends upon the quality
any flash drive from trusted company like sandisk will last minimum 20 years if you dont use it
any other flash drives are not trustable