Common Computer, IT, and Technology Abbreviations

, Staff Writer
Updated June 24, 2020
Computer Abbreviations
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There are literally thousands of computer abbreviations out there. Many are concerned with the technical aspects of the computer, while others deal with personal communication. Following are some more common ones that you may have heard but do not know exactly what they mean.

Common Computer Abbreviations

Listed below are some of the numerous important computer abbreviations in use today, including storage abbreviations.

Operating Systems and Data Storage

Two of the most basic components of any computer system are its operating system and data storage. Many acronyms reflect these basic requirements.

  • AFA - This acronym stands for All Flash Array, a grouping of flash memory devices that helps boost performance.
  • BIOS - This is the Basic Input Output System, which controls the computer, telling it what operations to perform. These instructions are on a chip that connects to the motherboard.
  • BYTE - A byte is a storage unit for data. KB is a kilobyte (1024 bytes); MB is a megabyte (1 million bytes); and GB is a gigabyte (1000 megabytes).
  • CPU - This stands for the Central Processing Unit of the computer. This is like the computer's brain.
  • HDD - This is an acronym for Hard Disk Drive, the traditional spinning drives that store information.
  • LCD - This stands for Liquid Crystal Display, a type of computer screen.
  • MAC - This is an abbreviation for Macintosh, which is a type of personal computer made by the Apple Computer company.
  • OS - This is the Operating System of the computer. It is the main program that runs on a computer and begins automatically when the computer is turned on.
  • PC - This is the abbreviation for personal computer. It originally referred to computers that were IBM compatible.
  • PDF - This represents the Portable Document Format, which displays files in a format that is ready for the web.
  • RAID - A type of storage that can be configured in different ways to provide a redundant copy of files, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks.
  • RAM - This stands for Random Access Memory, which is the space inside the computer that can be accessed at one time. If you increase the amount of RAM, then you will increase the computer's speed. This is because more of a particular program is able to be loaded at one time.
  • RDMA - This stands for Remote Direct Memory Access.
  • ROM - This is Read Only Memory, which is the instruction for the computer and cannot be altered.
  • SATA - This stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, a type of hard drive technology.
  • SDS - This stands for Software-Defined Storage, a type of data storage that separates the data from its associated software.
  • SSD - This acronym stands for Solid State Drive, a more modern type of hard drive that has no moving parts.
  • VGA - The Video Graphics Array is a system for displaying graphics. It was developed by IBM.

Internet, Networking, and Connectivity

Moving beyond the physical computer right in front of you, acronyms related to networking and getting online are equally numerous and diverse.

  • DNS - This stands for Domain Name Server; this can help recognize an IP address used by a domain name.
  • FTP - This is a service called File Transport Protocol, which moves a file between computers using the Internet.
  • HTML - HyperText Markup Language formats information so it can be transported on the Internet.
  • HTTP - Hypertext Transfer Protocol is a set of instructions for the software that controls the movement of files on the Internet.
  • IP - This stands for Internet Protocol which is the set of rules that govern the systems connected to the Internet. IP Address is a digital code specific to each computer that is hooked up to the Internet.
  • ISP - The Internet Service Provider is the company which provides Internet service so you can connect your computer to the Internet.
  • LAN - This stands for Local Area Network, which consists of the servers that your computer connects to in your local area.
  • PPP - Point-to-Point Protocol is the set of rules that allow your computer to use the Internet protocols using a phone line and modem.
  • SEO - This is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
  • URL - This is the Uniform Resource Locator, which is a path to a certain file on the World Wide Web. It is what you may also call the web address.
  • USB - The Universal Serial Bus is used for communications between certain devices. It can connect keyboards, cameras, printers, mice, flash drives, and other devices. Its use has expanded from personal computers to smartphones and video games, and is used as a power cord to connect devices to a wall outlet to charge them.
  • VR - Virtual Reality simulates a three-dimensional scene on the computer and has the capability of interaction. This is widely used in gaming.
  • VRML - Virtual Reality Mark-up Language allows the display of 3D images.
  • WYSIWYG - This initialism stands for What You See Is What You Get. It is pronounced "wizziwig" and basically means that the printer will print what you see on your monitor. It also describes web design programs where what you see in the program is how the website will appear to the end user.

Common Cloud Computing Abbreviations

Cloud computing has its own set of acronyms and IT abbreviations that can easily confuse people. These are a few of the common ones:

  • BYOC - This stands for Bring Your Own Cloud, often referring to cloud-based file-sharing software.
  • IaaS - This acronym stands for Infrastructure as a Service. It means a service that provides data storage and servers remotely for clients.
  • SaaS - This stands for Software as a Service and refers to on-demand software stored in the cloud.
  • VDI - This abbreviation stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and refers to a virtual desktop that can be accessed by several users.
  • VPN - This stands for Virtual Private Network and is used to represent a secure connection between a network and a user.

Common AI Abbreviations

AI, which stands for Artificial Intelligence, is becoming more common all the time. From your phone to the way you interact with your television, people encounter AI every day. These are some of the common acronyms and abbreviations that go with it:

  • AI - Short for artificial intelligence, AI refers to the development of computer systems to perform tasks like speech recognition and object assessment.
  • ASR - This stands for Automatic Speech Recognition and refers to computers’ ability to understand your speech.
  • DL - This acronym stands for Deep Learning, referring to complicated tasks that require many layers of integration in a machine’s neural network.
  • FKP - This stands for Facial Key Points, the places software looks to recognize faces.
  • ML - ML stands for Machine Learning, the ability of a machine to learn and integrate new information.

Common Email and Chat Abbreviations

Email and web communication require certain abbreviations of their own, including symbols that stand in for facial expressions.

Email Abbreviations

You’ll also see some of these email abbreviations used in texting and online messaging.

  • AFK - Away From Keyboard
  • BC - Blind Copy
  • CIAO - Check It All Out
  • GAL - Get A Life
  • GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
  • J4F - Just For Fun
  • KISS - Keep it Simple, Stupid
  • LOL - Laughing Out Loud
  • Re: - Regarding
  • TIC - Tongue In Cheek
  • TL;DR - Too Long, Didn't Read


Instead of abbreviating a word or phrase, emoticons attempt to resemble the visual expressions on a human face.

  • :) or :-) - Smiley face
  • :.( - Crying face
  • :-> - Grinning
  • :-| - Indifferent or bored
  • :-( - Sad face
  • ;-) - Winking
  • :-O - Yelling

Always Evolving

Computer terms and technology abbreviations are constantly evolving along with the technology they represent. Keeping up to date with computer terms can help you communicate better with coworkers and others.