What Are 4 Types of Computer Software?

Patrick Burnett

Computer software is an essential part of our daily lives. It helps us perform various tasks with ease.

There are different types of computer software available in the market, each serving a specific purpose. In this article, we will discuss the four main types of computer software.

System Software

The first type of software is system software. This type of software is responsible for managing and controlling the hardware components of a computer system. System software includes operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux, which provide a platform for other applications to run on top of them.

Other examples of system software include device drivers, which allow the operating system to communicate with hardware devices like printers and scanners. Utility software like antivirus programs and disk defragmenters also fall under this category.

Application Software

The second type of software is application software. This type of software is designed to perform specific tasks or functions for the user. Examples of application software include word processors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, and image editing tools like Adobe Photoshop.

Application software can be further categorized into two types: horizontal applications and vertical applications. Horizontal applications are designed for general use by a wide range of users, while vertical applications are developed for specific industries or businesses.

Programming Software

Programming or development software is used by developers to create other types of computer programs. These programs can be either system or application-level programs. Some examples of programming tools include integrated development environments (IDEs) like Eclipse, NetBeans, and Visual Studio.

Programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, and PHP also fall under this category. These languages form the building blocks that developers use to create complex systems such as web applications or mobile apps.


The fourth type of computer program is malware or malicious software. Malware refers to any software designed to harm or take control of a computer system without the user’s consent. Types of malware include viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and adware.

Malware can cause significant damage to a computer system by stealing personal information like passwords and credit card numbers or by rendering the system inoperable. It is essential to have antivirus software installed on your computer to protect yourself from these threats.


In conclusion, there are four main types of computer software: system software, application software, programming software, and malware. Each type serves a specific purpose and plays a crucial role in the functioning of a computer system. By understanding these different types of software, you can better navigate the complex world of computer technology.