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A debugger is a computer program that is used to test and "debug" other programs, mainly to solve programming bugs.

Debuggers offer advanced functions such as:

  1. Running a program step by step (single-stepping),
  2. Stopping (breaking) (pausing the program to examine the current state) at some kind of event by means of breakpoint (a place for stopping or pausing in a program),
  3. Tracking; which means following, the values of some variables,
  4. Some debuggers have the ability to modify the state of the program while it is running, rather than watching it only.

The same features which makes a debugger useful for solving software bugs allows it to be used as a software cracking tool to crack copy protection and other software protection features.