What Is a Computer Help Desk?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 October 2019
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A computer help desk is a real or virtual location at which a person can receive assistance in dealing with computer problems and technical support. As a real location, this type of help desk is typically an office, rather than a specific desk, where information technology (IT) support staff are employed to provide assistance to others. Virtual or online help desks are Internet websites that someone can visit to receive help with computer or IT problems. This type of computer help desk is usually created to support a particular service or business, or as a public service to provide assistance to anyone.

The basic idea behind a computer help desk is that it is a location or group of people that can provide assistance to others dealing with computer problems. A help desk is typically a place at a store or other physical location at which employees are located who can help customers. This terminology has carried over into other customer service formats, such as a computer help desk, which is not typically a literal desk with one or two employees. It is more often an office or particular division of a business or organization committed to providing assistance with computer issues.


Many businesses utilize a virtual computer help desk, at which someone can receive assistance over a phone or online. This allows a person to access a website or call directly to speak to someone who can provide answers to questions and try to help people resolve problems with computer or IT issues. Many large businesses create a computer help desk office or division to provide employees with assistance to computer issues. If a router or server crashes at a business, for example, then the help desk is typically responsible for repairing these issues and providing information to employees regarding repair timetables, workaround solutions, and customer support.

There are also some businesses that provide a computer help desk to customers or the general public as a primary service. Some websites, for example, have been established as a site at which IT professionals can answer questions and help people who have computer issues. If someone buys a computer from a particular manufacturer, then he or she can typically contact that manufacturer to receive assistance with repairs or other issues. A computer help desk can even fix problems with software directly over an Internet connection, by allowing employees to utilize a virtual desktop to make changes to remote computer systems.


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