What are the 7 categories of software?

What are the 7 Categories of Software?

Software is a critical component of modern day computing, and is essential for virtually any digital task. It is used in a wide range of applications, from business to entertainment. To better understand software, it’s helpful to look at the seven distinct categories that it falls into.

Utility Software

Utility software is designed to help users maintain and manage their computer systems. Examples of utility software include system monitors, disk defragmenters, antivirus programs, and backup software. This kind of software is designed to keep computers running efficiently and securely.

Operating System Software

This type of software is at the core of any computer system. It provides the basic instructions that make all other applications possible. Examples of operating system software include Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Chrome OS.

Application Software

Application software is designed for a specific purpose. Examples of application software include word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and web browsers. This type of software is used for productivity, entertainment, and other day-to-day tasks.

Programming Software

Programming software is designed for software developers. It includes compilers, interpreters, and other tools used to create applications and operating systems. It also includes APIs and libraries that developers can use to simplify their programming tasks.

Driver Software

Drivers are small pieces of software that allow hardware devices to communicate with the operating system. Without drivers, hardware devices such as printers, scanners, and external hard drives would not be able to function.

Embedded Software

Embedded software is designed for small, embedded devices such as smartphones and tablets. It includes operating systems, applications, and drivers that are specifically designed for these devices.


Firmware is a type of software that is embedded into the hardware of a device. It is used to provide basic instructions and functions, as well as provide security and control. Examples of firmware include BIOS and UEFI.


Software comes in many different forms and can be used for a variety of purposes. By understanding the seven distinct categories of software, users can better appreciate the complexity and power of modern computing.