According to HowStuffWorks, a floppy disk is used to store computer data on a medium that exists outside of the computer. Before high-capacity online and offline storage solutions became widely available, floppy drives were a simple way to store and distribute information.
Floppy disks were used to back up important files. In the past, floppy disks were an easy way to copy information from one computer to another without transfer cables due to their portability. Special floppy disks called boot disks were used to restore a computer after an operating system failure. Legacy computer systems and other electronic devices that have not been upgraded to use modern storage may still use floppy disks to receive important software updates.