What Are the 2 Types of Computer Software?

Patrick Burnett

When it comes to computer software, there are two main types: system software and application software. Understanding the difference between these two types of software is important for anyone who uses a computer, whether for personal or professional purposes.

System Software

System software is the foundational software that runs a computer’s hardware and provides a platform for running other programs. This type of software includes operating systems, device drivers, and utilities.

Operating Systems

Operating systems are the most important type of system software. They manage a computer’s hardware resources, such as memory and processing power, and provide a user interface through which users can interact with the computer. Examples of popular operating systems include Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Device Drivers

Device drivers are another type of system software that allow an operating system to communicate with hardware devices such as printers, keyboards, and mice. Without device drivers, hardware devices cannot be used by the operating system or other programs.


Utilities are programs that perform specific tasks related to managing a computer’s resources or performing maintenance tasks. Examples of utilities include disk defragmenters, antivirus programs, and backup utilities.

Application Software

Application software is any program that is designed to perform specific tasks for users. This includes everything from productivity tools like word processors and spreadsheet programs to entertainment applications such as video games.

Productivity Software

Productivity software includes programs that help users complete work-related tasks such as writing documents, creating spreadsheets, or making presentations. Popular examples of productivity software include Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Docs/Sheets/Slides and Apple iWork (Pages/Numbers/Keynote).

Creative Software

Creative software refers to applications used by artists and designers for creating visual content. Examples include Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDRAW.

Entertainment Software

Entertainment software includes video games and other applications designed for leisure activities. This category includes console games, mobile games, PC games, and virtual reality experiences.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between system software and application software is important for anyone who uses a computer. System software provides a platform for running other programs and manages a computer’s hardware resources.

Application software is designed to perform specific tasks for users, such as productivity tools or entertainment applications. By knowing the difference between these two types of software, users can better understand the capabilities of their computer and make informed decisions about the programs they use.