Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope

Short for read-only memory, ROM (pronounced rahm) is a storage medium used with computers and other electronic devices. As the name indicates, data stored in ROM may only be read. It is either modified with extreme difficulty or not at all. ROM is mostly used for firmware updates. A simple example of ROM is the cartridge used with video game consoles, which allows one system to run multiple games. Another example of ROM is EEPROM, a programmable ROM used for the computer BIOS (basic input/output system), as shown in the picture below.



Unlike RAM (random-access memory), ROM is non-volatile, which means it keeps its contents regardless of whether or not it has power.

Where is the ROM on a computer?

For the computer, the main EEPROM (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory) and BIOS are on the computer motherboard.


Other expansion cards and devices may also have different EEPROM or ROM on them.

Computer acronyms, EPROM, Hardware terms, Memory terms, PROM