System software is an essential computer program for the system to run its hardware and other applications. To explain, There are two types of programs: System software and application software. System programs act as a platform for application software and hardware. Thus, allowing the user to interact with various applications and hardware.

What is System Software

Examples of system software:

Secondly, the operating system is the best-known example of a system program and the OS manages all the other systems in a computer. What is System Software ? It is a type of program that is designed to run the application program and hardware of the computer.

  • There are different types of OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS)

Other examples are:

  • Firmware
  • Boot loaders
  • Utility software

Features of System Software:

1. High Speed:

The efficiency of the system program is significant in providing an effective platform without any compromise in speed. Moreover, it is responsible for other hardware like CPU, monitor, keyboard, camera, audio devices, and printers to work.

2. Memory Management:

Shortly, the operating system keeps track of the memory and allocates it if a particular application needs it.

3. Security:

System software provides safety measures such as antivirus software, firewalls, encryption, and other data threats. Security measures in the program prevent unauthorized access to programs and files using passwords and keywords. If an anonymous hacker tries to steal data in your system, you receive an alert.

4. Processor Management:

Allocates the main memory(RAM) to a function and deallocates it when it is no longer required.

5. Error Detecting Aids:

In short, production of dumps, error messages, and other debugging and error-detecting methods. Coordination and assignment of interpreters, compilers, and assemblers to the various uses of the system.


What is System Software Types:

System Software types
Software Hierarchy

Thirdly, the system program manages the Basic functions, including the disk operating system, file management utility software, and operating systems.

Other examples of system programs include the following:

1. BIOS(Basic input/output system):

It gets the computer system started after it is turned on and manages the data flow between the OS and attached devices such as the hard drive, video adapter, keyboard, mouse, and printer.

2. Programming Language Translator:

A program that translates code written in one programming language into another language is called a programming language translator.

Below are examples of programming language translators:


Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing by Henry Harvin®

Ranks Amongst Top #5 Upskilling Courses of all time in 2021 by India Today

View Course

Basically, an interpreter is a computer program that directly executes, i.e., It performs instructions Written in a scripting language. It translates high-level language into an intermediate form and continuously translates the program until the error appears. Hence, if an error pops up, it stops executing. Thus, debugging is effortless. Examples may include Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.


Assemblers are simplistic since they only convert low-level code (assembly language) to machine code. Also, it gets basic commands and operations and converts them into binary code specific to a processor. Also, assemblers produce executable code that is similar to compilers.


It’s software that translates code written in one language to another without disturbing the meaning of the program. Compilers perform the following operations: compilation, pre-processing, lexical analysis, parsing, semantic analysis, conversion of input program to an intermediate representation, code generation, and code optimization. 

Examples of compilers are GCC (C compiler), g++ (C ++ compiler), javac (java compiler), etc.

3. Device Drivers:

Device drivers are a type of system program that minimizes the need for system troubleshooting. Internally, the operating system communicates with hardware elements and device drivers making it simple to manage and maintain the communication. Also,

the operating system comes with a variety of device drivers and most device drivers, including mouse, keyboard, etc., are pre-installed in the computer system by the businesses that make computers.

4. Utility Software: 

Basically, system programs and application software interact through utility software. Utility software mitigates maintenance problems and finds computer system defects.

Below are some particular traits of utility software  

  • WinRAR and WinZip are programs that support reducing disk size.
  • Utility software operates as a disk defragmenter to organize the disposed files on the drive.
  • It helps in the recovery of lost data.
  • It makes it effortless for users to back up old data and improves system security.

What is System Software Issues:

Fourthly, system software issues are addressed below:

1. Update issues:

System program updates may contain bugs that can cause problems with system or software components.

2. Performance issues:

The system program may not be optimized for the hardware. So, may cause the system to slow down or freeze.

3. Security Issues:

System programs may contain vulnerabilities that hackers would exploit or malware to gain unauthorized access or steal private data.  

4. Compatibility Issues:

System programs may not be compatible with some hardware components, so can cause errors or crashes.

Difference Between System Software and Application Software

A system program is written in a System programming language e.g. ESPOL(Executive systems problem-oriented language).  It must meet specific hardware needs as it closely interacts with the hardware. also, it works in the background and users don’t usually access it. System Software is general-purpose software that manages basic system functions and processes.

Contrarily, Application software performs a particular task for the end user.

Some examples of application software are:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Word processors
  • Emails
  • Web browsers

Application programs are written in a general-purpose language such as Pascal, which makes the program use the same code on different platforms. It runs in the foreground and users work directly with the application to run specific tasks. In addition, admins or users install software when needed.

How are system Software and Application Software Activated

Both, application software and system software are activated differently.

A system program is generally activated when a computer or device is powered up. It remains on until the system is powered down. In difference, application software is run by an end user and can run independently, whereas application software needs system software to function.

Are you looking to hone your skills and choose to learn IT management? Henry Harvin provides project management courses with expert trainers at a comparatively low fee structure. The course covers the best practices covered in the PMBOK guide.


Lastly, the system program acts as a medium between you and your system hardware. Users do not interact with system software because it runs in the background. Contrarily, Users interact with application software by installing it, using it to run tasks, etc.

Recommended Reads:


Q.1 What is the use of a system program in resource management?

Ans: The system program manages computer resources like storage, CPU usage, and memory and ensures the system operates efficiently.

2. What are the examples of system software?

Ans: The system program includes various applications like compilers, operating systems, debuggers, and utilities that lie at a level of functionality like the computer hardware.

3. What is the purpose of the system program?

Ans: The system program provides the medium for application software to run. Besides, it will manage the system itself. System software runs in the background, so end users can use an application to run tasks.

4. What are the disadvantages of a system program?

Ans: An increase in system overhead from using a system program may take a toll on a computer’s efficiency and performance. 

Q.5 Which software runs the computer?

Ans: An operating system is the essential software that runs on a system. It manages the resources and processes, furthermore, all of the hardware and software. 

Recommended videos for you

E&ICT IIT Guwahati Best Data Science Program

Ranks Amongst Top #5 Upskilling Courses of all time in 2021 by India Today

View Course

Join the Discussion

Interested in Henry Harvin Blog?
Get Course Membership Worth Rs 6000/-
For Free

Our Career Advisor will give you a call shortly

Someone from India

Just purchased a course

1 minutes ago
Henry Harvin Student's Reviews
Henry Harvin Reviews on Trustpilot | Henry Harvin Reviews on Ambitionbox |
Henry Harvin Reviews on Glassdoor| Henry Harvin Reviews on Coursereport