Updated: 08/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Ground symbol

The ground or Earth ground is the common point in an electrical or electronic circuit. All electrons flow toward the path of least potential or zero potential difference. A properly grounded system causes errant current to flow into the ground, thereby not damaging people or equipment. When working with electronics, ground may be abbreviated as GND and have a symbol resembling a down arrow, like the one shown in the picture.

Grounding yourself

ESD warning sticker

When working inside a computer or with other electrical components, it's important to ground yourself first to prevent electrostatic discharge.

Grounding is an action an individual takes to help prevent electric static discharge. Grounding usually involves touching an unpainted surface of metal such as the computer chassis when working on a computer or using a wrist strap.


With an AC (alternating current) outlet, a ground may be called an "Earth ground." When working inside a computer case, it may be called a chassis ground.

Computer abbreviations, ESD, Power terms