The HP Smart app installs itself in Windows, even if we don’t have a printer: why it happens and how to delete it

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the hp smart app installs itself in windows, even if we don't have a printer why it happens and how to delete it
the hp smart app installs itself in windows, even if we don't have a printer why it happens and how to delete it

The problem of ‘bloatware’, pre-installed applications on mobile phones , computers and other devices, is not as big as before; In fact, today many brands boast of offering the ‘cleanest’ experience. Therefore, when we find an app that we have not installed, it is something especially notable; especially if it is an app for printers and we don’t have one.

That is the situation in which many Windows users have found themselves, who have seen how they suddenly have a new app installed on their system that they have not authorized. This is HP Smart, the manufacturer’s official app to control its range of printers; The ‘small’ problem is that the app is installed even if we do not have a printer of that brand connected.

The failure occurs in both Windows 10 and the new Windows 11 systems , and the initial theories were that it was a simple misunderstanding by the user, who may have been connected to a network with a branded HP printer and did not know that Windows can automatically install the drivers and software necessary to install it. However, it soon became apparent that this was not the case, when more users began to appear complaining about the same thing.

HP Smart installs itself

For some reason yet to be discerned, the HP Smart app is installing itself on Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers, and neither HP nor Windows have yet explained why. However, there is already a theory that perfectly explains the situation, although that does not mean that it is a strange problem.

The problem seems to be in the latest update installed by Windows Update, which for some reason has changed the name of all printers installed on the system to “HP LaserJet M101-M106” regardless of the brand or name they have. It seems that someone at Microsoft has copied the metadata incorrectly, pasting the same text on all Windows-compatible printers. This metadata is obtained directly from the companies, so the ‘culprit’ could have been HP itself if it sent incorrect metadata to Microsoft, identifying all the printers as “HP LaserJet M101-M106”.

Be that as it may, once the update is installed, Windows detects a ‘new’ HP printer connected to the system, so it automatically searches for the ‘drivers’ and the official program to control it, and hence HP Smart appears installed on the system even though the user has not done anything.

But how do you explain that HP Smart appears even if we don’t have a printer installed? The explanation in this case is in the function to create PDFs in Windows, which appears as an option when we press the Print button in any program. The ‘trick’ that Windows uses to create a PDF is to use a ‘virtual printer’ , which receives the data from the program and creates a ‘page’ that is not printed, but added to a file. This ‘virtual printer’ is considered a normal printer and that is why its metadata has been changed to “HP LaserJet M101-M106”.

How to erase HP Smart

All in all, it’s a mess that will probably be easily fixed with an update and shouldn’t have any major consequences. Also, the good news is that we have not been hacked and that we can delete the HP Smart app from our computer without fear , as if it were any other app.

To do this, first we have to click on the Home button and enter Settings. Next, we enter “Applications” and “Installed applications”. In the text box we can write “HP” for the app to appear; If we click on the three dots, a menu will appear in which we can choose “Uninstall”.

 

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise