Updated: 08/02/2019 by Computer Hope

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 that resembles a down arrow, like the one shown to the picture.

Grounding yourself

ESD warning sticker

When working inside a computer or with other electrical components, it's important that you 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.


When dealing with an AC outlet, a ground may be referred to as an Earth ground, and when working inside a computer case, it may be referred to as a chassis ground.

ESD, Power terms