Plan It – The Difference Between Software and Hardware

Help your students gain an understanding of the distinctions between software and hardware with this PlanIt lesson pack!

Hardware refers to tangible electronic devices we utilize daily such as monitors, keyboards and mice as well as internal processing components.

Damage from dust, overheating and humidity is likely. Reinstallation may also be necessary. Computer viruses could also present risks.


Software refers to computer instructions or programs that perform specific functions on a computer system. It differs from hardware in that software does not refer to physical devices that make up part of its design; examples of software include word processing programs, video games and internet browsers.

Software must run on hardware that understands it in order to function. A video game needs a computer CPU (central processing unit), RAM, and hard drive while word processing requires keyboard, mouse, monitor and other hardware components in order to work effectively.

There are various categories of software, ranging from utility to programming to application programs. Application examples may include word processors (MS-Word or google Docs), real-time online communication tools and internet browsers; utilities include anti-virus programs, disk defragmenters and file managers. Software may be written using either high-level languages such as C or machine codes to translate user input into numbers that can be understood by hardware.


Computer hardware and software are two crucial parts of a computer system that must work together for it to function optimally. While each serves different functions, hardware is a tangible device while software remains invisible to us.

Monitors, keyboards, printers and other physical components of a computer are considered hardware. On the other hand, software refers to programming codes installed onto your hard drive that you can transfer using CD or DVD drives, or simply store as backup.

Hardware can become damaged through physical wear-and-tear, while software doesn’t wear out over time; however, both may still contain bugs that could compromise its performance. Hardware failure usually happens randomly while software may experience systematic errors or major/minor version discrepancies – therefore it is crucial to recognize their differences so as to avoid potential issues.


Computer hardware and software are integral parts of a computer system. Hardware includes physical devices that can be physically seen or felt, such as the display monitor, keyboard, mouse and hard disk; while software consists of instructions telling hardware how to perform certain tasks.

There are various components of computer hardware, including the motherboard, processor and hard drive. Other common hardware items include speakers, printers and scanners. Software comprises programs running on your computer such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Software, in general, refers to any programs designed for computer use such as antivirus software and security programs. Computer software can be divided into two main categories: system and application software. System software operates directly with hardware devices on a computer to provide an operating platform for application software to operate; often integrated into operating systems as language processors or device drivers, it cannot be affected by viruses but may still contain errors and flaws that compromise its functioning.


Installing hardware and software has become an integral part of computer use today, whether that means getting new programs running, connecting printers or accessing the internet. While most installations can be completed easily by yourself, sometimes complex situations call for professional services.

Installation occurs when all of a program’s files have been copied to a folder on your computer and an executable file created, enabling it to run once clicked upon. Most computers come equipped with built-in programs for note taking, virtual calculator and photo viewing as well as system software to help run and control computer hardware – this type of software written in high-level programming language that’s then translated into machine language instructions represented as binary code in order to control what functions are performed by various components on your machine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *