A major difference between hardware and software is that Hardware is a physical device that is capable of performing tasks and execution based on software whereas Software is a set of instructions given to a computer or other hardware to perform a certain task. There is the various number of difference between hardware and software and in this tutorial, we will cover them one by one.Difference between hardware and software

Difference Between Hardware And Software

The major difference between hardware and software is as follows.

Definition Hardware is a physical device that is capable of operating tasks and executions based on the softwareSoftware is a set of instruction that is given to the computer to perform operations
TypeHardware may be Input device, output device, memory storage device.Software is two types System software and Application software
ExamplesMonitor, mouse, Keyboard, Hard drives, routers, printers, scanners, video cardsChrome browser, antivirus, windows, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Adobe reader, VLC media player
DevelopmentHardware is made-up of electronic components.Software is developed by writing instructions in a programming language.
ReplacementIf Hardware is damaged, it can be replaced with new one.If Software is damaged, it can be replaced with its backup copy.
AffectedHardware is not affected by a virus.Software is affected by a virus.
Inter dependencyHardware can not perform any operation or task without software.Software can not executed without hardware.
FailureHardware wear out over time.
Software does not wear out over time.
however; bugs can affect it.
NatureHardware is a physical device, you can touch a hardware.Software is a logical you can not touch the software.

The hardware and software are the essential components of the computer and therefore both depend on each other. It is therefore advised to all the readers to go through this tutorial to get maximum benefit and to clear your concepts regarding the common question of what are the difference between hardware and software.

In this tutorial, you will get complete detail related to the topic of differences between hardware and software.

What is Hardware?

Hardware is any physical device that is capable of performing tasks and operation based on the software. Hardware is made up of electronic components such as transistors. Hardware is tangible and it can be touched in real time. The hardware is what makes a computer system work, without any hardware, a computer would not perform any function, and software would have nothing to run on. Hardware and software work together to get work done in the meantime. Software tells the hardware, What task to perform and How to perform. It is only the combination of the software as well as hardware which make up a good system.

Difference between hardware and software figure 1

Hardware can be classified as input devices (Mouse/Keyboard), output devices (Monitor), secondary storage devices (RAM/ROM), and internal components (ALU, Registers). Hardware in a computer system is the Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Processor, RAM, Hard drives, Printer, Scanner, and anything you can see and touch within the device.

The failure of the hardware is random. The failure in hardware can be due to bad manufacturing, sudden voltage spikes or environmental factors such as temperature variations, dust, and pollution. Once a Hardware is damaged, it can be replaced with new hardware or it can be repaired. The hardware is replaced or upgraded in order to make the system faster and better.

Difference between hardware and software figure 2

What is Software?

The software is a set of instructions given to a computer to perform certain tasks and operations. The software is an important part of the computer it tells the hardware what task to perform and how to perform. It is much easier to alter than the hardware components, hence it is called “soft”. The Software is developed by writing instructions in a programming language and it is not tangible and cannot be touched in the real-time.

Hardware vs software

The failure of the software is systematic. The failure in software can be due to the failure of the application, virus or other bugs. Once the software is damaged, it can be replaced with its backup copy. The software is upgraded by reprogramming the instructions.

There are several types of software the main software programs that are commonly used are as follows:

Application Software: 

Application software as its name suggests, it is designed to achieve a specific user requirement.

System Software: 

System software allows controlling, operating, and extending the processing capability of a computer. System software provides an interface between the hardware and the end user. System software is necessary to run hardware and application software.

What are Examples of Hardware and Software?


  • Example of application software is as follows. Chrome browser allows browsing websites and the internet. Media Player allows videos and audios to play, Microsoft Word allows for writing documents.
  • Example of System software is as follows. Windows, Andriod, Drivers, C, C++, Java, Compiler, etc.Hardware vs software


  • Example of Hardware is as follows. Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, Printer, USB, CD Drive, RAM, Hard Drive, Joystick, Scanner, DVD, CPU, Motherboard, Etc.

Differences between Hardware and Software in Points:


The key points that are related to the software are as follows.

  • A set of instructions given to the computer is called as software.
  • You cannot feel or touch the software.
  • The software is developed by writing instructions in the programming language.
  • The software controls the computer with the programming instructions.
  • If the software is corrupted or damaged, its replaced with the backup copy.
  • The software is easily affected by malicious programs such as computer viruses.
  • The software can be transferred/moved from one computer to another, electronically through a network.
  • A user can make many new duplicate copies of the software.
  • The update or newer version of the software can be made by re-writing instructions.
  • you cannot throw software across the room because of it’s not a physical thing.
  • The software is intangible.


The key points that are related to the hardware are as follows.

  • Any Physical device that is capable of performing tasks is called as hardware.
  • You can feel, see, and touch hardware.
  • Hardware is constructed/developed using physical materials such as electronic components.
  • The computer is hardware, it performs operations based on software.
  • If the hardware is damaged, one can replace it with a new one or its alternative one.
  • Computer viruses or malware does not affect the Hardware.
  • Hardware cannot be transferred/moved from one place to another electronically through the network.
  • A user can not make any new duplicate copies of the hardware.
  • Hardware can break off if you drop it.
  • Hardware is tangible.


Hardware and software are two life-giving components in any digital circuitry, electronic or computing field.  Hardware and Software Both dependents on each other and one can not operate without each other. The user should, therefore, have knowledge of both hardware and software in order to get the optimal performance of the system. The user should also go through this tutorial to get a deep insight into the subject.

On the last note: Besides all the differences shown above in this tutorial “Hardware and Software, they both are essential for each other.

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