Customer Service Software
Help Desk

Top 6 Free Help Desk Software

By | 10 min read | Published ; Updated on

Efficiently resolve internal and external support tickets using help desk software and improve end-user satisfaction.

If you’re a customer service manager, you need to ensure that your customer and IT support services are efficient and well organized. Otherwise, your support executives will be burdened by manually assigning and recording resolved or unresolved tickets. This will also lead to dissatisfied end users and teammates because of delayed responses to their support-related issues.

Fortunately, help desk software can make your job easier. These software solutions automate the entire ticket resolution process with an automated ticket management system. This, in turn, lets you resolve your teammates’ and customers’ support requests faster and in an efficient manner.

If you’re a small business that is just beginning to use help desk software, then we suggest that you start with a free tool first. Once you’ve understood how the system functions and have assessed it, you can look for a paid help desk tool with advanced features.

To help you pick the right software, we’ve compiled a list of the six best free help desk software solutions (listed alphabetically) based on user ratings and reviews. (Read how we selected these products.)

Check out the full list of the best help desk software in Capterra’s software directory.
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1

EngageBay: Saves time with customer service macros

EngageBay is a help desk software solution that lets you address and resolve tickets from a number of sources, including email, call, chat, and social media, and manage them from one dashboard. It also lets you streamline different communications with a customer into one ticket and resolve multiple issues from a single ticket.

You can save multiple business hours with EngageBay’s customer service macros. They are a pre-built response or action that you can use to answer multiple customers with the same issues instead of crafting separate responses for each customer.

The solution lets you create groups based on your agent’s skill, location, or department and direct incoming tickets to the corresponding support group.

With this help desk solution, you can generate customizable help desk reports such as performance reports of your agents. You can also get metrics about solved, unsolved, or pending tickets.

EnagageBay’s support options include guides and inquiries via email.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
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Key Features:

  • Activity dashboard
  • Activity tracking
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Auto-responders
  • Calendar management
  • Calendar sync
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$13.49 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lead generation forms in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/178819/EngageBay-Marketing/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">EngageBay</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/178819/EngageBay-Marketing/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
2

Freshdesk: Makes team collaboration easier

Freshdesk is an online help desk solution that lets you prioritize, categorize, and assign tickets. It also lets you create pre-formatted replies for common questions.

The solution provides an option to invite partners and colleagues from other teams so that you can discuss and resolve customer issues together. You can also split complex issues into smaller tickets for a faster resolution.

The solution lets you convert issues received from multiple platforms, including email, phone, chat, and social media, into tickets and manage all of them through a single platform.

Freshdesk also offers self-service features such as forums and an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot that customers can use to find answers to their issues themselves.

Freshdesk’s support options include how-to guides, a community forum, a video library, and inquiries via call and email. It has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
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Key Features:

  • Appointment management
  • Call center management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Community management
  • Content creation
  • Content management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$12.98 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ticket list in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/124981/Freshdesk/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Freshdesk</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/124981/Freshdesk/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
3

LiveAgent: Offers hybrid ticket stream

LiveAgent is an online ticketing software that lets you connect with your customers on multiple platforms, including email, chat, forum, call, and social media, and manage incoming requests via a universal inbox.

The solution’s hybrid ticket stream lets you track the ticket resolution journey even when a customer uses multiple communication channels to connect with staff regarding one issue.

It also ensures that multiple agents don’t end up working on the same ticket by displaying who is viewing the ticket and who is resolving it.

Using the time rule feature of this help desk solution, you can send out automatic follow-up emails or get reminders about tickets that haven’t had any activity in a certain period.

LiveAgent lets your agents take breaks by hitting on pause so that no ringing calls or chats are assigned to them.

LiveAgent’s support options include how-to articles and guides. It has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
best functionality
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Key Features:

  • Account management
  • Activity tracking
  • Agent interface
  • Alerts/notifications
  • Assignment management
  • Automated routing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$15 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Chat support in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/102188/LiveAgent/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">LiveAgent</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/102188/LiveAgent/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
4

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus: Empowers end users by offering self-service features

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus is an online IT help desk tool that allows your customers and employees to create tickets via email, chat, call, or self-service portal. The solution lets you keep track of the entire life cycle of these tickets.

The system automatically assigns tickets to technicians based on their expertise and workload for accurate and timely resolution. You can also create custom workflows to assign incoming tickets based on predefined criteria.

The self-service function lets your end users reset passwords and update their personal information without having to raise a ticket. They can also access the existing knowledge base to look for answers to repetitive issues.

You can keep your customers updated by sending out automated notifications about the stage their ticket has reached.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus’s support options include FAQs, guides, forums, and inquiries via phone, chat, and email. It has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
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Key Features:

  • Activity tracking
  • Asset tracking
  • Audit trail
  • Automated routing
  • Barcoding/Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
  • Change management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$10 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Requests in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/168206/ServiceDesk-Plus/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/168206/ServiceDesk-Plus/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
5

Raiseaticket: Helps agents with knowledge base feature

Raiseaticket is a web help desk software system that lets you assign tickets to agents, add notes, attach files, update status, and track time spent on a ticket. It also lets you route tickets to different agents and groups based on their skills and expertise.

You can keep track of the agent’s performance or status of the tickets by analyzing real-time data on the dashboard. This will help you make data-driven decisions for your business.

Raiseaticket’s knowledge base feature allows you to build a repository of how-to guides, work examples, best practices, and templates. This repository acts as a guide for your agents to figure out the best support options.

Raiseaticket’s support options include a setup guide, an agent guide, FAQs, and inquiries via raising a ticket.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
most affordable
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Key Features:

  • Automated routing
  • Document storage
  • Email management
  • Reporting/analysis
  • Self-service portal
  • Ticket management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

Free

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ticket management in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/182383/Raiseaticket/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Raiseaticket</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/182383/Raiseaticket/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>
6

Zoho Desk: Offers portal customization features

Zoho Desk is an online help desk software that acts as an omnichannel platform and lets you manage customer conversations across multiple platforms. It lets you divide your support team into multiple departments so that different departments can handle different types of tickets.

The solution’s multi-brand help center lets you customize your help center using HTML and CSS so that it looks like an extension of your brand.

Zoho Desk lets you embed a chat widget to your help center. This allows your customers to get their small issues resolved quickly. The support agents have the option to convert a live chat into a support ticket if more time is needed to resolve the customer query.

Your customers can also chat or talk with Zia, Zoho Desk’s AI bot. It provides answers based on the content available in your knowledge base. It is also capable to capture your customer’s sentiments and add appropriate tags to the created tickets.

Zoho Desk’s support options include FAQs, webinars, videos, and inquiries via email. It has a mobile app for Android and iOS devices.

*Analysis accurate as of March 2022
View Profile

Key Features:

  • Account management
  • Activity tracking
  • Appointment management
  • Automated routing
  • Call logging
  • Canned responses
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$10.39 per user, per month

Device Compatibility:

Screenshot:

<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reports and dashboard in </span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/169505/Zoho-Desk/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Zoho Desk</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (</span></i><a href="https://www.capterra.com/p/169505/Zoho-Desk/"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Source</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">)</span></i></p>

How to choose the right free help desk software

Here are a few points that you should consider before choosing help desk software for your business:

  • Evaluate user interface: Your help desk software should be easy to use not just for agents but also for managers and leaders. It should have a simple interface and easy navigation, which makes the job easier. Before you finalize, analyze the software’s interface, and ask for demos and tutorials.
  • Look for scalability options for added agents and languages: Select a help desk software that can be scaled up as your business needs will increase and your customer base will grow. Analyze the number of support agents that you have right now and how many more can be added. Get an understanding of whether or not you’ll have to incur any cost to add more agents to the system. Also, understand if the software can be used to provide support in multiple languages to different customer groups.
  • Check out the customer support features: Do not trust a help desk software with a higher number of features. Instead, look for the one that serves you better. If you are just starting out and don’t have a knowledge base, then AI features will not help you. However, help desk software that sends out automatic ticket updates to agents and customers will be a better choice. Therefore, analyze your needs before finalizing.

Common questions to ask while selecting free help desk software

You’ll find the right help desk software for your business when you ask the right questions. So, here are some questions that you can ask your vendor:

What type of support services do you offer?

You don’t want to have any downtime because of technical issues with the help desk software. It will only hamper your business and lead to customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, ask your vendor about the technical support options that are available so that you can get your issues resolved quickly.

What data security measures does the software have?

While raising issues, your customers or teammates may share personal information. You need to ensure that this data is safe from theft. So, ask your vendor about the data security measures that their solution has and what more can be done to increase data security.

Can the software generate data reports?

If you have a huge support department, you will want to track your agents’ performances as well as generate insights about the tickets that you receive. This data will help you make informed business decisions. So, ask the vendor about their solution’s reporting and analytics capabilities and how well are the generated reports visualized.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people such as you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.


At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  1. Have at least 20 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher (as of March 14, 2022). We selected the six products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  3. Meet our help desk software market definition: “Help desk software helps organizations manage internal and/or external ticketing by tracking and resolving support requests and incidents.”

The “best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews (as of March 14, 2022).

The “most affordable” tool is identified based on the lowest pricing a vendor offered on their website in terms of cost to upgrade (as of March 14, 2022).

Disclaimer: We conducted this analysis based on reviews and ratings data as of March 14, 2022. In order to present the most up-to-date information, the product cards show real-time ratings. Please note that this means the ratings value in the product card may not reflect the ratings value at the time of analysis.

Product research for this article was conducted by Himanshi Arora.


Looking for Help Desk software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Help Desk software solutions.

About the Author

Preksha Buttan

Preksha Buttan

Writer @ Capterra with a focus on small business market trends, software requirements and all things tech. Journalism and Mass Communication graduate from IP University. A forever fan of thrillers. Can be found reading or watching one and sipping coffee when I’m not working.

Related Reading

Comments

Avatar

Comment by Kristen Bialik on

Hi, George. Thank you for your comment. It looks like some of the software vendors in our list have updated their pricing structures since we last published this post. We’ll look into updating it again soon.

Avatar

Comment by George on

Ir’s funny that your title reads free ticketing system but we end up with paid/premium systems in the list this isn’t good

Comment by Me on

I think it’s worth mentioning Mint Service Desk. It’s also free to download and use on premise.

Comment by Garrett Heaven on

Nice tool list. All tools are beneficial. I am searching about help desk software tool and I get your blog. Great blog you shared on this blog. Thanks!

Comment by Bob on

Here is the free open source HelpScout alternative: help desk + shared mailbox + team Inbox
https://github.com/freescout-helpdesk/freescout

Avatar

Comment by Magic Web on

We used OS Ticket previously. It’s not modern but capable of doing what it is built for.

Comment by Robin Clayton on

I think Comodo One also offers ITSM Tool. One of my friend is using for managing his small business

Comment by shreya on

hi actually i am trying to find a ticket management sla based and cloud compatible open source tool. eg if a bug is raised by a tester the date on which it’s raised and keeping in mind the priority of it the time limit should be set on developer to fix it n that if overdue the time it should be displayed. i require it as soon as possible so plz help

Comment by Denise Hilton on

This guides lists 3 more help desk software that are free too: https://www.webemployed.com/free-help-desk-software-for-ticketing-support/

Avatar

Comment by Rachel Minihan on

Note: the OTRS Free option has recently been renamed to ((OTRS)) Community Edition and is now available at https://community.otrs.com/ .

Comment by Joseph on

Freshdesk is a good option for those who start and then want to grow.
https://freshdesk.grsm.io/go

Comment by Aysad Kozanoglu on

Please check also ZAMMAD. one of the best ticket solution. (open source) https://zammad.org/

Comment by James B on

Hi! what about Re:desk?! I use this software and want to say it is a single downloadable help desk with such features:

https://www.re-desk.com

Comment by Marius on

How can freshdesk be classed as free when they set a limit of 5 emails per day,… 5! the free version is basically useless…

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