What Is Software in Computer and Its Types?

Patrick Burnett

Software is a set of instructions that tells a computer what to do. It’s the intangible part of a computer system that enables you to perform different tasks on your computer. Without software, your computer would be nothing but a pile of hardware components.

There are two main types of software – system software and application software.

System Software

System software is the most important type of software on your computer. It’s responsible for managing all the hardware and software components of your computer system. System software includes operating systems, device drivers, firmware, and utility programs.

Operating Systems

The operating system (OS) is the most critical component of system software. It manages all the hardware resources, including memory, CPU time, and input/output operations.

An OS acts as an interface between the user and the hardware components. It enables users to interact with their computers by providing them with a graphical user interface (GUI) or command-line interface (CLI).

Examples of popular operating systems include Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.

Device Drivers

Device drivers are programs that enable your computer to communicate with various hardware devices such as printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, and other peripherals. Without device drivers, your computer wouldn’t be able to recognize any external devices connected to it.


Firmware is a type of low-level software that’s embedded in hardware devices such as hard drives, printers, routers, and other peripherals. Firmware provides instructions on how these devices should operate.

Utility Programs

Utility programs are specialized tools that help users manage their computers more efficiently. Examples include antivirus programs, disk defragmenters, backup utilities, file compression tools.

Application Software

Application software is designed to perform specific tasks for users. This type of software includes word processors, spreadsheets, graphics programs, and database management software.

Word Processors

Word processors are software applications that enable users to create, edit, and format text documents. Examples of popular word processors include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and Apple Pages.


Spreadsheets are applications that enable users to organize and manipulate data in a tabular format. They can be used for budgeting, financial analysis, inventory management, and other tasks. Examples of popular spreadsheet programs include Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and Apple Numbers.

Graphics Programs

Graphics programs are applications that enable users to create and manipulate images. They can be used for photo editing, graphic design, or creating digital art. Popular graphics programs include Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and CorelDRAW.

Database Management Software

Database management software is used to store and manage large amounts of data efficiently. It enables users to search for specific information quickly and easily. Examples of popular database management software include Microsoft Access, MySQL Workbench, Oracle Database.

In conclusion, software is an essential component of a computer system. System software manages the hardware components of your computer while application software helps you perform specific tasks on your computer. Understanding the different types of software available will help you make informed decisions when choosing the right tools for your needs.