Updated: 09/12/2023 by Computer Hope

Overwrite may refer to any of the following:

1. In general, overwrite describes when new information replaces old information or data. For example, in a text editor, if the text was highlighted and you pressed "a," all highlighted text would be replaced with the letter "a."


In most programs, if you've overwritten any text and you want to get the text back, you can undo the change.


If you're in a program that doesn't allow text to be edited (e.g., browser), you cannot overwrite text.

2. One of two typing settings on a keyboard, overwrite mode allows new input to replace existing characters. The Insert key is used to toggle this mode, enabling or disabling it.

3. With a virus, an overwrite virus is a computer virus that overwrites a file with its code, helping spread the virus to other files and computers.

Insert, Override, Overtype, Security terms, Virus