Updated: 12/05/2021 by Computer Hope

A system may refer to any of the following:

1. With a computer, a system or system unit is used to distinguish the complete computer. See our computer definition for full information about a computer.

2. With an Apple Macintosh, System is the computer's operating system. System is commonly followed by a number, for example, System 7. Today's Apple computers now use macOS as their operating system.

3. System refers to a window and menu found in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 that displays a basic overview of your computer. The System window allows users to customize many system settings through System Properties and access Device Manager.


Press the Windows key+Pause at the same time to open the System window.

Below are examples of how the Windows System window may look.

System window in Windows 10.
Windows 10 System window

Windows system properties
Windows 8 System window

Windows 7 system properties
Windows 7 System window


System should not be confused with System Information or System Properties.

4. With software, system is sometimes used to abbreviate operating system.

5. A help system is any software designed to assist the user with using a product or service. See our help page for further information and other examples of this system.

Apple terms, IS, Macintosh, Operating system terms, System Properties