(also known as service program
, service routine
, or utility routine
) is a type of computer software
. It is specifically designed to help manage and tune the computer hardware
, operating system
or application software
, and perform a single task or a small range of tasks; as opposed to application software which tend to be software suites
. Utility software has long been integrated into most major operating systems.
- Disk defragmenters. Examples include a disk defragmenter which can detect computer files whose contents have been not Italic textstored on the hard disk in disjointed fragments, and move the fragments together to increase efficiency; a disk checker can scan the contents of a hard disk to find files or areas that are corrupted in some way, or were not correctly saved, and eliminate them for a more efficiently operating hard drive; a disk cleaner can find files that unnecessary to computer operation, or take up considerable amounts of space. Disk cleaner helps the user to decide what to delete when their hard disk is full.
- System profilers. A system profiler can provide detailed information about the software installed and hardware attached to the computer. Backup software can make a copy of all information stored on a computer, and restore either the entire system (e.g. in an event of disk failure) or selected files (e.g. in an event of accidental deletion). Disk compression software can transparently compress the contents of the hard disk, in order to fit more information to the drive.
- Virus scanners. Virus scanners scan for computer viruses among files and folders.
- Binary/hex/text Editor utility directly modify the text or data of a file without the WYSIWYG view in editor suites. These files could be data or an actual program.
- Archive utilities output a stream or a single file when provided with a directory or a set of files. Archive utilities, unlike archive suites, usually do not include compression or encryption capabilities. Some archive utilities may even have a separate un-archive utility for the reverse operation.
- Compression utilities output a shorter stream or a smaller file when provided with a stream or file.
- Encryption utilities use a specific algorithm to produce an encrypted stream or encrypted file when provided with a key and a plaintext.
- Application launchers provide a convenient access point for application software. See comparison of applications launchers.
- Registry cleaners clean and optimize the windows registry by removing old registry keys that are no longer in use. See registry cleaner.
- Network managers - programs that check your network, log events and check data transfer.
- System Utilities - Utility programs that provide a convenient method of performing routine data management tasks, such as deleting, renaming, cataloging, uncataloging, moving, copying, merging, generating and modifying data sets, particularly used on mainframe computers such as IBM mainframe utility programs.