Microsoft has confirmed an issue where the HP Smart app is being installed on Windows 11 and Windows 10 systems without user consent. A side effect of this unauthorized installation is the renaming of printers within the system, regardless of their original manufacturing identities, to HP printer names, predominantly to the HP LaserJet M101-M106 models.
Ongoing Issues and User Impact
While the surreptitious installation has taken users by surprise, the good news is that actual printing functionalities remain unaffected. Users facing this issue might notice altered printer names and icons, and attempting to interact with these printers could result in an error message stating, “No tasks are available for this page.”
It is important to underline that this concern primarily impacts users who have access to the Microsoft Store. Enterprise environments where access to the Microsoft Store is typically disabled appear to be insulated from this problem.
Affected Platforms and Resolution Efforts
Affected platforms include a wide range of Windows operating systems:
– Windows 11, versions 23H2, 22H2, 21H2
– Windows 10, versions 22H2, 21H2, 1809
– Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019, LTSC 2016
– Windows 10, version 1607
– Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB
The irregularity of an app being installed without user interaction goes against standard protocol, prompting Microsoft to actively investigate the incident. They plan to share updates once a solution is reached to resolve these unexpected installations and the accompanying issues. The pathway from confirming bugs to providing solutions is a familiar one for Microsoft, which consistently follows a process of identifying a problem, researching it diligently, and then disseminating fixes upon validation of their effectiveness.
As of now, neither a definitive cause has been identified nor a timeline for a fix established. Users and industry professionals alike are awaiting further communication from Microsoft on a resolution to these unsolicited installations and unintentional printer renaming, emphasizing the multifaceted challenges that even commonplace peripherals like printers can pose in the digital age.