Which One Is a System Software?

Patrick Burnett

When it comes to computer software, there are two main categories: system software and application software. While both types of software are essential for a computer to function properly, they serve different purposes. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at system software and what distinguishes it from application software.

What is System Software?

System software is a type of computer program designed to coordinate the activities and functions of hardware and other software components. It provides a platform for other applications to run on top of it. Without system software, your computer wouldn’t be able to function.

Some examples of system software include operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. These operating systems provide the necessary interface between users and hardware components like the CPU, memory, storage devices, input/output devices like keyboards and mice.

Other examples of system software include device drivers that allow hardware components to communicate with the operating system and firmware that manages low-level operations like booting up your computer.

What distinguishes System Software from Application Software?

While system software provides the foundation for all other applications to run on top of it, application software is designed for specific tasks or functions. Application software includes programs like web browsers, word processors, spreadsheets, graphic design tools, video editing tools and more.

The primary difference between system and application software is that system software runs in the background without user interaction while application software requires user interaction to perform specific tasks.

Types of System Software

There are several types of system software:

  • Operating Systems: As mentioned earlier in this article; an Operating System (OS) is a type of system software responsible for managing computer hardware resources.
  • Device Drivers: Device drivers are programs designed to allow communication between hardware devices and the operating system.
  • Firmware: Firmware is a type of low-level software that controls the hardware of a device. It is typically stored in non-volatile memory.
  • Utility Software: Utility software is designed to optimize and maintain the performance of a computer. Examples include disk defragmentation tools, antivirus software, and system cleanup tools.


In conclusion, system software is a critical component of any computer system. It provides the foundation for other applications to run on top of it and manages hardware resources, allowing users to interact with their computers effectively.

Understanding the difference between system software and application software can help you make informed decisions when it comes to managing your computer system. As technology advances, new types of system software are being developed to meet the changing needs of users.