5 Difference between System Software and Application Software

In this tutorial, you will learn about the difference between system software and application software.

What is System Software?

System software is general-purpose software which is used to operate computer hardware. It provides a platform to run application software. System software is designed to provide a platform for other software. Some examples of system software are operating systems like Android, macOS, Linux, and Windows, computational science software, game engines, industrial automation, and software as service applications.

Types of System Software

  • Operating Software
  • Utility Software
  • Device Drivers
  • Firmware
  • Programming Language Translator

What is Application Software?

Application software is specific purpose software which is used by the user for performing a specific task. It allows users to do user-oriented work such as creating text docs, playing games, listening to music, or browsing the web.

Read More: Software Implementation Risks

Types of Application Software

  • Presentation Software
  • Database Software
  • Web Browsing Software
  • Multimedia Software
  • Word Processing Software
  • Graphic Software
  • Simulation Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Programming Software

Below I have shared some main differences between them.

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System Software vs Application Software

S.No.System SoftwareApplication Software
1.System software is used for operating computer hardware.Application software is used by users to perform a specific task.
2.System software is installed on the computer when the operating system is installed.Application software is installed according to the user’s requirements.
3.In general, the user does not interact with system software because it works in the background.In general, the user interacts with application software.
4.System software can run independently. It provides a platform for running application software.Application software can’t run independently. They can’t run without the presence of system software.
5.Some examples of system software are compiler, assembler, debugger, driver, etc.Some examples of application software are word processors, web browsers, media players, etc.

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Comment below if you found anything incorrect in the above difference between system software and application software tutorial. Please mention below if you know about any other differences.

105 thoughts on “5 Difference between System Software and Application Software”

        1. yes it is, data is numbers, words, figures, and ideas that by itself means little to nothing to the computer. However, data can be made useful (cough* information) by being oranized by the computer in binary language. for example the data John 7172739872 is data. it becomes information when the computer processes it as John Smith (717)273-9872… a name and phone numer… (aka useful information)

  1. nice but help me to know,can a user change or uninstall system software regularly as one can do with application software?
    or which one can be changed and changed according to one’s wish?

    1. System Software is Operating system.
      Yes you can regularly change it but it’s not recommended as you will also loose your data and will have to install all application softwares again. For example you can replace windows 8 with windows 10 but you shouldn’t keep uninstalling and reinstalling windows 10 again and again.

  2. I got to know about the difference between system software and application software because of this article. Thank you very much

  3. I got to know about the difference between system software and application software because of this article. Thank you very much

  4. Nsabimana Emmanuel

    Thank you i wasn’t clear about the difference between system and application software but now i know them from you.

  5. Patience muvindi

    Tts nice and i understood it much better.but can you tell me about the authors .and what is a compiler and debbuger

  6. I can understand hardware and system software.but still i cannot understand application software..please give some idea about with an example

  7. thank u sir for the…notes tomorrow is my half yearly examinations and i have very lengthy ans of this q. so thank u now i am very clear about it…..

  8. thank you for given information about difference between system and application software and it gave me help in question paper of information system..

  9. Really amazing article indeed. Thumbs up.
    But have doubts about examples of system software like a compiler. Isn’t it an application software?

  10. thanks a lot. I think this must be typing error we don’t have softwares but software. thanks once more.

  11. Hello! Which bibliographic reference would you point me to as the basis for this difference between system software and application software? Thanks.

  12. Great post to know the difference between them. The software is for martial arts studio management, swim club, dance club, gymnastic they all help to smooth the management hassle

  13. Anirban Pathak

    The information format, the way it is presented, the quality of information, the ease of understandability….Excellent…Hats Off

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