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Microsoft is investigating a Windows issue that’s renaming printers to HP LaserJet

Microsoft is investigating a Windows issue that’s renaming printers to HP LaserJet


The HP Smart app is being automatically installed on some Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices and causing printing mayhem.

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An Epson 2720 printer printing a sad emoji
Image by Jess Weatherbed / The Verge

Microsoft says it’s investigating a new issue in Windows 10 and Windows 11 where printers are randomly being renamed to HP LaserJet ones. “Some issues related to printer configurations are being observed on Windows devices which have access to the Microsoft Store,” explains Microsoft in a support note. “Microsoft is investigating this issue and coordinating with partners on a solution.”

The problem affects both Windows 10 and Windows 10 devices running the 22H2 update and results in the HP Smart app being automatically installed and printers being renamed even if they’re not HP ones. “Printers are renamed as HP printers regardless of their manufacturer,” says Microsoft. “Most are being named as the HP LaserJet M101-M106 model. Printer icons might also be changed.”

If an IT admin has blocked the use of the Microsoft Store, printers aren’t being renamed, and the HP Smart app won’t be installed. Microsoft says the problem isn’t caused by an HP update, suggesting that it’s a Windows issue instead. Windows 10 / 11 users can still print, but if you attempt to double-click on a printer, you might be met with a “No tasks are available for this page” error message.

This is by no means the first time we’ve seen Windows and printers not work in harmony. A Windows 10 update in March 2021 caused some printers to blue screen PCs. Microsoft fixed that issue; then, a few months later, an unpatched critical flaw in the Windows Print Spooler service appeared. The fix for that security problem made some printers not work at all. Hopefully the fix for this latest renaming issue is a lot less complicated.