This article covers free self-hosted help desk software for Windows. There are several help desk software out there but most of them are hard to set up. Many such software come packed in ZIP files which require manual set up through a web-server software like XAMPP (you still need XAMPP or such web-server software installed though). I tried a handful of software and covers the ones which are super simple to set up and don’t require any prior knowledge (e.g. understanding of local server, hosts, etc.).
These are some of the easy-to-use help desk software. You get a Windows executable file which installs the software on your Windows machine without the need of any manual setup. Once installed, you can simply run the software with their launcher icons. All these software are still self-hosted but worry not, you ain’t have to do anything. They automatically install all their dependencies all you have to do is make sure you have an active internet connection.
Being a help desk solution, all these software let you set your support email address to automatically create tickets and add them to the database. All these software are free with some limitations which are discussed in details below.
Free Self-hosted Help Desk Software for Windows:
SpiceWorks Help Desk Software
The first free help desk software on this list is SpiceWorks. This is an absolutely free help desk software and also has an online version. The installation of the self-hosted version is very easy. Once installed, it asks you to create a user to manage the help desk. Then, it asks you to connect your support email address. You can skip this step if you want or automate the ticketing by connecting the email. If you don’t set up the email, you have to create the tickets manually.
The Dashboard of SpiceWorks gives you an insight into all the tickets which you can sort by time frame, ticket category, and site. Then, there are dedicated sections for
- Tickets: Displays a complete ticket data table with assignee, creator, assigned to, category, priority, date, etc.
- Knowledge Base: Contains the knowledge database for the whole firm, team, and user.
- User Portal: A user portal to add a knowledge database and customize the layout.
- Reports: Detailed reports of all the tickets with filter options.
- Purchasing: Lists all the purchases on tickets, vendors, and quotes.
This software provides you all the necessary features for easy assistance. The user interface is neat and easy-to-navigate. It keeps tracks on all the user communications within the tickets. One of the best things about this software is that you can manage the tickets from your phone as well. Apart from online and self-hosted version, SpiceWorks also have Android and iOS apps to help you access your user portal from anywhere.
Download this free help desk software from here.
Web Help Desk Free Edition (SolarWinds)
The next free help desk software on this list is Web Help Desk Free Edition. This software gets you started step by step. Once you install this software on your Windows machine, it adds a shortcut to the Windows Start Menu from where you can run it. Now, note that that shortcut is a *.bat file which you have to run as an administrator. Once you do that, it starts the command prompt and looks for a free port. If the default port is taken, simply press any key on your keyboard to find an empty port.
When launched, this software takes you through a step-by-step process of creating a database (knowledge base), connect email accounts, add admin account, and select help support request type. This request type option comes handy to automatically route the tickets to specific experts.
The user interface of this software is well sorted out. It has two rows of tabs. The primary row takes you to Tickets, Calendar, Clients, FAQs, Reports, and Messages. And, the secondary row shows further options of the primary selection. The ticket section is user-friendly with easy ticket sorting at the top. On top of that, you can also apply filters and run the query to locate a ticket. This free version lacks a few features like customer feedback, purchase order management, etc.
Give it a try here.
SysAid Free Help Desk Software
SysAid Free Help Desk Software is another free self-hosted help desk software for Windows. The installation of this software is basically the same as the other two software. Once installed it opens in your default web browser where you can to create a user log in record. The free version of this software is limited to one user only.
The interface of this software clean and simple. The homepage shows a summary of all the tickets. It has four main buttons on top
- Service Desk: This takes you to the ticket desk where you can manage all the tickets. You can assign tickets, set priority, search, add filters, and also export as PDF or CSV.
- Assets: Asset management (knowledge bases, users, products, etc.) and monitoring tools (alerts, events, polls, etc.).
- Analytics: System Overview (admin portal and reports) and performance.
- Tools: Calendar, groups, uses, and administration settings.
Here is a list of some of the unique feature of this software:
- SMS and IM support along with email
- ticket console customization
- advanced filters
- search tickets by date
- analytics with Gantt chart
- export tickets to CSV/PDF
Grab this help desk software here.
These are the 3 free self-hosted help desk software where you don’t have to deal with the complex set up hassle. The essential help desk features are more or less same in all these software; choose one comes down to personal preferences. Give them a try and find out which one works best for you. Do share your experience in the comment section below.