Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Differences between Hardware and Software

Computer Hardware

What are the differences between hardware and software

Hardware refers to the physical components of a computer or a machine that we can see and touch. It contains circuit board, ICs, or other electronics in a computer system. It is a physical component that is used in different ways to build a computer or any other machine. The Memory Devices, Processor, Central Processing Unit, Mouse, and the keyboard all are the examples of the hardware in the computer system. On the other hand, the screen on which you are viewing this page is the best example of the hardware, whether you are viewing this page on the tablet, monitor, or smartphone. A computer system would not be existing without any hardware and not able to run any software. An example of an external hardware peripheral, a keyboard, is shown in the picture. It allows users to give input to the computer.

Computer Software

What are the differences between hardware and software

Software is a collection of procedures, instructions, documentation that tells a computer exactly what to do or allows users to interact with a computer. Sometimes it is abbreviated as S/W and SW, which is most important for a computer or other similar devices. Most of the computers may be useless without software. For example, if a software program, MS-Word is not installed into your computer, you cannot make any document that can be completed through MS-Word. Also, you cannot surf the Internet or visit any website if your system has no Internet browser software. Additionally, the browser could not run on the computer without an operating system. The Google Chrome, Photoshop, MS Word, Excel, MySQL and more are examples of software. The picture is shown below, is an example of software, which is a picture of Google Chrome, which is an Internet software program.

Software is a collection of instructions run on the computer, whereas hardware is a physical device used with or on the computer. On the other hand, the software cannot be touch and held in your hand, whereas hardware can be touch and held in your hand. Below is given a table that holds the differences between hardware and software.

Hardware Software
Hardware is a physical component of computers that executes the instruction. Software is a program that enables users to interact with the computer, its hardware.
It is manufactured in factories. It is developed by software programmers or software development companies.
Storage Devices, Input Devices, Output Devices, and Internal components are the primary categories of hardware. Operating Systems, Application Software, and Programming Software are the main categories of software.
Hardware can be seen and touch as it is a physical, electronic device. The software can be seen but cannot be touched as it is virtual, not physical.
Computer viruses cannot affect hardware. Computer viruses can affect software.
Hardware can be replaced with a new one if it is damaged. The software is reinstalled if it gets damaged.
Through the network, hardware cannot be transferred electrically. Only, it can be physically transferred. The software can be transferred easily.
Examples of hardware are RAM, ROM, Printer, Monitor, Mouse, Hard disk and more. Examples of software are Google Chrome, MySQL, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Notepad, Photoshop and more.

Further information and examples

For operating software, at least one hardware device is needed. For instance, for example, an MS-Word is software; it utilizes the computer processor, Memory (Random Access Memory), hard disk to work on documents. Also, a video game is another software that utilizes the computer hard disk, processor, memory, and video card to run.

Hardware is something that makes it capable of a computer to work. A CPU (Central processing unit) processes data or information that can be stored on a hard drive or in the RAM. An image is provided by a video card, and a sound card offers sound to speakers. These all are considered the examples of hardware components.

Can a computer run without hardware?

At least a keyboard, video card, display, processor, hard disk, motherboard, memory, and power supply are required for most of the computers to function properly. Without a hard disk, display, or keyboard, a computer system like a thin client and server can be set up to run.

The computer does not turn on, or an error is encountered when any of these devices are missing or malfunctioning. Including hardware, like a sound card, mouse, printer, network card, or speakers, is not needed. But they make the computer more capable.

Can a computer run without the software?

Yes, in most conditions, a computer can run without installing software. However, a computer does not offer an output of any information or displays an error if an operating system or interpreter is not found. An operating system is required for a computer system to enable users and software to communicate with the computer hardware. In addition to an operating system, installing software onto the computer make capable of computer to perform the additional functionalities. For example, an MS-Excel is not a needed program to run a computer, but it allows users to work on a spreadsheet.

Next TopicUses of Computer

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA