Difference Between Hardware and Software

A computer system is divided into two categories: Hardware and Software. Hardware refers to the physical and visible components of the system such as a monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse. Software, on the other hand, refers to a set of instructions which enable the hardware to perform a specific set of tasks. The software must be installed in the hardware to function properly and similarly, the hardware must be present for the tasks to be performed. Both are interdependent, yet they are also different from each other.

Difference Between Software and Hardware
Download PDF Here

This article will bring you the important difference between hardware and software which will be helpful for computer awareness sections of multiple government exams.

CRM IAS Push Noti

Check the post on computer knowledge for more information on computer awareness.

Difference Between Software and Hardware - UPSC 2020

Aspirants can also gain more information on computers by reading articles linked below. These will help in understanding the difference between hardware and software with more clarity.

Fundamentals of Computers Important Computer-Related Terms
Components of Computers Input and Output Devices
Types of Computer Computer Abbreviations

Differences between Hardware and Software



Hardware is further divided into four main categories: 

  • Input Devices
  • Output Devices
  • Secondary Storage Devices
  • Internal Components
Software is further divided into two main categories:

  • Application Software
  • System Software
Developed using electronic and other materials Developed writing using instructions using a programming language
When damaged, it can be replaced with a new component When damaged it can be installed once more using a backup copy
Hardware is physical in nature and hence one can touch and see hardware The software cannot be physically touched but still can be used and seen
Hardware cannot be infected by Viruses The software can be infected by Viruses
Hardware will physically wear out over time Software does not wear out but it can be affected by bugs and glitches
An example of Hardware is hard drives, monitors, CPU, scanners, printers etc. An example of software is Windows 10, Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome etc.

Read more about the terms used in the table above from the articles mentioned below:

  1. Computer Virus
  2. Difference Between Virus and Malware
  3. Microsoft Windows

Candidates can check important Computer software and hardware questions on the given link to practice and prepare well.

Both Hardware and Software are covered under the Science and Technology segment of the UPSC Exam. To learn about the topics in this segment, aspirants can refer to the following links.

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

Frequently Asked Questions about Software and Hardware


What is an example of Software?

Software is the programs and routines for a computer or the program material for an electronic device which make it run. An example of software is Excel or Windows or iTunes. Word processing programs and Internet browsers are examples of software.

What is the example of a hardware?

Hardware refers to the physical elements of a computer. Also referred to as the machinery or the equipment of the computer. Examples of hardware in a computer are the keyboard, the monitor, the mouse and the processing unit However, most of a computer’s hardware cannot be seen; It’s inside the computer case.

What is the effect of virus on Hardware and Software?

Hardware is not affected by computer viruses whereas Software gets majorly impacted by the viruses.

How many types of hardware are there?

Hardware is mainly classified into four main categories that are input devices, output devices, storage, and internal components.

What are the different types of software?

It is mainly of two types that is System software and Application software.

For more UPSC Exam related preparation materials visit the following links given below:

UPSC Preparation:

NCERT Books UPSC Exam Pattern Current Affairs Quiz
Current Affairs PDF Daily News Analysis UPSC 2024
Daily News


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.