The smallest format of a floppy disk can hold 79.75 kilobytes, while the largest capacity of a magnetic floppy disk stores 2.88 megabytes. The storage capacity of a floppy disk depends on the type of the disk being used.
About 25 different formats of floppy disks were manufactured between 1971 and 1987. The earliest diskettes were large 8-inch drives. The large format was a step up in computer storage, which still used punched cards to store data for processing, and could hold the equivalent of 3,000 punchcards. The 8-inch format held anywhere from 79.75 to 1,200 kilobytes depending on the make of the diskette.
Stepping up to the 5 1/2-inch diskettes did not increase the capacity but made the disks easier to mass produce. These disks held between 87.5 to 1,155 kilobytes. The last of the standard magnetic diskettes, the 3 1/2-inch format, held between 360 and 2,880 kilobytes.