Updated: 07/06/2021 by Computer Hope

Input may refer to any of the following:

Input and Output example

1. Any information or data sent to a computer for processing is considered input. Input or user input is sent to a computer using an input device. The picture is an illustration of the difference between input and output. The input example (top) shows data sent from a keyboard to a computer.

Input device examples

Devices commonly used to provide input to a computer include:


See our input device page for a full list of input devices used with a computer.

In addition to computers, input can be collected from any electronic device. For example, a water heater may receive input from a temperature sensor. The output would be a signal that turns on a pilot light or gas burner to heat the water to the desired temperature.

Input technical information

Computer software can receive data in the form of an input stream, which is a flowing sequence of data that can be directed to specific functions. The directed channel that the data stream flows is known as a pipeline, and changing its direction is known as piping.

In Unix-like operating systems such as Linux or BSD, the input stream is one of the three standard data streams. It's known as the "standard input" stream, and often abbreviated as stdin.

2. When referring to HTML, the <input> tag is used to create both input fields and interactive controls for web-based forms.

3. With a TV remote, the input button is a button that switches the input device shown on a TV. For example, a TV may have a cable box, DVR, DVD player, and game console connected to a TV. To switch between these devices, press the input button one or more times. As you press the input button, most TVs display the name of the selected input device and if that device off or doesn't exist the TV shows nothing. Keep pressing the input button until the correct input device is selected.

4. In general, input can also refer to a contribution of feedback, information, or work. For example, someone may ask you for your input about a project they have undertaken at work or school.

Control unit, Enter, Hardware terms, HTML, Input device, Insert, IO, Output, Stdin, Switch