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Best free help desk ticketing systems and free trials

Choose the best free ticketing system or start a free trial to help your business provide great customer service.

A guide to the best free ticketing software

Last updated January 22, 2024

The best free ticketing software makes it easy for agents to do their jobs and deliver service that improves the customer experience. This type of software is not a cure for every issue your company might face, but it can address many of them, freeing you up to focus on whatever remains.

To help you choose the best system, we’ve highlighted 17 industry-leading companies that offer either free plans or free trials. Additionally, we’ll review why companies need a help desk, how they can benefit from a free plan or trial, and the features that can simplify the decision-making process.

To skip to a specific section, click through the table of contents below.

What is free help desk software?

Free help desk software is the non-paid version of ticketing software that helps convert customer requests into tickets. The software provides customer support agents with the tools they need to manage and resolve tickets efficiently. Companies can use this software to save time while addressing several customer requests and minimizing errors.

Comparison chart of the 17 best free ticketing systems and free trials

SoftwareFree trialFree planKey features

Zendesk

14 days

Free for 6 months for qualifying startups

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

  • Email, voice, SMS, and live chat support

  • 1000+ apps and integrations

  • Robust APIs

  • Call recording

Help Scout

15 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Zoho Desk

15 days

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Freshdesk

21 days

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

WordPress Advanced Ticket System

Not available

Available

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

LiveAgent

14 days

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Jira Service Management

7 days

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

HubSpot Service Hub

Not available

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Vision Helpdesk

30 days

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

ProProfs Help Desk

15 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

AzureDesk

14 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

SupportBee

14 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Salesforce Service Cloud

30 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

SolarWinds Service Desk

30 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

HelpCrunch Help Desk

14 days

Not available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk

Not available

Available

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Drag

7 days

Available

  • Self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

The 17 best free help desk software and free trials

1. Zendesk

An image displays the Zendesk platform companies can use with a free help desk ticketing system trial.

The Zendesk ticketing system free trial helps your team collaborate more efficiently by streamlining processes. Automations and built-in workflows enable your agents to respond effectively to customers, removing the guesswork to deliver great customer service, with:

  • Support for business rules that start a process based on preset guidelines

  • Built-in best practices that are fully customizable

  • Customizable views that enable agents to filter their customer queue

  • Dynamic request forms that provide employees with the right context in order to enhance the customer experience

The free help desk software trial also boosts collaboration among teams by including:

  • The ability to CC coworkers on tickets and share information using internal notes

  • Live editing that shows who is viewing a ticket and any changes they make

  • Mobile functionality that lets employees handle tickets from anywhere

Customer support teams and their managers can integrate apps from the Zendesk Marketplace, and even develop new apps using Zendesk APIs. Your support team can better understand their customers and provide personalized service using analytics insights.

Qualifying early-stage startups also get Zendesk free for six months. They get unlimited access to all Zendesk products, to build connections in our community, and learn best practices from our very own experts. Learn more about the program and the prerequisites here.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

  • Email, voice, text, and live chat support

  • 1000+ apps and integrations

  • Robust APIs

  • Call recording

Pricing:

  • Support Team: $19 per agent/month

  • Support Professional: $55 per agent/month

  • Support Enterprise: $115 per agent/month

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Free for 6 months for qualifying startups

2. Help Scout

An image displays the Help Scout platform companies can use with a free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

Help Scout’s free ticketing software trial lets agents leverage its full range of features. Support teams collaborate in a shared inbox, assigning conversations to specific agents. Agents can automate repetitive tasks by creating custom workflows. Customer information gets displayed across communication channels to enhance personalized experiences.

Help Scout offers live classes to help customers get up and running quickly. The classes cover how to use APIs to make custom reports and integrations, as well as general walk-throughs for the messaging app and how to create a knowledge base.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Standard: $25 per user/month

  • Plus: $50 per user/month

  • Pro: $65 per user/month with an annual subscription

Free trial:

15 days

Free plan:

Not available

3. Zoho Desk

An image displays Zoho Desk’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

Zoho Desk offers a free trial for all plans, providing access to advanced features such as live chats, ticket sharing, and service-level agreement (SLA) contract management.

The free Zoho Desk plan supports three users with basic ticket management control and minimal support needs. Users can customize tabs and form fields and personalize landing pages and message settings. Agents also have access to a private knowledge base, but the public knowledge base is reserved for the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise plans.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Express: $9 per user/month

  • Standard: $20 per user/month

  • Professional: $35 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $50 per user/month

Free trial:

15 days

Free plan:

Available

Learn more about the Zoho app for Zendesk.

4. Freshdesk

An image displays Freshdesk’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

Freshdesk’s free ticketing system provides various benefits for agents and customers. Customers can access a public knowledge base and receive 24/7 email support. Agents can use out-of-the-box analytics and reporting to improve data collection. Companies can also select the location of their data center and integrate ticketing with their email and social media accounts.

Paid plans unlock AI tools to assist with email responses and identify social media brand mentions. Users can invite third-party collaborators to assist with complex issues. Collision detection identifies when an agent is accessing a ticket to avoid redundant work.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Growth: $18 per agent/month

  • Pro: $59 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $95 per agent/month

Free trial:

21 days

Free plan:

Available

5. WordPress Advanced Ticket System

An image displays Wordpress Advanced Ticket System’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

The WordPress Advanced Ticket System (WATS) plugin offers a free and paid plan for companies that use WordPress to serve customers. The free ticket system enables you to integrate tickets within your WordPress site, but requires your agents to do everything manually.

One possible pain point you might come across is that customers won’t be submitting tickets directly through your site. Instead, they need to email or call your agents to initiate a ticket. The premium plan allows ticket submission through the front end or by email. Support tickets receive internal updates and can be individually assigned. It also enables company and user profile management.

Features:

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Pro: €50 per month

Free trial:

Not available

Free plan:

Available

Learn more about the WordPress app for Zendesk.

6. LiveAgent

An image displays LiveAgent’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

LiveAgent has paid and free help desk software options to give your customers 24/7 service. Employees get a unified view of all customer queries and can automate workflows to improve help desk functions. The free plan maintains only seven days of ticket history; so, any ticket data older than one week will disappear from both your and your customer’s view.

LiveAgent provides free live chats, though you’re limited to just one chat button. Beyond that, LiveAgent offers analytics overviews, a knowledge base, and can accommodate multiple languages.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Small: $15 per agent/month

  • Medium: $35 per agent/month

  • Large: $59 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: $85 per agent/month

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Available

7. Jira Service Management

An image that displays Jira Service Management’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

Jira Service Management offers a free IT ticketing system designed to empower your IT team with cutting edge tools. The software includes automation, incident management, and a self-service portal specialized for IT management. Agents can collaborate on help tickets across platforms by adding the Zendesk application.

Jira Service Management’s free plan provides access for three agents and up to 100 email notifications per day, while paid plans are unlimited. Paid plans also unlock multi-project automation and advanced security management, like audit logs and IP access.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Standard: $21 per agent/month

  • Premium: $47 per agent/month

  • Enterprise: Contact sales for pricing

Free trial:

7 days

Free plan:

Available

Learn more about the Jira app for Zendesk.

8. HubSpot Service Hub

An image displays HubSpot’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

HubSpot Service Hub provides a free help desk software along with two paid plans. The free plan allows up to three agents to share ticket management responsibilities and create predetermined responses. Users can view tickets from other platforms, like Zendesk, in the HubSpot interface. A lack of automation and customization are some drawbacks to the free service.

HubSpot provides a broad range of other tools to support other areas of operation. Its content management system provides intuitive control of your website, and its paid help desk software can integrate with other tools from the service, making it easy to test its functionality.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Starter: $20 per month

  • Professional: $500 per month

Free trial:

Not available

Free plan:

Available

Learn more about the HubSpot app for Zendesk.

9. Vision Helpdesk

An image displays Vision Helpdesk’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

Vision Helpdesk provides a comprehensive set of features that teams of any size and industry can apply to their operations. Its modern, cloud-based system has broad appeal and includes features that specialized support teams can appreciate.

Vision Helpdesk’s ticket management includes rule-based automations, conversation recording, and omnichannel support. Plus, its knowledge base can support public and private articles, user comments, and multiple categories. The software also has gamification features that incentivize your agents to do their best.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Starter Help Desk: $15 per agent/month

  • Pro Help Desk: $25 per agent/month

  • Satellite Help Desk: $30 per agent/month

  • Pro Service Desk: $40 per agent/month

  • Ent Service Desk: $60 per agent/month

Free trial:

30 days

Free plan:

Not available

10. ProProfs Help Desk

An image displays ProProfs Help Desk’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

ProProfs Help Desk gives companies a centralized space for their shared inboxes—the interface is similar to Gmail while adding more functionality. ProProfs has a free help desk trial so companies can experience all of its features. Its single plan allows access to all features, but growing companies may find it difficult to scale with ProProfs due to its limited functionality.

The software provides advanced ticket assignments, evenly distributing the workload among agents. Predetermined responses help agents answer customers quickly and automated customer surveys make gathering and measuring feedback easy. The ProProfs knowledge base integrates with Zendesk for fast ticket resolutions.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Monthly plan: $30 per user

Free trial:

15 days

Free plan:

Not available

Learn more about the ProProfs app for Zendesk.

11. AzureDesk

An image displays AzureDesk’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

While AzureDesk doesn’t provide a free plan, you can try a free help desk trial for up to two weeks. Among other things, AzureDesk’s Plus plan includes a self-service portal, ticket management, workflow automation, and reporting.

Additionally, AzureDesk puts no limit on the number of emails you can convert into tickets, and agents can save FAQ pages and paste answers into open tickets with just a click. On top of its core features, AzureDesk can integrate with your favorite tools through its native integrations and API.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Plus: $50 per user/month

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Not available

12. SupportBee

An image displays SupportBee’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

The SupportBee helps small to medium-size businesses get up and running fast with its free support ticket system trial. It lacks some of the advanced features most large companies require, but offers affordable solutions to set your support team up for success.

SupportBee provides core features such as unlimited email ticketing, audit trails, and knowledge base software. Its Startup plan supports one team with basic integrations, while the Enterprise plan supports three teams and has a customer portal.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Startup: $15 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $20 per user/month

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Not available

13. Salesforce Service Cloud

An image displays Salesforce Service Cloud’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

Salesforce Service Cloud adds more capabilities to the Salesforce platform, giving agents a 360-degree customer view to promote a customer-centric culture. Salesforce has two-way integration with Zendesk, providing a complete view of sales and support data. Users can try any of Salesforce’s four plans for free to make sure they select the right option.

Salesforce’s analytics deliver insights that help managers find areas for improvement. AI enables easy automation and personalization, connecting with CRM data. Agents can effectively manage workflows and route tickets to the proper team or person for accurate resolutions. Note that many features are only available as separate add-ons, affecting the true cost of ownership.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Starter: $25 per user/month

  • Professional: $75 per user/month

  • Enterprise: $150 per user/month

  • Unlimited: $300 per user/month

Free trial:

30 days

Free plan:

Not available

Learn more about the Salesforce app for Zendesk.

14. SolarWinds Service Desk

An image displays Solarwinds’ free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

SolarWinds Service Desk does not offer a free IT help desk software, but you can try it at no charge for 30 days. Free trial users have full access to the power of Solarwinds ticket routing, knowledge management, and asset management. Agents can tap into in-depth reports, like CSAT scores, to gain operational insights. The platform integrates with Zendesk for improved functionality.

You can also add SolarWinds’ Dameware Remote Support to enable your agents to assist anytime from anywhere. Dameware includes remote access with support for OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Linux desktops, laptops, and servers.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

  • Service-level agreement management

Pricing:

  • Starts at $39 per technician/month

  • Contact sales for an advanced quote

Free trial:

30 days

Free plan:

Not available

Learn more about the Solarwinds app for Zendesk.

15. HelpCrunch Help Desk

An image displays HelpCrunch’s free help desk ticketing system trial.
Image source

HelpCrunch doesn’t have a free version, but you can sign up for its free, two-week Help Desk software trial. When you create a free trial or paid account, you get an onboarding assistant to help you navigate your new tool. The service also allows free migration from other platforms.

The Basic plan includes live chat support, full customization, and a monolingual knowledge base. The Pro plan unlocks chatbots and a multilingual knowledge base. The unlimited plan removes caps on all widgets, auto messages, and chatbots. Other popular help desk features include custom user attributes, multi-project support, and conversation transcripts.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Basic: $15 per team member/month

  • Pro: $25 per team member/month

  • Unlimited: $495 per month billed annually

Free trial:

14 days

Free plan:

Not available

16. Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk

An image displays Spiceworks’ free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

The Spiceworks Cloud Help Desk is a 100-percent free ticket system that gives IT professionals a cloud-based platform to monitor and manage customer support. The software also has a mobile app so agents can receive ticket updates and push notifications while they’re on the move.

The free plan allows for unlimited tickets, agents, and users. The reporting dashboard helps users track ticket activity, response time, and average close time. Agents can also share private comments with other team members that aren’t visible to the customer. The drawback to this free service is that there are forced ads and promotional materials users must tolerate.

Features:

  • Knowledge base and self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Free trial:

Not available

Free plan:

Available

17. Drag

An image displaying Drag’s free help desk ticketing system.
Image source

Drag is the ideal free ticket system for businesses that use email as their primary workspace. It integrates with Gmail to help teams collaborate and increase productivity from a unified space. The free plan supports up to three users, giving them a shared inbox, collision detection, and an activity log.

Larger teams can try a paid plan that supports up to three users for free. The paid plans unlock advanced automations, team reports, and in-app chat support. Teams can also use reporting features to visualize activity and measure performance.

Features:

  • Self-service portal

  • Ticket and incident management

  • Automated ticket routing

  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

  • Starter: $10 per user/month

  • Plus: $15 per user/month

  • Pro: $20 per user/month

Free trial:

7 days

Free plan:

Available

Benefits of free help desk software

Free help desk ticketing systems or a free trial allows small and mid-size companies to access the resources they need to manage customer interactions. Here are four benefits of free help desk software that improve your operations.

  • Risk-free software testing

    Dedicating thousands of dollars to a sub-par help desk system isn’t a gamble many companies can afford. Starting with a free online help desk or a free trial removes the monetary risk so you can test a service’s basic features. Still, time is a cost in itself, so you won’t want to spend too long on a free service that’s undeserving your needs.

  • Easy learning curve

    Free service desk software typically has fewer features than their subscription-based counterparts. While limited functionality is a double-edged sword, it does make it easy to train agents and get the system up and running quickly. Advanced features sometimes require prolonged training to get right, so your deployment is easier by sticking to the basics. A free trial, however, lets you test advanced features without the pressure of a financial commitment.

  • Set your agents up for success

    Free support ticket systems and help desk software aim to empower agents. The right software helps teams collaborate to resolve tickets, opening multiple communication channels. Automations save time by removing redundancies and lifting simple tasks from your agents’ responsibilities. Free plans might not allow you use all of these features, but free trials usually provide access to premium plans.

  • Consistent ticket management

    Consistency breeds success, but it will always be out of reach if agents constantly have to adapt to different ways to manage tickets. Trouble ticketing systems provide the triggers and predetermined responses that make great service part of your routine. Free trials can promote stable processes by avoiding deploying multiple services before finding the platform that has what you need.

Features of free help desk ticketing software

Free online ticketing systems often lack advanced features of paid plans, but you shouldn’t let that hold back your performance. Here’s a rundown of some must-have features that help your team deliver great service, without paying premium prices.

Knowledge base and self-service portal

Agents don’t need to handle every question your customers have; instead, reserve your team’s time for more complicated issues. Knowledge base portals can lift simple requests from agents’ workloads by giving customers a convenient place to find solutions to their issues. Even a free help desk ticketing system should provide your business with resources to create a client portal.

Ticket and incident management

Free help desk software can efficiently manage tickets and incidents by streamlining workflows. Support teams can easily categorize, prioritize, and manage incoming requests from customers or employees. Teams can also use issue tracking tools, monitor response times, and ensure no requests go unanswered.

Teams can create predefined responses for common issues, which can be automatically sent to users when they submit a ticket. This saves time and helps ensure consistency and accuracy in the responses you provide users. Additionally, incident management software can enable teams to:

  • Assign tickets to specific team members.

  • Set deadlines.

  • Escalate urgent issues to the appropriate individuals or teams.

Automated ticket routing

One of the key benefits of free help desk software is its ability to automate and standardize many aspects of the ticket routing process. Agents can set up rules within the automated ticketing system to assign incoming tickets to specific agents or teams based on criteria such as the nature of the request, the agent's skill set, or the issue's urgency.

Some free help desk software can use machine learning algorithms to analyze ticket data and automatically route tickets to the most appropriate agent or team based on patterns in data. Support teams can then work more efficiently, deliver faster response times, and ultimately provide a better experience for their customers or end users.

Reporting and analytics

Free help desk ticketing software centralizes useful data about your service operations. Reports pull important insights from data to help management set baselines and measure team performance. Teams can use help desk software to monitor key performance indicators such as:

  • Response times

  • Resolution times

  • Ticket volume

Analytics software solutions can identify areas of improvement, such as increasing staffing levels or improving response times. Some software can provide teams with advanced reporting and data visualization capabilities, allowing them to create custom reports and dashboards that provide a comprehensive view of their support operations.

Service-level agreement (SLA) management

Free help desk software can contribute to service-level agreement (SLA) management by providing teams with the ability to set, monitor, and meet SLA targets. You can define SLAs for different types of tickets or customers, specifying criteria like priority level.

The software then tracks progress towards these targets, providing teams with real-time alerts and notifications when SLAs are at risk of being breached. Teams can generate reports on SLA performance, allowing them to identify areas where they can make improvements and data-driven decisions about allocating resources.

How to choose the right free help desk ticketing system or free trial

The free online ticketing system that works great for one team might not work for yours. The nature of customer service heightens this issue since it can change depending on the industry, product, and type of customer. Navigate through these complexities by prioritizing the following three factors.

Ease of use and ease of set up

For your agents, your ticketing system should be a seamless extension of their workflow. Consider how you plan to use the system. An HR help desk will have different functionality than one intended for IT support, and there are systems devoted to each. If you can, have your agents try out the systems you’re considering and gather their feedback before deciding.

Scale and agility

A free ticketing system will understandably have limited functionality. This can be fine for a small company, but you might need more use cases as you grow. If the system you already have doesn’t scale with or sustain your customer service needs, find one that does. Otherwise, you’ll have to start over when the time comes to migrate systems.

The same goes for agility. Can you easily customize features where you need to, or are you stuck with a one-size-fits-all platform?

Total cost of ownership

The total cost of ownership accounts for all costs associated with the service. Even free help desk ticketing systems can cost you money. Paying for third-party integrations to fill gaps in performance adds to the help desk’s total cost, and so does paying software developers to customize the service. If your total cost of ownership with a free service is greater than the total cost of a paid service, you will have been better off choosing the latter option from the start.

FAQs on free help desk software

Choosing the right free help desk can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. Reference these common questions for added guidance in selecting the right system.

Try Zendesk help desk software for free

Experience the full set of features that help industry leaders succeed. Try Zendesk free for 14 days to see how it can assist your help desk.

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