Updated: 10/18/2022 by Computer Hope

External may refer to any of the following:

1. In general, external refers to anything outside of a location, object, or device.

Computer inkjet printer

2. External describes a hardware device installed outside the computer. For example, a printer (shown in the picture) is an external device because it connects to the back of the computer and is outside the case. However, a video card is an internal device because it's inside the computer case.

External hardware examples

3. With software, external software is any third-party software not included with a computer. For example, a stand-alone program or off-the-shelf program you purchase at a store is considered external software.

4. With running software, an external file is anything outside the currently loaded file. For example, an external CSS (cascading style sheets) or JavaScript file is a file that can be loaded from the HTML (hypertext markup language) page being viewed. By loading an external file, you can keep long scripts or other code outside the current one and use it with additional ones.

5. With an operating system, external refers to any command that is not part of the shell. See the external command definition when referring to a command.

6. With a network, external describes data accessible to those inside and outside the private network. For example, the Internet is an external source of data on a network.

Expansion, External bus, External icon, External sound card, Hardware terms, Internal, Portability, Third-party