What is the Definition of Help Desk Support?

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For many businesses and consumers, computers are necessary for completing daily activities or important functions, and when technical problems occur, a quick solution is necessary to avoid disruption of professional or personal business. Help desk support is one of the resources available to help correct technical problems encountered with computers.


Help desk support is a service that takes incoming phone calls or emails about technical problems that a person is encountering with a computer, a software program or a peripheral like a printer or scanner.


Internal help desk support is part of a particular company and provides support for employees who encounter problems related to company computer systems. External help desk support is offered by a computer or peripheral vendor or software company and provides help for customers who encounter problems with their products.


Help desk support personnel or technicians ask questions about the problem that the user is encountering and then walks the user through a series of steps to try and correct the problem.


Help desk support technicians use computer databases that list potential problems and solutions to assist them in handling phone calls and emails. In some cases, technicians are able to remotely access a computer and solve the problem by changing settings or trying procedures on the computer without leaving their desks.


Some help desk support companies will schedule appointments to attempt to solve the computer problem on site if it cannot be solved by phone or email. With other support services, the computer may need to be dropped off at a location or shipped to the manufacturer if the technicians' repairs are not successful.