Background: For good technical and logistic reasons, online courses are closed, deleted or archived soon after the courses have officially ended. On the other hand, online education philosophy, emphasising the learning community and the value of student contribution, argues for a longer retention of courses. For universities to take the education theory seriously, however, they need evidence that students actually access old courses. In the light of this tension, we ask: given the choice, how many students still access the course long after it has officially ended? Methods: This study snapshots the access information from 13 undergraduate courses that allow student access long after the courses have officially ended. This paper examines the last date of access by each student in each course, and groups the data into 6-monthly intervals after the course ending date. Results: In the total period of 1-30 months after course's ending, an average of 69% of students accessed the courses; the lowest of any course was 29%, and the highest 86%. After 25-30 months, an average of 8% of students are still accessing the courses. Conclusion: Further research areas are the actual activities of those students returning to old courses, and the extent to which these findings can be generalised. Nevertheless, from this study, there is enough evidence to argue against automatically removing undergraduate online courses soon, or even a year, after officially ending. This information is of particular importance to Higher Education institutions that currently disallow access to online courses after a year or less.