The most common software bugs

common software bugs

From time to time, everyone is prone to making mistakes. Sometimes they happen due to poor quality of work, sometimes because of a misunderstanding and sometimes because of a small accident.

No matter what the cause, mistakes are unwanted in most cases. No matter how much you can learn from mistakes it is still better to avoid making them. In general, mistakes can be dangerous due to the unpredictability of their consequences.

Thankfully, they can be easily spotted especially in software development. There are bugs that may be harmless and invisible, whilst others may cause software or applications to crash or even lose data. That is why all of them should be spotted and fixed in the early stages of the software development process.

This should be a factor which is considered while choosing your software development partner. There are a lot of IT companies that provide software tests and can find the bugs, but it is more effective for your software provider to run these tests as they know the code and their product the best. There are certain errors that can occur frequently in many IT projects and an experienced tester should be capable of spotting them in a few moments. Below, you can find a list of some of the main types of software bugs:



This is one of the most common and sometimes dangerous types of error that could occur. It is caused by a software solution, operating system or program no longer working properly and forcing itself to shut down. It may either be caused by a software bug or sometimes a hardware device and can cause a lot of damage. If the data is not protected or stored in the cloud it may be lost after the crash due to a lack of opportunity to save the changes.


Functional error

On the whole, it is evident when software is built correctly because it will be fully functional. But if there is something wrong and the behaviour of the software varies from the expected, it is called a functional error. This is quite common and easy to spot during tests.

For example, the functionality of a ‘Cancel’ button is that the window should be closed and none of the changes should be saved. If you are unable to click on the button then this is a functional error.


Acknowledgement message error

This error happens when a user is acknowledged or given feedback which has the wrong message or no message at all. There are many activities after which users should be informed of the actions that have been taken or any changes that have been made. An example of a message error is failing to provide users with a necessary email after signing to the newsletter.

Acknowledgement message error


Missing a single letter or a punctuation mark happens all the time and sometimes it is hard to find out what went wrong. These are one of the most common mistakes made during coding that may affect the whole functionality of the program. These bugs are not easy to spot but it is very easy to correct them when found.


Missing command

This particular type of bug occurs when there is a command missing. The user is expecting an action to happen or to be allowed to perform an activity. For example, when the user is in the middle of the process of purchasing goods in an online store and changes their mind but the system does not allow them to cancel the process before finalisation. The customer expects to have the possibility to stop the process but the software does not have an option to do so.

Missing command

Calculation error

In most software processes, calculations are vital and it is important to make sure everything adds up correctly. At the same time, there is a huge field for errors to potentially occur through implementing incorrect formula, units, logic or types of data. For example, in 1999, NASA had lost its Mars climate orbiter immediately after arriving at Mars. It was caused by one of NASA’s subcontractors who used English units instead of universal metric system units.

Calculation error

Hardware usage error

This type of error occurs when the software is being used on the wrong device or in an unadjusted environment. A specific solution should adjust to multiple types of devices with the capability to handle all its functions. It is important to provide hardware that is adapted to the software. Some of the most common hardware usage errors are caused by the wrong operating system, low computing power or a mismatched device.

Hardware usage error

Control flow error

The software control flow describes what will be done next and on what conditions. Errors connected to the control flow prevent software from proceeding to the next tasks in the correct way and this may slow down the workflow of the whole company. For example, if a user clicks the “save and next” button at the end of a questionnaire or a process and is not redirected to a new tab, it is a control flow error.

Control flow error

Errors, bugs and mistakes occur everywhere and they can cause a lot of damage if not found and fixed early, especially in the IT industry. Sometimes missing a single comma can affect the whole IT product and we should put pressure on detecting and fighting the bugs. Nowadays, a lot of IT companies have their own testers who work long hours with every element of a new software solution to find errors and to eliminate them one by one. Remember this while choosing your IT partner.

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