6 Best Free Help Desk Software

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As a customer service manager, you may be aware of the multiple benefits of help desk software, including more efficient ticketing, improved customer support experience and customer satisfaction, and increased employee productivity.

If you’re one of those businesses that need new help desk software, you might find yourself in a jam: you need the software but you don’t have room in the budget as you’re constantly trying to minimize costs. If you’re in that position, this article is for you.

We bring you the best free help desk solutions on the market that meet your immediate business needs while offering the flexibility to expand capacity and capabilities in the future.

 Visit the complete directory

This article looks at six highly-rated, free help desk software products. View the full list of free solutions.

What does “best” mean? Each of the six tools (listed in alphabetical order) included in this article appears in our 2021 Capterra Shortlist for help desk software and offers a free version. These tools also have 4+ (out of 5) user ratings and 60+ user reviews on Capterra (see the full selection methodology here).

  • Free plan: Supports 10 users and includes lead scoring, appointment scheduling, and outbound and inbound calls.
  • Paid plans: Upgrades start at $9.99 per user, per month (billed annually) and include email campaigns, web engagement, social monitoring, marketing automation, and mobile marketing.

Agile CRM is a cloud-based all-in-one suite that allows managing sales, marketing, and customer service.

The tool lets you manage tickets for quick resolution. You can prioritize tickets and add labels to the tickets based on the nature of customer issues and queries. You can also assign these service request tickets to the appropriate desk agents and set their status (as pending, in progress, or resolved) for better searchability.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Dedicated support groups in Agile CRM

Dashboard in Agile CRM (Source)


  • Free plan: Supports two users and includes live chat, notifications for live chat, and team inbox.
  • Paid plans: Upgrades start at $25 per month, per website and include four users, canned responses, telegram chat, emails, Twitter DM, and Facebook Messenger.

Crisp is a cloud-based multi-channel customer service support platform wherein you can handle inbound customer queries via live chat, email, Twitter, SMS, and Facebook Messenger.

Crisp offers a text editor that helps you customize knowledge base content. You can add images, GIFs, and YouTube videos to make the content more engaging and useful for customers. The knowledge base content can be categorized using icons, colors, and titles so that it becomes more accessible.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Chatbot in Crisp

Chatbot in Crisp (Source)


  • Free plan: Includes auto responders, predictive lead score, live chat, and customer segmentation.
  • Paid plans: Upgrades start at $8.99 per user, per month and include social suite, live chat, Facebook ads, video marketing, and landing pages.

EngageBay is a cloud-based marketing platform with features to facilitate marketing automation, customer service, and customer relationship management.

You can track customer activity on the website to understand their motivations and needs. Based on the insights, you can customize chat messages and automate them to proactively offer support to your customers.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Ticket views in EngageBay

Ticket views in EngageBay (Source)


  • Free plan: Includes email ticketing, social media ticketing (only for Facebook and Twitter), knowledge base management, and reporting.
  • Paid plans: Upgrades start at $15 per agent, per month (billed annually) and include workflow automation, task collision detection, and help desk report.

Freshdesk is a cloud-based multichannel help desk platform for businesses of all sizes.

Freshdesk allows your customer support team to collaborate on tickets. Any team member can loop in other team members to discuss a particular support ticket. They can split tickets into sub-tickets and have multiple people work on those simultaneously. These tickets are linked, which makes tracking them easy.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Ticket management in Freshdesk

Omnichannel ticket list in Freshdesk (Source)


  • Free plan: Includes ticket management, reporting dashboard, and customizable user portal.
  • Paid plans: The software is completely free.

Spiceworks is an online network for IT professionals but the vendor also offers free help desk software (cloud or self-hosted).

The tool lets your support agents accept tickets, reply, add private comments, and resolve issues from a single platform. If you own a multi-location business, the tool can help you set up separate help desk sites and user portals for each location. All these help desk sites can be rolled up to one master help desk that can be easily managed.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

The Tickets interface in Spiceworks

Tracking tickets in Spiceworks (Source)


  • Free plan: Supports three free users and offers help center, customer management, and multi-language help desk.
  • Paid plans: Upgrades start at $9.91* per agent, per month (billed annually) and include a help center, public knowledge base, multi-language help desk, and product-based ticket management. *Converted from INR to USD on March 25, 2021 using xe.com.

Zoho Desk is a cloud-based help desk and customer service solution offering features such as ticket management, self-service capabilities for customers, and agent productivity tools.

Zoho Desk helps you convert Facebook or Twitter posts into tickets that can be easily tracked and responded to from the tool. You can add specific keywords to filter social media posts and messages and have them converted into tickets automatically.

These tickets can be assigned to a relevant agent or department for fast resolution or any agent can respond to them from their feed visible in the shared inbox.

The tool has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices.

Ticketing dashboard in Zoho Desk

Ticketing dashboard in Zoho Desk (Source)


How to choose the right free help desk tool for your business

The next step is to select the product that will best fit your business needs. The following steps will help you make that decision:

  • Calculate the total cost of ownership for the upgrade plans, including training, implementation, and support costs. Check with the vendor to ensure that upgrading the product you choose is within your budget.
  • Review the features in this buyers guide and select the ones necessary for optimum business performance. Eliminate products that don’t offer the essential features for your business.
  • Compare the free usage limits of the products (such as the number of agents and available features) and shortlist products accordingly.

If you want to explore more tools, we recommend browsing our complete Top 20 Help Desk Software report, which lists the top options based on verified user ratings and web search interest.

Common questions to ask while selecting a free help desk tool

Ask these questions before making the final investment:

  • How long does it take to fully implement the help desk? This will help you keep a realistic estimate of time and plan the transition toward the new software accordingly.
  • Can the tool integrate with my existing tools? Your help desk should integrate with your CRM and other important systems; but ensure that the integration isn’t costing you more than the standalone option itself.
  • What is the total cost of implementation? Know that software implementation is just one side of the story. There may be overhead costs associated with IT personnel, networking requirements, and telephony equipment.


How we rate

This article was updated on March 25, 2021. Products considered for this article had to be in the 2021 Capterra Shortlist for help desk tools and:

  • Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  • Meet our help desk definition: Help desk software lets organizations respond to users more efficiently. These systems help answer technical and functional questions by providing improved methodologies for ticket tracking, IT management, and customer service support. By integrating these elements, help desk software improves customer service departments’ ability to provide fast and effective support to employees, end users, and customers. Help desk system also facilitates the flow of new information from users, contributing to an organization’s existing knowledge base. Help desk software is also known as IT ticketing systems.
  • Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 60 user-submitted reviews and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category.
  • “Top” free tools had a minimum overall rating of 4/5 stars from reviewers on Capterra at the time of publication.

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

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

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About the Author

Ankita Singh

Ankita Singh

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Content Writer at Capterra, sharing insights about customer experience, CRM, and project management. MA in English from the University of Delhi, India. Aspiring to be the world’s best pasta chef. Work cited in publications such as Getfullyfunded and Proofhub. I love storytelling, socializing, and traveling.

Comments

Kristen Bialik

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.

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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

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

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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!

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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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

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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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