what is the difference between system software and application software?

What is the difference between system software and application software?

There are two different terminologies of computer software’s. These are:

  • system software
  • Application software

Lets learn about what is the difference between system software and application software?

  • A software that provide some interference between computer hardware and user is called System Software.
  • A software that is used for high-level languages such as Java, C++ and VB for instance is called Application Software.

Made up of

  • System software consists of variety of programs that perform series of functions in computer
  • While application software consists of specific functions performed by operating system


  • System software runs independently.
  • Application software cannot run independently. There’s always a need of system software to run it.


  • When the operation system is installed, system software is installed in the computer or any of the device.
  • Application software only get installed when the user need it.

Basic uses

  • A system software is basically serves as an interference between system hardware and application software.
  • Each application software is used for specific purpose. It is basically designed to meet some specific needs of a user.

Running Process

  • When the system is turned on, system software starts to running automatically and stops when the system is shut down or closed.
  • While in case of application software, it runs when the user requests it.

 Specific Purpose

  • System software is designed for a special purpose
  • Application software is endowed to carry specific task


  • System software manages the resources of system. It also serves a platform to run the application software in the computer.
  • Application software perform many specific function for the user for which they are specifically designed.


  • System software is easy to access. It has unlimited and continuous access to disk etc.
  • Application software has limited access to disk and memory.

Programming Language

  • System software is written using low-level languages
  • Application software is written only using high-level languages.


  • Window Operating System is the most common example of system software
  • MS office, Photoshop and Corel Draw are the examples of application software.
System Software Application software
The type of software which acts as a messenger

Between the system and application software, is called system software.

The type of software which have to install the user according to his need is called software application.
e.g: compiler, assembler, driver e.g: media player , word processor , web browser
Usually, it is evolved in low level language and is supposed to be more suitable to coordinate with system hardware. High level language  is used in the development of application software. The purpose of using high level language is that the applications software are made for specific task.
It runs independently and also it serves platform to application software. It can’t run independently. It can only run in the presence of system software.
When we install operating system in our computer then the system software gets install automatically. It is not installed by itself in computer. The user have to install it according to his need.


difference between system and application software
difference between system and application software

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