Utility software

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Revision as of 17:02, 13 December 2013 by Jim.henderson (talk | changes) (Examples, etc.)
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In computing, a "utility" is a program[1][2][3] or module which is used to give a general-purpose result, for many different uses. A utility is intended for a wide range of users, rather than an "app" (application program) which might be intended to serve a specific purpose for specific users.

For example, a utility program may handle computer files or guard against computer viruses.

The word "utility" has been used to mean a "general-purpose computing tool" for many decades, since at least 1960.[1][2][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "What does utility program mean?", Definitions.net, June 2011 (notes "Etymology: 1960"), web: DN.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Programmed Data Processor-1, 1960", ComputerHistory.org, archives, 1960, web (PDF file): CH-PDF.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Catalog of Copyright Entries. Third Series: 1960", 1961, Library of Congress. Copyright Office, p.350, web: BG-AAJ, notes "IBM 705 III utility program: data file print... ©10May60".