Computer Terms

I wanted to make this blog understandable by everyone, even the complete computer newbie. I understand that some of the computer terms I use in this blog may not be understood by some of TechPopper’s readers, so I decided to make a full list of computer terms. If you can’t understand a word I use an article, refer to this list. If a word isn’t mentioned on here, you can always post  a question about it in a comment, or by emailing me at Anyway, let’s begin.

Address Bar: The address bar is a text entry box at the top of an internet web browser page. The address bar allows you to navigate the internet by navigating to various websites. Most urls begin with http://, and secured connections will begin with https://. You do not need to type this in your address bar to navigate to your page, as the internet browser will do that automatically.

Antivirus: An antivirus is a type of software designed for removing viruses from your computer.

App, or Application: A program that can be run on a computer or device. Windows computers use the .exe extension, and Mac computers use the .app extension. In most articles, I will refer to Mac software as applications, and Windows software as programs, or executable files.

Boot Disk: A disk that a computer can start, or boot from.

Bug: A bug in a program is basically an error, which causes a program to crash, or not do what it is supposed to do.

Bookmark: A bookmark allows you to quickly come back to a page or website, without having to type in the url in the address bar. To add a bookmark, in most browsers, just go to some sort of bookmark menu the browser has, and click add bookmark. Now that you know how to, feel free to bookmark this page, so you will never have to struggle with finding out what a computer term means again.

Browser: A program used to browse the internet. You are most likely using a browser to read this right now. Some popular internet browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Byte: A byte is a measurement to measure how big or small a file is on a computer. One kilobyte (kb) is equal to 1024 bytes. One megabyte (mb) is equal to 1024 kb. One gigabyte (gb) is equal to 1024 megabytes . One terabyte  (tb) is equal to 1024 gigabytes.

Cache: Cache stores recently used information in a place where it can be accessed very fast. This is useful if you visit a website often, so it will load much faster.

Captcha: A captcha is a program like thing that is used to verify that something is a human. It often contains distorted letters, irregular shaped letters, and letters that have lines through them. They are designed this way so they are impossible for bots to read. We have a captcha when you sign up for our forums to prevent bots from signing up and spamming.

Clipboard: A clipboard is a designated area of your computers RAM which stores copied data, such as text or pictures. Data is saved to your clipboard whenever you use the copy command, which can be found usually in the edit menu of programs or apps, or by highlighting something and pressing ctrl+c (windows) or command+c (mac). Whenever you take a screenshot using the screenshot key on a Windows computer, the image is copied to your clipboard. Things from can be pasted from the keyboard by pressing paste in the edit menu of most programs or apps, or by pressing ctrl+v (windows) or command+v (mac).

Cookie: A small amount of data that can be generated from a website. It remembers small amounts of information about you, such as your login information. When you ask a site to remember you, it generates a cookie which is saved in your web browser.

Crop: When you crop an image or photo, you take out parts of the image you don’t want. For example, if I took a picture of myself, and there was 5 feet of wall on both sides of me, and I only wanted myself in the picture, I would delete the walls on both sides of me so I can get the area of the picture that I want. That process is called cropping.

Data: Things stored or processed by a computer. Files contain data.

Default Program: A default program is a program that is opened when a certain file is opened. For example, on a Windows computer, the default program for opening .txt files is Notepad, so whenever you double click on a .txt file, it will usually open that file with Notepad.

Dock: A dock is a tray of icons found on the Mac operating system. Everything about the dock can be found in this article.


Driver: A driver is system level software that communicates with your computer’s hardware.

Flash Drive: Also known as a jump drive, thumb drive, or usb drive, a flash drive is a portable storage device, which can be used to easily transfer files from one device to another via usb.

Gigabyte: See byte, above.

Gigahertz (Ghz): A unit of measurement to determine  (most commonly) the processor speed of a computer. It is equal to 1000 megahertz (MHz)

Hardware: Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of your computer, such as the hard drive, the RAM, the motherboard, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.

Hyperlink: A hyperlink is a clickable piece of text found on a web page or program, which, upon clicking, will take you to a page on the internet. We have several hyperlinks in our blog. The orange text are hyperlinks.

Install: To install a program, means to allow a program to write the data it needs to run on your computer. A lot of programs will require that you install them before you are able to use them.

IP Address: An ip address is a set of numbers assigned to you, which is required to connect to the internet. You may have a dynamic ip address which changes every time you reconnect to the internet, or a static ip address, which always stays the same. You can find out your ip address by clicking here.


Kernel: The base level of an operating system, which manages things such as hardware and memory management.

Keylogger: See this article. 



Kilobyte: See byte, above.

MAC Address: Stands for Media Access Control Address. Not in anyway related to Mac computers, although Mac computers do have their own MAC address. A MAC Address is a hardware number in each and every computer, and it can not be changed.

Megabyte: See byte, above.

Modem: A device that can be used to connect one computer to another computer. A modem is also used to connect to a router.

Null: Null is a state of a variable when it has no value. And by no value, I don’t mean a value of 0, because 0 is a value.

Operating System: A base platform for software on your computer. Some examples of operating systems are Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Partition: A section of a hard disk. For example, when you put Windows on a Mac computer as explained in this article, you create a partition for windows.

RAM: RAM stands for Random Access Memory. Every time you open a program, it gets loaded from your hard drive and into the RAM. So, the more RAM your computer has, the more programs you can have open while maintaining your computers speed. Having more RAM available speeds up your computer. You can find out how much RAM your computer has on Windows by going to the control panel and then clicking on System.

Registry: The registry of a Windows computer is a database where settings, preferences, and configuration details are stored on your computer. You can access the registry by running regedit.exe, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, I wouldn’t recommend it, as you can do very serious damage to your computer. If you did not know what the registry was before reading this article, please, please don’t try to mess with it.

Refresh: To refresh a page on an internet browser means to reload the data. You can refresh a page by pressing a refresh button on your internet browser, or by pressing F5 (default for most browsers, may not work on all).

ROM: Read-Only Memory. Not to be confused with RAM.

Safe Mode: A mode on Windows computers which runs with the minimum amount of files necessary. Useful if you can’t boot into the normal mode for some reason.

URL: A URL is an address for a webpage. The URL for this page is

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is technology that lets you to connect to other devices wirelessly.















8 thoughts on “Computer Terms”

  1. Great and very informative review! For a computer newbie like me, this review is really helpful. I really find it hard to understand computer terms but with this review, those terms were made simple and understandable. Thank you so much. Keep on posting.

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