What are the functions of the operating system?

The main operation performed by operating system is to carries out is the allocation of resources and services, such as allocation of the following −

  • Memory

  • Devices

  • Processors

  • Information

The operating system includes programs that are helpful to manage these resources, such as a traffic controller, a scheduler, memory management module, I/O programs, and a file system.

Functions of Operating Systems

Let us discuss the function of the operating system (OS) in detail.


The operating system uses a password protection to protect user data it also prevents unauthorized access to programs and user data, but for external functionality we need to install malware software to protect the system.

Control over system performance

The operating system monitors overall system setup to help in improving the performance and it also records the response time between service requests and system response so that it has a complete view of the system. This can help improve performance by providing important information that is needed at the time of troubleshooting problems.

Job Accounting

Operating systems always keep track of time and resources that are used by various tasks and users, this information can be used to track resource usage for a particular user or a group of users.

Error detecting aids

Operating systems constantly monitor the system which helps us to detect errors and also avoid the malfunctioning of computer systems.

Coordination between other software and users

Operating systems help in coordinate and assign interpreters, compilers, assemblers, and other software to the various users of the computer systems.

Memory Management

The operating system controls the primary memory or main memory. Primary memory is a large array of bytes or words where each byte or word is assigned a certain address. It is a fast storage, and it can be accessed directly by the CPU which is present inside the system. If a program wants to be executed, it should be first loaded in the main memory.

The following activities are performed by operating system for memory management −

  • It keeps track of primary memory.

  • Memory addresses that have already been allocated and the memory addresses of the memory that has not yet been used.

  • In multiprogramming, the OS decides for how long the process must stay and the order in which processes are granted access to memory.

  • It allocates the memory to a process when the process requests it and deallocates the memory when the process has terminated.

Processor Management

The OS manages the order in which processes have access to the processor, and how much processing time that each process must stay in the multiprogramming environment. This is called process scheduling.

The following activities are performed by operating system for processor management −

  • Keeps track of the status of processes.

  • The program to track the status is known as traffic controller.

  • It allocates the CPU and deallocates the processor when it is not required.

Device Management

An OS manages device communication through respective drivers.

The following activities are performed by the operating system for device management.

  • Keeping track of all devices connected to the system.

  • The OS designates a program that is responsible for every device which is called the Input/output controller.

  • It decides which process gets access to which device and for how long. It then allocates the devices in an effective and efficient way and de-allocates devices when they are not required.

File Management

A file system is arranged into directories for efficient navigation and usage. These directories contain other directories and other files.

The following activities are performed by operating system for file management activities −

  • It keeps track of where information is stored, user access settings and status of every file and more.

  • These facilities are called the file system.