How to get rid of the unwanted HP printer app on your Windows PC

If you have noticed a mysterious HP printer app appearing on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC, you are not alone. Many users have reported that the HP Smart printer app installed itself on their PCs without their consent, changing the names and icons of their connected printers and causing error messages. Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and released a downloadable tool to fix it.

The HP Smart printer app is a software that provides extra features and functionality for HP printers, such as scanning, printing from cloud services, and checking ink levels. The app is normally downloaded and installed automatically by Windows when you connect a new HP printer to your PC, using the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP).

How to get rid of the unwanted HP printer app on your Windows PC
How to get rid of the unwanted HP printer app on your Windows PC

However, due to a bug in the Microsoft Store, some PCs mistakenly detected an HP LaserJet M101-M106 printer connected, even if they did not have one. This triggered the automatic download and installation of the HP Smart printer app, which then changed the names and icons of the existing printers and displayed error messages.

How does the issue affect your PC and printer?

According to Microsoft, the issue affects all versions of Windows 11 and all currently supported versions of Windows 10, as well as some Windows Server versions. The issue does not affect the core functionality of your printer, as it will still use the expected drivers for printing operations. However, if your printer relies on a third-party app for additional features, such as scanning or faxing, that may be broken by the HP Smart printer app.

Microsoft also stated that the issue is not caused by HP, but by a bug in the Microsoft Store. The company is working on a permanent solution that will prevent the unwanted installation of the HP Smart printer app in the future.

How can you fix the issue and remove the HP Smart printer app?

Microsoft has released a downloadable tool that can fix the issue and remove the HP Smart printer app from your PC. The tool is available from the Microsoft Support website, and you can run it by following these steps:

  • Download the tool from this link.
  • Save the file to a location on your PC, such as your desktop or downloads folder.
  • Double-click the file to run it. You may need to grant permission to run the file if prompted by User Account Control (UAC).
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process. The tool will scan your PC for the HP Smart printer app and remove it if found. It will also restore the names and icons of your connected printers.
  • Restart your PC to apply the changes.

If you encounter any problems while running the tool, you can contact Microsoft Support for further assistance.

How can you prevent the issue from happening again?

Until Microsoft releases a permanent solution, you can prevent the issue from happening again by disabling the automatic installation of printer apps in Windows. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings app on your PC.
  • Click on Devices, then Printers & scanners.
  • Under Related settings, click on Print server properties.
  • In the Print Server Properties window, click on the Advanced tab.
  • Uncheck the box that says Automatically download and install printer apps as needed.
  • Click OK to save the changes.

This will stop Windows from downloading and installing any printer apps from the Microsoft Store, including the HP Smart printer app. You can still manually install printer apps from the Microsoft Store or the printer manufacturer’s website if you need them.

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