A script is a list of programmatically-written instructions that can be carried out on command. Scripts can automate batch processes on a local computer or server, and are often used to generate dynamic webpages on a web server. Scripts are like small programs, written in a scripting language like VBScript, AppleScript, or PowerShell; unlike programs, they do not need to be compiled before running.

The commands in a script may be interpreted by an individual program or an interpreter. For example, a Photoshop script can only contain actions for Photoshop to apply to an image, while a Visual Basic or AppleScript file instead can send commands to multiple separate programs. Web servers run scripts written in ASP, JSP, and PHP to generate dynamic webpage content.

A basic Python script to add two numbers together
A basic Python script to add two numbers together

Writing a script in a scripting language is similar to writing a program in a programming language. Scripting languages and programming languages share many common elements and syntax. The commands in a scripting language are often simple and human-readable, allowing you to open and edit scripts in a plain text editor.

NOTE: Do not run unfamiliar or unknown scripts on your computer. Some scripting languages, like Visual Basic Script, can access and modify local files to potentially damage the contents of your computer and introduce malware.

Updated February 28, 2023 by Brian P.

quizTest Your Knowledge

Which of the following is an edutainment software title?

Call of Duty
League of Legends
Correct! Incorrect!     View the Edutainment definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of Script on this page is an original definition written by the team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.