Desktop management software

Desktop management is a systems management function focused on administering endpoints and enforcing policies across your network, software, Windows server, and data. As a desktop management solution, the PDQ suite makes it easier to standardize, automate, secure, and audit your endpoints.

IT man smiling
IT man smiling
Remote Device Management IllustrationRemote Device Management Illustration

What is desktop management? 

Desktop management systematically oversees desktop software and hardware through the full asset lifecycle. In short, it entails anything necessary to monitor, secure, and support devices in your environment. A remote desktop manager, like PDQ Connect, extends coverage to distributed machines via a remote agent-based connection, simplifying work-from-home and hybrid setups.   

Despite the name, desktop management is not limited to exclusively desktops but rather all endpoints. Because of this broad focus, desktop management entails many other functions:

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Must-have desktop management features

The best desktop management solutions have easy-to-use features that address multiple facets of inventory, user configuration, deployment, and other critical components of effective desktop computer management.

Inventory management

Tracking hardware and software assets supports monitoring and compliance, making inventory management a cornerstone of desktop management.

PDQ UI showing machines based on Dynamic Collection featurePDQ UI showing machines based on Dynamic Collection feature


Leverage convenient, prebuilt groups, or select custom criteria for carefully curated collections.

Up-to-the-minute information

Collect current, detailed information on the software and hardware in your environment.

Software deployment and patch management

The PDQ suite gives you centralized control over software installation, updates, settings, and configurations for quick, convenient endpoint management.

Scheduling UI i PDQ Deploy with Timer iconScheduling UI i PDQ Deploy with Timer icon

Machine targeting

Distribute app updates to the machines that need them when they need them. Your incredible precision will be the talk of the break room.

Extensive Package Library

Silently install popular, ready-to-deploy applications, like Windows cumulative updates, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft Teams.

Scheduled deployments

Schedule routine updates to deploy during off-hours when users are out of the office and you’re comfortably curled up in bed.


With PDQ’s detailed insights, you can monitor performance, compliance, and security.

Report UI in PDQ Inventory with chart iconReport UI in PDQ Inventory with chart icon

Generate reports

Prepare an awe-inspiring array of documentation on devices, apps, deployments, and more.

Postdeployment notification

Never lie awake at night wondering how your deployment is going. PDQ Deploy’s notifications keep you in the know.


PDQ’s flexible features allow you to cater desktop management to your unique organizational requirements and workflows.

PDQ Deploy UI showing prebuilt tools feature with decorative custom iconPDQ Deploy UI showing prebuilt tools feature with decorative custom icon

Utilize the Tools Library

In PDQ Inventory, employ tools for common tasks, including reboots, remote commands, Wake-on-LAN, event logs, maintenance, and name resolution.

Custom scripts

Script in PowerShell (.ps1). Execute scripts, copy over files, force reboots, or send users messages detailing your preferred break-room treats. Your choice!

Desktop management for remote devices

Use our new agent-based solution, PDQ Connect, to keep your fleet up to date and secure via the cloud. View real-time data, deploy software using custom or prebuilt packages, and automate IT tasks — from one platform to any internet-connected Windows device. 

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PDQ Connect homepagePDQ Connect homepage

PDQ vs. leading desktop management competitors 

PDQ's desktop management

PDQ Connect’s desktop management

Leading competitors

Automated patch management features




Streamlined Windows environment systems management




Active Directory sync




Agentless over-network deployment




Agent-based remote deployment




Large ready-to-deploy Package Library




Helpful Tools Library with ready-to-use commands




Custom script deployment




Detailed reports




Straightforward setup and use




Extensive knowledge base




Desktop management FAQs

What are the benefits of desktop management?

The right desktop management program can enhance security, performance, collaboration, and productivity while saving money. With just a few machines, you may be able to maintain an inventory, configure machines, secure devices, and provide technical support on a case-by-case basis. But a piecemeal approach becomes increasingly problematic for large enterprises. Luckily, a strong desktop management tool, like PDQ Deploy & Inventory or PDQ Connect, is broad enough to offer an expansive array of benefits:

  • Heightened security management

  • Greater productivity through automation

  • Centralized access to system information

  • Improved access control

  • Simplified troubleshooting

  • Cost savings

How do you incorporate desktop management?

While a well-planned desktop management process ultimately saves time and effort, it requires some legwork upfront. You need to understand your environment, goals, and resources to determine the most effective tool. These steps can help you implement a process that works for your company:

  • Set a budget

  • Identify relevant stakeholders

  • Assess your current process

  • Inventory existing assets

  • Consider which desktop management functions are most essential to your business

  • Document relevant policies

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You’ll probably need several solutions to cover the full spectrum of desktop management functions. That said, weighing your needs and goals can help you prioritize and find a balance of features that works for you (and your budget).

What are desktop management best practices?

Employing desktop management best practices can help you streamline your processes to maintain a healthy environment with less hassle. Here are a few key best practices to keep in mind:

  • Maintain a current inventory

  • Automate routine tasks

  • Take a proactive approach

  • Pay special attention to attractive targets for cybercriminals

  • Teach users the basics of your processes and scheduling

  • Monitor security and policy adherence

These best practices can help you optimize your desktop management program to generate maximum results with minimum work.

How do you choose the right desktop management software?

Selecting the best desktop management software requires a comprehensive understanding of your environment and needs. Desktop management encompasses many functions, so solutions vary significantly in their features and scope. Consider the following factors to find high-quality desktop management software for your business:

  • Ease of use

  • Automation

  • Security features

  • Level of visibility

  • Remote support

  • Available technical support

After you’ve found a desktop management solution you’re interested in, schedule a demo to see what it can do, assess the ease of use, and ask questions.

How do you manage desktops remotely?

The simplest solution for remote desktop management is an agent-based tool, like PDQ Connect. Remote desktops are notoriously harder to reach, but sysadmins must maintain remote access to manage them effectively. With PDQ Connect, you can manage Windows devices with the agent installed whenever they are online. PDQ Deploy & Inventory also allow you to manage remote devices using an agentless approach, but those machines must connect to your VPN.