Microsoft is reportedly auto-installing the HP Smart app on Windows 10 and 11 PCs

Nov 30, 2023

Windows 10 and 11 ship with several apps that you may not want. One more app has reportedly joined the list of bloatware, the HP Smart app.

A report by Windows Latest says that they noticed a new app called HP Smart had been added to the Start Menu on their Windows 10 laptop. However, it didn't end there, the author discovered that the app had also been auto-installed on their Virtual Machine that was running on Windows 11.

Image courtesy: Windows Latest

What is interesting about this scenario is the fact that the report says that the app got auto installed even when no HP products were connected to the PC. Some users on reddit have reported that they too have experienced a similar problem. The HP Smart app is being installed via the Microsoft Store. This meant that the app wouldn't be listed under the Programs and Features section in the Control Panel.

Remember when it thought it was a good idea to install the Google Docs app Offline extension in Microsoft Edge automatically? I mean, this is not even a first-party app, why go to these lengths to promote them? Well, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised by these shenanigans. Still, the difference between an auto installation of a browser extension and a desktop app is huge.

The comments from users indicate they were worried whether the app was a virus. Who can blame them for thinking that, when an app that you have never used, and probably never even heard of, randomly gets installed on your computer, it does seem similar to malware-like behavior. One user claimed that they found a folder under Program Files called HPPrintScanDoctor, and a service named HPPrintScanDoctorService.exe that was running on Windows start-up using a scheduled task.

It is worth mentioning that HP Smart is an official app from the electronics giant, the app is available for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, and lets you print, scan, and share files using your HP Printer. That should be a little comforting for users. So if you see the app listed on your Start Menu, don't panic and reset your PC or do a clean installation of Windows. It's just Microsoft being Microsoft.

Unfortunately, there is no explanation about why the HP Smart app was being auto-installed on Windows 10 and Windows 11. But there is some good news, Microsoft has released a statement to Windows Latest, to say that it has acknowledged the issue, and told them it will share more details about it soon.

My guess is that it was probably a "technical error" that pushed the app to all PCs, instead of only those that were connected to an HP accessory. Actually, I'm not really a fan of that either. It is never a good idea to get driver updates from Microsoft, they can cause various issues, and they have done so in the past.

You could easily end up with a buggy driver, it happened to me a few years ago with an NVIDIA Graphics Card Driver that caused massive performance issues and lags, and I had to roll back to a previous version manually to fix the problems. And don't use those junk driver updater and snake oil system utilities software either, always get the latest drivers from the hardware vendor's website.

As for how to get rid of the HP Smart app, you can just right-click on it and select uninstall, and hope that it doesn't get reinstalled the next time you boot your PC.

Article Name
Microsoft is reportedly auto-installing the HP Smart app on Windows 10 and 11 PCs
Do you see the HP Smart app on your Start Menu? The app is being automatically installed on Windows 10 and Windows 11 computers.

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  1. Anonymous said on February 12, 2024 at 1:56 am

    Microsoft silently installed its Power Automate extension to Google Chrome on my win 11 pc two times without asking me.

    Someday when I started Chrome Whoa! I’ve found “Microsoft Power Automate Extension” installed and wants permissions for reading tabs, bla bla…

    I fiercely uninstalled once and then after sometimes it’s installed again without my consent.

    Isn’t this digital crime? May I sue them?

  2. Kelly McAllister said on January 18, 2024 at 12:53 pm

    I had the popup, too. I do not have a printer from HP. I do not have a printer. I can’t find the app that’s doing this. I had a feeling it was a Micro$of problem.

  3. penny said on December 2, 2023 at 7:49 am

    on accident? brave would never do it on accident they do it on purpose and stay quiet. thats real privacy. private from the user

  4. M said on December 1, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Why are any of you volunteering for data mining by even allowing MS Store to exist on your PC’s. I’ve blocked/removed it from all of my machines, any company that will only release their software through the Data Mining Store never gets any patronage from us, don’t care if it’s hardware or software just not worth selling your soul to the devil or becoming their cash crop instead of human beings.

  5. John said on December 1, 2023 at 6:12 pm

    If you have ever had a HP printer on your network you will get the stupid HP Smart app. No app should just install automatically. Funny thing about installing a HP Printer that it will inform you that a app is available to control your printer but never ask if you want to install it or not. It just does and its why I won’t buy another HP product again.

  6. VioletMoon said on December 1, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    Yes, yes, everyone is right–auto installation of unwanted apps is absolutely unacceptable; however, there are several ways to prevent the ContentDeliveryManager/SilentInstall of apps. The easiest way is a simple Registry Edit. Group Policy provides a setting.

    {Actually, the registry modification should be made regardless because any third party can silently install an app without permission.}

    gHacks editors/writes know that simply pointing out a problem doesn’t “fix” anything; they also know how to provide instructions for blocking the unwanted installations in the first place.

    Why readers are left in the dark [or maybe a few figure it out and find the instructions elsewhere] remains the ultimate mystery.

    My gosh! Uninstall the app and block further attempts. It may take ten minutes–at most.

  7. Anonymous said on December 1, 2023 at 5:08 am

    BTW, so you know I know what I am talking about.

    this is the registry key in charge of that


    Once an app in automatically installed because of a driver, it will be stored there, if you uninstalled the app, and then want it to be re-installed on re-installing a driver, you have to remove it from there when you install the driver as far as I remember.

    I currently have 4 in this laptop, synaptics, intel management security, intel graphics and HP System information.

    So yes, a network driver is still a driver, only because you are not ‘plugging in’ the device in your computer, doesn’t mean the driver will not detect it and install the proper drivers and tell the store to install HP smart app.

  8. Anonymous said on December 1, 2023 at 4:55 am

    Wow, imagine you re-publishing terrible Neowin article… and you like Neowin not trying to understand the ‘issue’

    First is NOT Microsoft installing anything, it is HP’s driver, just like when you install Nvidia drivers or Intel and many others and you get their app installed with it…. does that sound like Microsoft to you?
    HP’s network printer driver is part of the driver, so I don’t get why wouldn’t they install the app.
    You are literally on the same Network and it is getting installed like that.

    I have HP printer that does that and what I did was not to let it connect wirelessly because I know it would do it.

    Also, this has been a thing since Windows 10, which is old and almost ‘out of support’ so I don’t get the really ridiculous information today, when it has been a thing for years and years.

    It is also easy to uninstall and block, but just like Nvidia install their control panel automatically, HP does it too.

    People are ridiculous and say stuff they don’t understand, like… there are 1000 ways to block network printer drivers from installing, but apparently ‘too much to expect’ from people on the internet who barely know how to turn a device on.

    Also, funny how you say “there is no explanation’ when it is easily explained, people are just lazy to use the brain and understand it.

    1. DarkPatternMalware said on December 7, 2023 at 2:25 am

      Yes, it is installed if it detects an HP device on your network, but everything else you claimed about the problem is entirely untrue. The problem is that it installs on systems that do not have any HP printers, renames non printers to HP printers, and throws no tasks errors. Microsoft confirmed the problem is with their lousy app store.

    2. basingstoke said on December 1, 2023 at 10:23 am

      Nah, you’re quite wrong here.

      First of all, I can’t look up a “driver” on my computer, and open it like an app, because it’s not a “driver”, it’s a whole app. Drivers for the most part don’t show up in settings as a program, yet this does.

      You get nvidia or intel “products” auto installed, including drivers, when you have their products, what if you don’t have HP products and still got this? What’s the defence there dude?

      I’m not taking this crap, someone tried to convince me Dell’s WavesMaxxAudio garbage was critical to the system because it was a “driver”, nah you have left driver territory when you have an openable app, and if your app is crap and un-necessary, takes up needless space or interferes with PC use, people have a right to be peeved. You’re gonna pretend that people don’t have a right to keep crap and bloatware off their systems and have no right to complain about stuff like this, just because you’re happy with the boot stomping on your face eternally, but not everyone is.

      But besides, even for users of HP printers, EVERYONE knows that when you try to install a printer, the company tries to push bloatware on you, bundled with the printer driver, finding just the driver without the bloatware is a bit of a fine art but almost always possible and advisable, this automated process is skipping that and definitely installing unnecessary garbage. Again, you don’t find drivers in your “app list”, and drivers don’t have a UI.

  9. Anonymous said on December 1, 2023 at 1:25 am

    This is why the Microsoft Store is dangerous. Remove that crap any chance you get.

  10. Go Intern said on November 30, 2023 at 10:58 pm

    Powershell to stop auto install?

  11. Potato said on November 30, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Gotta get those sponsored installs in before the EU forces them to stop.

  12. HelpDeskUntiliDie said on November 30, 2023 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for reminding us of the Google Docs extension in Edge. I checked when that article first ran but it wasn’t there. Checked today after reading this article and it was there for me to remove.
    As for HP Smart, I have an HP printer and already had the app installed which was my choice. But this is still shady.

  13. Tachy said on November 30, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    HP Smart is a spyware and advertising app.

    We do have an HP all-in-one wireless printer and this app is not needed to print and scan with it.

    Recently, windows updates make our printer stop working and when we remove it (printer) and add it again this app always get automatically installed, then manualy removed.

  14. hg said on November 30, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Thanks for the head’s up – got rid of it. I am not amused that M$ dump stuff like this on my PC without asking.

    I w/don’t use HP printers now they have their own “ransomware” built in.

  15. Anonymous said on November 30, 2023 at 10:14 am

    devices and printers changes icons to hp

  16. bruh said on November 30, 2023 at 10:11 am

    I can confirm this, I do semi-automated deployments & maintenance of Windows 10 computers, the HP Smart App (which reports to be~240 Mb) as of about 1-2 weeks ago gets installed now, but so does the Xerox one, however maybe not as often, or maybe I just see it less because it starts with an “X”.

    One of the many cancers we have to deal with, in the same vein as MaxxAudio (all our computers are Dell). Useless bloatware garbage.

    Indeed the best part is we don’t use HP printers.

    Another great reason not to use Windows 10/11 at home.

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