What Does Software Do in a Computer?

Denise Wilkinson

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes when you launch a software program on your computer? Software is an essential component of any computer system, and without it, your computer would be nothing more than a glorified paperweight. In this article, we’ll explore what software is, what it does, and how it works.

What is Software?

Software refers to the programs and operating systems that run on a computer. It’s the set of instructions that tells your computer what to do and how to do it. In essence, software is the brain of your computer.

There are two main types of software: system software and application software. System software includes the operating system (such as Windows or macOS) and other utilities that help manage the computer’s hardware. Application software includes programs like Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, or Google Chrome.

What Does Software Do?

Software performs a wide range of functions on your computer. For example:

  • Managing Hardware: System software manages your computer’s hardware components like the CPU, memory, storage devices, and input/output devices like monitors or printers.
  • Running Programs: Application software runs specific programs like word processors or games.
  • Making Your Computer User-Friendly: Software provides user interfaces that allow you to interact with your computer in an easy-to-understand way.
  • Maintaining Security: Software provides security features like firewalls and antivirus programs to protect your data from malware or hackers.

How Does Software Work?

Software is written in programming languages such as C++, Java, Python, or JavaScript. Programmers use these languages to create sets of instructions that are compiled into executable files (also known as binaries) that your computer can understand and execute.

When you launch a program on your computer, the operating system loads the necessary files and resources into memory and hands control over to the program. The program then uses the CPU to execute its instructions, which can range from simple arithmetic operations to complex algorithms that manipulate data or interact with other programs or devices.


Software is a crucial component of any computer system. It allows you to perform tasks, run programs, and interact with your computer in a user-friendly way.

Understanding how software works is essential for anyone who wants to be a programmer or simply wants to know more about how their computer works. We hope this article has provided you with a better understanding of software and its role in computing.