“Disk” vs. “Disc”- Which one is correct?

Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you don’t know which word to use? Chances are you have. This is common in technology discussions. Two words that are pronounced the same, but mean two different things are “disk” and “disc”. Some people say that it’s the same thing, just spelled differently. But, that isn’t true. They are both correct, but they have different meanings. Here’s the difference:

Disk: A disk refers to magnetic media, such as the disk in your computer’s hard drive or an external hard drive. A disk is always rewritable, unless intentionally locked. You can partition a disk into several smaller volumes, too.

A disk is non-removable.

Disc:б═A disc refers to optical media, such as CD-ROM or a DVD. Some discs are read only, some only allow you to write to them once and some allow you to rewrite to them multiple times.

A disc is removable.

Now that you know the difference, be sure to use your “Disk” or “Disc” properly.

3 comments
SlaviGeorgiev
SlaviGeorgiev

I think it is better to say that the magnetic ones are 'disks', and the optic ones - 'discs'.

JayAaroBe
JayAaroBe

@ Brian (OP): Thanks for clarifying this.

@ chipr : I think the easiest way to say it is as follows: For optical media (CD, DVD, etc.) use "c" as in "disc". For everything else, use "k" as in "disk".

chipr
chipr

Floppy disks are removable. Removable or non-removable is not a good distinction here, otherwise that is a fairly good definition. Disks in general, may not be 'removed' from their housing, but that's it.