Desktop Support Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

Desktop Support Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

7 mins read2.0K Views Comment
Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content
Updated on May 26, 2023 13:35 IST

Desktop Support Engineer are responsible for rolling out updates and patches to all the systems in an organization. This involves testing updates on a non-critical system , planning schedules to minimizes disruption, and troubleshooting any issues that arise during or after the update.


Desktop support engineers are support technicians who ensure that our IT infrastructure remains intact without any lag. They monitor, maintain and fix our computer system on timely basis. In this article, we will be exploring desktop support engineer roles and responsibilities in detail.

Table of Contents

Who is a Desktop Support Engineer?

A desktop support engineer is a professional who provides technical assistance to users. They help users facing issues with their desktop computers, software updates, networking and hardware. These engineers are the first point of contact for those users who might be experiencing issues with their hardware or software. In the organisational structure, a Desktop Support Engineer is supervised by Senior System Administrators or higher-level engineers. 

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Job Description of a Desktop Support Engineer

A desktop support engineer is an IT support specialist that assists client with issues related to hardware and software. They provide on site as well as remote technical assistance to troubleshoot IT issues. The responsibilities of the Desktop Support Engineer include building, maintaining, and resolving issues within the continually evolving IT infrastructure. This engineer plays a crucial role in providing computer support, which is essential for maintaining the seamless and efficient operation of the IT infrastructure.

Desktop Support Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

The following points explain the roles and responsibilities of desktop support engineers in detail with the help of examples.

1. Technical Support

One of the primary roles of a Desktop Support Engineer is providing technical support to users. This includes troubleshooting hardware, software, and networking issues. They help with the installation of software and hardware, and they may also need to assist with system upgrades.

Example: The user is having trouble installing a new piece of software on their company-issued laptop. The installation process fails repeatedly, and the user is unsure how to proceed.

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2. Problem Diagnosis and Resolution

A significant responsibility is the diagnosis and resolution of technical problems. This may be a failing hard drive to a software application that isn’t working correctly. The engineer might have to diagnose issues remotely or by visiting the user’s desk.

Examples: A user is experiencing a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on company-issued laptop. They have reported this issue and that it is happening randomly which is hampering their productivity.

3. Maintenance and Repair

Regular maintenance of organisational assets (computers, laptops, peripherals) is a key responsibility. This involves performing routine checks and upgrades, repairing hardware, and keeping systems up-to-date and secure.

Example: A user reports that their laptop is overheating and shutting down unexpectedly. The Desktop Support Engineer may start by cleaning the dust out of the vents and checking the fan’s operation. If it does not resolve the issue, they may replace the thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink, or replace the fan itself if it is faulty.

4. Documentation and Record Keeping

A Desktop Support Engineer is also responsible for maintaining records of issues and solutions, which can help in quick resolution of recurring problems. They also create system documentation, user manuals, and assist in creating IT policies.

Example: They maintain a detailed record of all IT equipment, including computers, peripherals, software licenses, and network equipment. This includes the date of purchase, warranty information, location, assigned user, and any maintenance or repair work done.

5. Training Users

Another key role is training. This could be on how to use a new software application, how to adhere to the organisation’s IT security policies, or how to perform basic troubleshooting.

Example: When new software is deployed, or significant updates are made to existing software, the Desktop Support Engineer could hold training sessions to guide users through the new features and answer any questions. They might also create written guides or video tutorials that users can refer to later.

6. Security Compliance

Ensuring systems are secure and adhering to the company’s security policies is another key responsibility. They may have to install antivirus software, monitor for breaches, and educate users on safe practices.

Example: The engineers ensure that all systems they manage comply with the company’s IT security policies. This might include setting up firewalls, installing and updating antivirus software, enabling automatic system updates, and configuring systems to lock after a period of inactivity.

7. Network Support:

In some organisations, desktop support also involves basic network support, like troubleshooting connectivity issues, setting up new connections, and maintaining network devices like switches and routers.

Example: They assist with setting up and configuring routers, switches, firewalls, and other network devices. They might also perform routine maintenance tasks like updating firmware, monitoring performance, and resolving any detected issues.

8. Emergency Support

In situations of a significant system failure or a security breach, the Desktop Support Engineer will need to provide immediate support to minimize downtime and mitigate damage.

Example: The email server of the entire organization has gone down. The entire organization depends on it for internal and external communication. This is a major disruption. Employees are unable to send or receive emails, and the issue needs to be resolved immediately. The Engineer identifies the issue and works on implementing the solution, whether it is restoring a backup, reinstalling software or repairing hardware.

Prerequisites To Become Desktop Support Engineer

The following points elaborate on the prerequisites of becoming a desktop support engineer. 

1. Entry-Level Professionals 

Those who want to become a desktop support engineer at an entry-level will need one of these degrees. They will either need a degree in Computer science, Information Technology, Telecom, or related fields. Without experience, they will need to have the skill sets that are required to become an entry-level desktop support engineer.  

2. Experienced Professionals 

The following are required as work experience from Desktop Support Engineers:

  • Implementation and assessment of Management Suite, resolving technical issues and handling data networks.
  • Installation, assessment, and testing of desktop software applications
  • Resolution of technical issues.
  • Supervision of junior desktop support engineers and creation of training guides for new joinees.
  • Establishment of workstations, assessment for connectivity and its proper functioning.
  • Diagnose and resolution of software and hardware issues.
  • Installation of connections, computer networks, and cabling for clients.
  • Troubleshooting system failures, identifying the bottlenecks and improving network efficiency.
  • Configuration and test of software, maintenance of hardware and peripheral devices.
  • Evaluation of network performance and identification of improvement methods.
  • Scheduling upgrades and maintaining them without interference.
  • Offering technical expertise to co-workers and creating a comprehensive instruction manual.

Tools To Learn

Support technicians provide support to the IT system of an organization so that they can meet business goals. 

Tool Function

Performing password reset, troubleshooting and administrating active directory. 
Providing support for and configuring user access to Citrix-hosted applications. 

Verifying connectivity with networked devices, configuring local permissions and supporting DNS and DHCP issues.
Installing, configuring and troubleshooting servers, including ISA, DHCP, Exchange and Active Directory. 

Configuring VMware virtual machine for remote development teams. 
Installing and maintaining servers, including domain controllers, file, web and VMware servers.

Coordinating and managing large-scale VOIP phone system conversion projects for high-profile corporate customers. 
Providing network and VOIP support on Cisco platforms, including Unity, IPCC applications and call manager.

Windows  Server
Performing maintenance on Windows servers to preserve data confidentiality and integrity.
Administrating Microsoft patch management for personal computers in local and remote office space using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). 
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Important Courses For Skill Upgradation

The following courses are useful for enhancing the skills and knowledge of Desktop Support Engineers:

Desktop Support Engineer Courses What will you learn?
Advance IT Troubleshooting for Desktop Support Professional Desktop support
IT troubleshooting
System Administration
Active Directory
Microsoft Windows
Complete IT Support Specialist Course: IT Foundations Networking Access system
Software installation
IT helpdesk
Microsoft Windows
Jetking Masters in Network Administration LinuxIdentity
Access management
Network Support
System Support


In this article, we have discussed the Desktop support engineer’s roles and responsibilities in detail. This role is concerned with the maintenance of computer systems. Anyone who wants to build a career at this profile must be aware of the job profile. 


What does a Desktop Support Engineer do?

Desktop Support Engineers manage and maintain computer systems. They troubleshoot hardware and software issues, set up and configure new systems, maintain networks, and provid technical support to users.

What is the role of L1 support engineer?

L1 support engineers are the first point of contact for users facing issues with their hardware, software, or network. They are responsible for resolving basic issues and escalating more complex problems to higher levels of IT support.

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About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Senior Executive Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio


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