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What Is The Difference Between Desktop Support And Help Desk?

What Is The Difference Between Desktop Support And Help Desk?

A good IT support plan is essential for any business, and that is an undeniable fact. Here at PCH Technologies, we want our customers to be well-informed at every stage of the process. As such, we are going to address a frequently confusing issue. Many people don’t understand the difference between desktop support and a help desk, so let’s explain the difference in greater detail.

What Is A Help Desk?

The term “help desk” can have more than one meaning. First, it might literally be a desk where people come and ask for help. However, the term isn’t always this literal. More often, a help desk is a telephone line that network users can call for help when something goes wrong.

This help desk functions as an initial point of contact. Once the problem has been reported, it is passed on to the appropriate staff. In this way, the right people can be dispatched quickly to take care of a wide variety of problems. The primary job of a help desk is to take complaints and identify the appropriate solutions for those complaints.

What Is Desktop Support?

Desktop support is a different type of technical support, even though it serves a similar purpose to that of a help desk. With desktop support, technicians access the affected machine directly, working through a virtual chat or telephone line to coordinate with the end-user.

Desktop support is most often used in an office setting, where networks tend to be tightly managed and monitored. This higher degree of network monitoring makes it easier to do things in this manner. Because most (or all) members of that company will be using similar hardware, desktop support becomes a little easier than most alternatives.

Why Are These Terms So Often Confused?

Many people don’t accurately know the difference between a help desk and desktop support. That is an easy mistake to make because these are two things with similar functions. Both of them could be filed under the heading of “people who fix your computer.”

In many ways, the difference between desktop support and a help desk is much like the difference between a heart surgeon and a brain surgeon. While both of these people are doctors, they work on two totally different systems. Likewise, a help desk and desktop support are just two players working toward the same goal.

Can Both Of These Approaches Be Used At Once?

It is acceptable (and typical) to make use of both a help desk and desktop support at the same time. Most well-managed IT departments will do just that, so there’s definitely nothing out of the ordinary if you choose to do the same. Indeed, many would say that both of these support roles are necessary to create a well-rounded infrastructure.

When used in combination, these two roles should not interfere with one another. Usually, desktop support will be the first line of defense. Many minor problems can be corrected remotely, so it’s always better to try that way first. This saves another technician the trouble of physically checking the machine in person.

When desktop support is unable to handle a particular problem, that’s when the help desk comes into play. They will work with the end-user in a one-on-one fashion to identify, contain, and remove the problem. If any physical attention is needed for a given device, it will be the job of the help desk to send the right people to deal with the problem.


When your company needs the very best IT professionals around, call PCH technologies for a consultation. We can provide extensive desktop support, as well as a well-staffed help desk that can answer all your questions. Don’t waste time with those other IT companies, as we have everything you need under one roof. You don’t want those nasty technical problems to hinder the smooth and efficient operation of your business, so pick up the phone and call PCH today. While you’re at it, you might also want to fill out the contact form below to receive more helpful information.