The Top 17 Free Help Desk Software and Ticketing Systems in 2023

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Clint Fontanella
Clint Fontanella



Customer support reps don't know how heavy their workload is going to be until they begin the day. This puts pressure on the rep to not only be flexible when faced with surprises but also to be organized enough to handle an unpredictable workday.

free help desk software: help desk employee smiling as she talks to many different customers at once

This is where free help desk software and ticketing systems come in. Read on to learn more about how help desk software plays a major role in the success of customer service teams.

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What is help desk?

A help desk distributes incoming service requests among team members and allows them to manage follow-up on long-term cases.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a self-serve library of information about a product, service, or topic that helps customers find answers so they can troubleshoot problems without having to contact a customer service rep.

Internal knowledge bases can also be created in order to answer common employee questions and keep helpful information in one place.

Knowledge bases often include the following:

  • Directions and tips for using your products and services
  • Answers to FAQs
  • Content you've created that can provide in-depth solutions
  • Video demonstrations
  • Company information
  • Knowledge on different business departments.

Ticket Management

Ticket management provides a streamlined system for managing customer support requests. You'll be able to receive and assign tickets, track progress, and escalate issues when necessary. Plus, you'll be able to organize tickets based on priority, status, and severity.

Ticket Automation

With ticket automation, you can set up triggers and rules that automatically assign tickets, send out notifications, and perform other actions based on specific conditions. Not only does it allow you to streamline your workflow and focus on higher value tasks, but it can also help you provide your customers with a better experience.

Ticket Escalation

Ticket escalation is the process of moving a customer support ticket from an initial representative who isn't able to resolve the issue to a higher level rep or manager. Help desk software can help with this process by ensuring high-priority issues get the attention they deserve.

For instance, you can set up automations that prioritize high-severity tickets and route technical issues to more senior representatives.

Ticket Distribution

Simplify the ticket distribution process by automatically routing tickets to the appropriate rep based on their skill set, availability, or workload. Managers can also use ticketing software to monitor ticket distribution, reallocate tickets when necessary, and maintain a balanced workload across their team.

Multiple Contact Options

Help desk software provides customers with multiple options to get in touch with your business. These options can range from traditional phone and email support to live chat and conversational bots. Having multiple communication channels available can help you effectively meet customer needs and increase their satisfaction.

Customer Support Analytics

Customer support analytics can provide you with valuable insights into your customer service efforts. By utilizing this feature, you can track various performance metrics, such as knowledge base usage, ticket volumes, response times, customer feedback, and more.

This information can be used to improve processes and identify areas where additional resources are needed.

Benefits of Free IT Ticketing Systems

1. Efficiently Manages Support Requests

With ticketing systems, your team can manage support requests much more efficiently than you would if you were doing everything manually. It allows you to receive, track, and assign IT tickets to individual contributors or groups in one centralized place, ensuring that each request is addressed in a timely manner.

By using help desk software, you can automate processes such as ticket routing, escalation, task creation, and customer marketing emails. This will help you cut down time spent on routine tasks and give you more time to focus on deep work.

2. Increases Bandwidth

Since these systems are designed to simplify the organization and management of support requests, your team will have more bandwidth to serve more customers in less time.

Additionally, because they allow you to automate so many routine tasks, there's more room to work on new strategies and projects.

3. Improves Customer Satisfaction

Free IT ticketing systems can help improve customer satisfaction by streamlining your company's support process and ensuring that customer issues are handled in a timely manner. Because they offer multiple contact options, such as chatbots and live chats, customers can better communicate with support staff about their needs.

Plus, self-service options, like knowledge bases, can help customers find solutions to their problems on their own, reducing the need to contact support staff.

4. Saves Money

Though premium and enterprise-level help desks have additional features that can help improve your overall customer experience, these systems can be quite pricey. For businesses working within a tight budget, a paid version may not be possible.

While free IT ticketing systems may not have all the bells and whistles of a premium version, they will definitely get the job done in a pinch and save you money while you figure out which system is best for your company.

Let's take a look at some of the top help desk software and ticketing systems your team can start using for free.

1. HubSpot Help Desk

free help desk software: hubspot help desk

HubSpot's Free Help Desk and Ticketing Software is a unified help desk dashboard where all customer requests are stored so your entire team can easily track, prioritize, and manage them.

Staying organized gets harder as you scale your business, making it more difficult to give each customer issue the attention it deserves. With this software, you can keep an eye on each issue and resolve them with ease.

Why We Like This Software

With this system, you can identify and track KPIs to help your team improve the support you provide customers as well as coach reps and better manage ticket volume.

Ticket routing and automation ensure your team doesn't have to manually enter data or assign tickets. You can also assign owners and stages to certain tickets so HubSpot can automatically create personalized pipelines for your reps to increase productivity.

Pro tip: Use HubSpot's Help Desk software to track all customer requests, manage tickets, and prioritize and distribute work among reps.

2. Jira Service Desk

free help desk software: jira service desk

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Whether you're managing incidents, proactively announcing changes in your interface or offerings, or looking for the source of a bug, Jira has service desk features to make the process simple.

Jira's free version is perfect for small businesses, allowing access to up to three agents and 100 emails per day. If you plan on expanding your support team or constantly have a high volume of requests, you may want to consider upgrading to a paid plan, which starts at $21 per agent per month.

Why We Like This Software

Jira comes with built-in automation, queuing, knowledge base, and asset management features. It matches your operational workflow and offers a number of integrations to complement your other service software.

3. Zoho Desk

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Zoho Desk is a multi-channel help desk that includes an advanced ticket management system. It handles incoming service cases via phone, web, email, chat, and social media. This coverage across multiple channels makes it easier for brands to provide an omnichannel experience.

Up to three agents can use Zoho Desk's free version at one time. If you need more seats, you'll need to upgrade to one of its paid plans. Zoho Desk also offers a 15-day free trial if you want to try out its premium features before committing to a paid plan.

Why We Like This Software

Zoho Desk offers a widget tool that you can embed on your website. When loaded in a browser, the widget turns into a support form that customers can fill out to request assistance. They can describe their problem in detail as well as request a preferred channel through which to communicate.

This makes it simple for customers to access your support team. It also allows reps to easily analyze and find solutions for incoming requests. This significantly improves first-call resolution rates as well as customer satisfaction.

4. ProProfs Help Desk

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ProProfs Help Desk comes across as a simple help desk system but brings powerful features to the table. Whether you wish to assign tickets to agents or share notifications with customers, you can use ProProfs to automate these repetitive tasks and speed up your support process.

From a shared dashboard, agents can view, assign, prioritize, and resolve support tickets in simple steps. You can easily manage your customer-facing inboxes, such as support@ or info@, with the shared inbox feature. Although the tool does not offer a forever-free plan, you can use its 15-day free trial to access all premium features and test it out before you fully commit.

Why We Like This Software

The best part about ProProfs Help Desk is its omnichannel capabilities. Your customer service team can interact with customers on multiple channels, including email, live chat, chatbots, web forms, knowledge base, etc., and offer 24x7, uninterrupted support. In addition to this, you can connect ProProfs with your favorite CRM tools to deliver an all-in-one exceptional customer experience.

5. Groove


Groove is one of the simplest and most cost-effective cloud-based help desk software solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. It helps companies communicate with their customers via email, live chat, social media, and phone calls. 

Over 10,000 users trust Groove as a simple yet powerful Zendesk and Freshdesk alternative. According to them, Groove’s help desk is easier to use, quicker to set up, and provides a way better experience for your customers. 

Why We Like This Software

Groove is a more cost-effective and feature-rich alternative to Zendesk, Freshdesk, and all the others which is simpler to use and offers a free 7-day trial. Groove’s help desk software allows companies to accept, track, and respond to support requests in an organized fashion with ticketing, live chat, knowledge base, self-service portals, SLO management, multiple mailboxes, task management, and reporting. 

6. Jotform

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Jotform is a powerful and comprehensive online form builder that moves beyond Jotform’s core functionality as a cutting-edge ticketing and customer feedback system. With its seamless integration, organizations can effortlessly collect service requests and efficiently distribute them among team members, enhancing overall productivity and customer satisfaction.

Jotform’s suite of products is designed to cater to organizations of all sizes, empowering them to streamline processes and construct optimized workflows. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, Jotform Enterprise has the tools you need to elevate your operations for large businesses.

Why We Like This Software

With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Jotform allows you to create customized service request forms easily and embed them into your website. Facilitate an enhanced collaboration among customer service teams to eliminate data silos and ensure a smooth flow of information for handling requests. Plus, with over 100 integrations available, you can connect with essential products like Jotform Tables, Sign, Apps, and more — streamlining your workflow by harnessing the power of multiple productivity tools in one centralized platform.

Additionally, with your Jotform Enterprise upgraded plan, you can access helpful tools like Single Sign-On (SSO), a dedicated support team, white labeling, user management tools, and more to elevate their service management capabilities and experience a user-friendly, no-code ticketing solution — at an affordable price.

7. Spiceworks

spiceworks free help desk software

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Spiceworks is a ticketing system that helps businesses manage both internal and customer-facing tasks. The software is all online in a cloud, so there's no hassle in getting it set up and maintaining it. Best of all, Spiceworks is completely free with no limits on tickets, devices, or agent access.

Why We Like This Software

Because Spiceworks is a cloud-based help desk, users can log in from any web browser and get to work. It also offers a help desk mobile app that keeps you updated on all your tickets. This makes it easier for customer service teams to manage requests that may come in during off-hours.

Spiceworks also offers an inventory management integration that can help your team oversee product orders that are in progress.

It uses an IP scanner to locate orders and then notifies the rep of the order's progress. Reps can then proactively relay that information to the customer so they're aware of any delays that will occur with their delivery.

8. C-Desk

free help desk software: c-desk

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C-Desk is an extensive help desk platform that offers a wide variety of free customer service tools. It includes everything from ticket management to customer feedback collection. This platform is ideal for smaller businesses that may be adopting their first help desk software.

C-Desk is web-based and entirely free, making it a great option for a scaling team with a limited budget.

Why We Like This Software

C-desk offers tools that can help promote customer success. For example, the gallery tool allows you to upload and post videos and pictures to different albums on your website. Use this feature to create customer testimonials that will give more credibility to your customer service team.

9. osTicket

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osTicket is a ticketing system that can be used to distribute and manage incoming cases. To get started with its free self-hosted version, all you need to do is download your desired support features and install.

osTicket also provides a paid cloud-hosted version for $12 per agent per month, plus a free 30-day trial. In addition to all the features included in the free version, the paid version provides secure application maintenance and support through SupportSystem.

Why We Like This Software

osTicket's most notable feature is ticket filters which allows you to automate the creation and routing of tickets. You can even automatically assign tasks to the ticket based on the rule criteria that you determine.

Another interesting feature is its "agent collision avoidance" mechanism that prevents reps from working on the same ticket at the same time. The software locks the ticket so that other team members won't overwhelm the customer with responses.

10. Help Scout

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Help Scout is a helpdesk software that's designed for startups and small businesses or any company that's looking to get started with their first customer service team.

Although Help Scout does not offer a plan that is 100% free, it does offer a significant discount to nonprofits and certified public benefit corporations. It also offers new startup businesses a six month free trial.

Why We Like This Software

It comes with cloud-based features that small companies love, such as a shared inbox and knowledge center capabilities. In addition, every pricing level comes with the ability to embed help widgets on your website that you can set to fire on specific pages. In the world of many alternatives, Helpscout stands out for its simplicity and ease of use.

11. Hesk

free help desk software: hesk

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Hesk is a lightweight help desk software that's great for small customer service teams. It's simple and user-friendly, making it easy to learn for beginners.

If your team doesn't have the resources to troubleshoot and keep up with Hesk's maintenance, Hesk also offers a cloud-based help desk system, starting at $29.99 per month.

Why We Like This Software

Hesk offers a reliable, cloud-based ticketing system that takes minutes to download and set up. You can create custom ticket fields and modify the display to align with your team's workflow. It even offers a ticket submission form where customers can open web-based tickets that are managed within the app.

12. ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus

free help desk software: manageengine servicedesk plus

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ManageEngine ServiceDeskPlus provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use software that's perfect for small businesses. The free standard edition offers a wide range of tools that can be used by up to five reps.

If your team is growing and needs more than five seats, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. For pricing, contact ManageEngine for a quote.

Why We Like This Software

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus comes with a variety of support features ranging from a knowledge base to self-service portals to SLAs to user surveys.

In addition to those foundational services, the software offers automation to streamline support operations. Your reps can set their availability and tickets are dispatched automatically.

13. HelpDeskZ

free help desk software: helpdeskz

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HelpDeskZ is a PHP-based solution for your web-based ticketing system. The software is entirely free, so you don't need to worry about paying for upgrades as you scale.

Why We Like This Software

With features such as bulk actions, group routing, and email piping, you'll be able to increase productivity within your support team.

The software also comes with templated responses and a knowledge base to help reps handle the most common inquiries.

14. Web Help Desk by SolarWinds

free help desk software: solarwinds

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If you want to manage end-to-end service request lifecycles from a single portal, Web Help Desk is an ideal solution.

Though Web Help Desk's free edition has all the features you need to manage tickets and solve for your customers, you'll need to purchase a paid plan if you want more automation and IT asset management capabilities. Luckily, there is a 14-day free trial, so you can try before you buy.

Why We Like This Software

Web Help Desk has a built-in knowledge base as well as SLA and ticket management features. You can track tickets and rep performance all with the goal of resolving tickets faster using data-driven insights.

15. Freshdesk by Freshworks

free help desk software: freshdesk by freshworks

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Freshdesk's forever-free plan provides a simple customer service solution for small businesses, startups, and teams of 10 reps or less. Freshworks also offers premium customer service management software through Freshservice. These plans start at $19 per agent per month.

Why We Like This Software

Freshdesk includes all the basic features you need to meet customers' needs, including shared inbox, social media support, automated ticket assignment, public knowledge base, and more.

It allows you to collaborate with your team on high-severity issues in real-time and has reporting tools that provide valuable insights that can help your team improve performance.

16. LiveAgent

free help desk software: liveagent

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LiveAgent's free help desk software is a great starting point for new businesses that are looking for a powerful system, but don't have the budget for an enterprise-level plan. It has all the features your team needs to satisfy customer requests, however, there are some limitations, like not being able to view tickets that are older than seven days.

If your company has a high volume of support requests, you may want to consider upgrading to one of LiveAgent's paid plans, which start at $9 per agent per month.

Why We Like This Software

While other free help desk software plans have limited capabilities, LiveAgent offers unlimited agents, emails, live chats, calls, and contact forms. With its ticketing system, you receive all support requests from all channels in one single inbox so they can easily be filed into a ticket.

LiveAgent also allows you to set up a free knowledge base so customers can solve their problems without having to contact your support team.

17. Zendesk

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Zendesk's customizable help desk software provides service solutions that enable you to build and maintain strong relationships with your customers. Although ZenDesk does not have a forever free plan, like Help Scout, it does offer new startup businesses a six month free trial. After the trial ends, plans start at $49 per month.

Why We Like This Software

Zendesk has all the capabilities your team needs to serve your customers, like multiple messaging options, help center, ticket management, intelligent ticket routing, automations, and more. Because its tools are completely customizable, you can adjust your features and implement new strategies as your business scales.

Find the Right Help Desk Software for Your Team

As your company continues to grow and take on new clients, your customer service team will also be working to keep up with increased demand for customer support requests. Help desk software will give reps the ability to effectively and efficiently organize those requests, manage ticket volume, and provide support.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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