Utility Software


Utility software, often referred as utility is a system software that is designed to help analyze, configure, optimize or maintain a computer and enhance the computer’s performance. It is a program that performs a specific task, which is usually related to managing the system resources. Utilities are sometimes also installed as memory-resident programs.

Utility software usually focuses on how the computer infrastructure that includes computer hardware, application software, operating system and data storage programs operates. These utilities could range from the small and simple to the large and complex that can perform either a single task or a multiple tasks. Some of the functions performed by these utilities are data compression, disk defragmentation, data recovery, management of computer resources and files, system diagnosis, virus detection, and many more.

Examples of Utility Program

Some of the examples of the utility programs (Utilities) include: Disk defragmenters, System Profilers, Network Managers, Application Launchers, Antivirus software, Backup software, Disk repair, Disk Cleaners, Registry Cleaners, Disk Space analyzer, file manager, File Compression, Data Security and many more. In addition, operating systems contains a number of utilities for managing disk drives, printers, and other devices.

Advantages of utility software

Utility software has been designed specifically to help in management and tuning of operating system, computer hardware and application software of a system.

  • It performs a specific and useful function to maintain and increase the efficiency of a computer system
  • Aids in keeping the computer free from unwanted software threats such as viruses or spyware
  • Adds functionality that allow the user to customize your desktop and user interface
  • Manages computer memory and enhances performance

In general, these programs assist the user to make and run their computer better. They are also used for password protection, memory management, virus protection, and file compression in order to manage all the computer functions, resources and files efficiently.

Differences between applications and utilities

Utilities differ from applications mostly in terms of size, complexity, usability and their function. Most importantly utilities are more technical and are used by the people those with an advanced level of computer knowledge. In contrast, application software is simple and can be used by any user with no or less technical knowledge.

For example spreadsheet programs, word processors, and database applications are all referred as applications as they are large programs and perform a variety of functions that are not directly related to managing computer resources.

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