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Desktop management

Desktop management is a systems management function focused on administering endpoints, including workstations, desktops, laptops, smartphones, and more. Any computing device through which end users access corporate technology resources, such as your network, software, Windows server, and data, can fall under desktop management.

An effective desktop management approach makes it easier to standardize, automate, secure, and audit endpoints. Because of its broad focus, desktop management entails many other functions, including patch management, software deployment, software inventory management, IT asset management, security management, and traditional technical support activities.

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What is desktop management? 

Desktop management systematically oversees hardware and software through the full asset lifecycle. It incorporates a wide range of user endpoint management functions, such as identity and access management, configuration management, troubleshooting, computer imaging, mobile device management, and so much more. In short, it entails anything necessary to monitor, secure, and support devices in your environment.

A remote desktop manager extends coverage to distributed machines via a remote connection, simplifying work-from-home and hybrid setups.

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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.

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Organize collections

Leverage the Collection Library for convenient, prebuilt groupings, or select custom criteria for a carefully curated collection.

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Target machines

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

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

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Gather current information

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

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Silently install over 100 popular, ready-to-deploy applications from Windows to Google Chrome to Microsoft Edge.

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Script in your language of choice

Automate tasks using PowerShell (.ps1), Visual Basic (.vbs), registry file (.reg), or batch file (.bat).

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Deploy what you want

Execute scripts, copy over files, force reboots, or send users messages detailing your preferred breakroom treats. Your choice!

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Receive alerts

Never lie awake at night wondering how your deployment is going. Deployment notification settings keep you in the know.


Employ tools for common tasks, including reboots, remote commands, Wake-on-Lan, event logs, maintenance, and name resolution.

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Remove apps

Get rid of outdated or unwanted apps to free up space and enhance your security posture. Nip unnecessary clutter in the bud!

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

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Get support

Take advantage of free technical support from trained experts. No need to trade Reddit upvotes for help!

What are the benefits of desktop management? 

The right desktop management program can enhance security, performance, collaboration, and productivity while saving your company money. In an environment 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, costing valuable time and putting your systems at risk. Luckily, a strong desktop management tool is broad enough to offer an expansive array of benefits:

  • Collaboration support

  • Improved access control 

  • Simplified troubleshooting 

  • Cost savings

  • Heightened security 

  • Greater productivity through automation

  • Centralized access to system information

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PDQ vs. leading competitors

PDQ's desktop management

Leading competitors

Automated patch management features



Streamlined Windows environment systems management



Scalable per-admin pricing



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



Support from sysadmins



Going remote or hybrid?

Use our new agent-based solution, PDQ Connect, to manage Windows devices from the cloud. View real-time data, deploy software using custom or prebuilt packages, and automate IT tasks — all from one platform to any machine that’s connected to the internet.  

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How do you incorporate desktop management?  

While a well-planned desktop management process should ultimately save you 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. Further complicating the issue, 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).

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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 

  • Segment collections  

  • Take a proactive approach 

  • Track help desk tickets to spot trends

  • Pay special attention to attractive targets for cybercriminals

  • Teach users the basics of your processes and scheduling 

  • Test strategies before implementing them at scale

  • Update documentation on policies and procedures 

  • Monitor security and policy adherence 

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

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How do you choose the right desktop management solution?

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:

  • Budget 

  • Ease of use 

  • Automation 

  • Operating system compatibility  

  • Supported device types 

  • Security features

  • Patch management and software deployment options 

  • Lifecycle management support 

  • Remote capabilities 

  • Reporting options 

  • 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.

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