What is a Utility Program & What Are Its Functions?

| January 29, 2020
Utility Program

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To run any software and work on different programs, on a computer system, one needs the operating system to work smoothly. Utility programs, as the name suggests not only help in executing various crucial tasks for the operating system but also help in overall maintenance of the system.

Utility Software

What is a Utility Program?

Utility program is a system application that executes a specific task, generally pertaining to optimal maintenance or operation of the system resources. Operating systems such as Windows, macOS and Linux come with their own set of utility programs to maintain and execute different utility functions such as formatting, compressing, scanning, exploring and much more.

Utility programs also assists with the management of computer functions, resources and files. You can ensure complete password protection and keep your systems virus free using different utility programs.

What are the Functions of Utility Programs?

system utility software

Various functions are executed by a utility program to make the system’s operations smoother and more efficient. Overall, utility programs can be broadly categorized into four parts:

  • System Utilities

Some of the system utility programs are memory manager, antivirus and firewall, registry checker and cleaner, package installer and explorer. Also, with the help of such system utility programs, users can execute functions that are crucial for smooth running of an operating system.

  • File Management Utilities

File management utilities include tools such as data archivers, software backup tools, file compression tools and managers. With the help of these, users can manage their data in the form of files and folders. These utilities help users to sort out, store and categorise files according to the requirement.

  • Storage Device Management Utilities

Storage device management utility programs provide solutions for enhancing disk capacity, such as disk clean-up, partition management, formatting, disk space allocation, defragmentation, etc. With the help of this utility program, users can compartmentalise systems and external drives for efficient management of programs and files that are stored within.

  • Miscellaneous Utilities

Apart from these three utility program categories, there are various other programs that help in managing business operations. Some of these programs include data generators, HTML checkers and hex editors, to name a few.

Common Tasks Performed by Utility Programs

As discussed earlier, utility applications help in executing some of the most basic yet important functions in the operating system. Some of these basic yet crucial programs are:

  • Disk Defragmentation

Defragmentation is a process which helps reduce the amount of fragmentation in file systems. Utility programs function by organizing the disk content and storing the pieces of each file together. It also helps create large amount of free space using compaction to impede the return of fragmentation. This happens when any operating system is unable to allocate space for storage as single unit.

  • Disk Clean-up

With the help of utility program, users can remove the unnecessary files that are taking up the space in their system. The program assists users to choose the drives, folders or files that need to be scanned and cleaned-up. By removing unused files, the system will be able to increase the storage space and optimise the overall speed of the system. 

  • File Management

With the help of file management program, users can perform various functions related to the files saved in the system, such as searching, renaming, opening, renaming deleting and grouping. These functions can be executed with the help of file management program such as Windows Explorer. In addition, Widows also help in keeping a track of the root and the path of a file.

  • Compression

One of the biggest concerns of any computer system is its storage space. With time, the limited storage space in the hard disk starts getting smaller. Therefore, with the help of compression program such as WinZip and WinRAR, important yet unused files can be compressed, stored and easily extracted when required.

  • Disk Management

Disk Management is one of the most vital programs that an operating system like Windows provides. With the help of the utility program, users can seamlessly manage various drives such as hard drives, optical drives, flash drives, etc. It helps users in partitioning drives, allocating spaces, format drives, and much more.

  • Antivirus and Firewall

Antivirus and firewall programs such as Windows Defender help users protect their computers by getting infected with viruses, adware and malware. Firewalls prevent harmful programs and files from entering the system via internet or any external hardware. On the other hand, antivirus helps in removing malicious programs and files that have infected the system.

Summary

Most of the utility programs come as a part of the operating system’s package, however, users can download third-party software solutions for specific functions. Utility software programs such as disk cleaners and antiviruses are available with extra features are sold separately. For purchasing these utility programs, visit our products section.

Also, check What is Utility Software? Top 10 Utility Software Tools

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