Why Application Software Cannot Run Without Operating System Explain?

Tyler Yates

When we use a computer or a mobile phone, we interact with two main types of software – the operating system and the application software. The operating system is the foundation of any computer system, while application software includes all the programs that we install and run on top of the operating system.

But have you ever wondered why application software cannot run without an operating system? Let’s explore this question in detail.

What is an Operating System?

An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. It acts as an intermediary between application software and the computer hardware. An OS performs various functions such as memory management, process management, device management, security, and user interface.

What is Application Software?

Application software is a set of programs designed to perform specific tasks or functions for end-users. It includes tasks such as creating documents, editing photos and videos, browsing the internet, playing games, etc. Application software can be categorized into several types such as word processors, graphics editors, media players, web browsers, etc.

Why Can’t Application Software Run Without Operating System?

Now that we know what an operating system and application software are let’s try to understand why application software cannot run without an operating system.

Hardware Access: One of the crucial roles of an OS is managing hardware resources such as memory, processor time, input/output devices (keyboard and mouse), etc. Application software needs these resources to function correctly. Without access to these resources through the OS APIs (Application Programming Interface), applications would not be able to work properly.

Process Management: An OS manages all processes running on a computer or mobile phone. It allocates processor time and memory space to each process based on its priority level. Without proper process management by an OS, multiple applications running simultaneously would conflict with each other for resources, causing system instability and crashes.

Security: An OS provides a secure environment for applications to run. It prevents unauthorized access to system resources and data. Without an OS’s security measures, malicious software could easily infiltrate the system, causing data loss or theft.

Device Drivers: All devices connected to a computer or mobile phone require drivers to communicate with the OS. An application software cannot directly communicate with a device without these drivers. The OS provides device drivers that application software can use to access devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, etc.


In summary, application software cannot run without an operating system because it needs an OS’s services and resources to function correctly. An OS manages hardware resources such as memory and processor time, provides process management services, ensures security measures are in place and provides device drivers for all connected devices. Therefore, an operating system is essential for any computer or mobile phone to operate correctly and efficiently.