Microsoft releases troubleshooter for HP Smart App printer issue on Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 16, 2023
Windows 10, Windows 11 Help

Some Windows 10 and 11 users started to notice the automatic installation of HP's Smart App on their devices at the end of November 2023. This happened even if no HP printer or other HP device was used.

Microsoft confirmed the issue some days later. The company admitted that the issue was related to the misidentification of printers. In particular, printers, including virtual printers, were wrongly identified as HP LaserJet M101-M106 models.

This caused the operating system to initiate the installation of the HP Smart App on affected devices. Printing should not be affected by the issue according to Microsoft.

Microsoft's solution: KB5034510

Microsoft published a solution for the issue today under KB5034510: Microsoft Printer Metadata Troubleshooter Tool - December 2023.

The troubleshooter tool is designed to fix the issue on affected systems. Microsoft explains that the tool will review printer information on the system it is run on. If the printer model has changed recently, it will restore the original model information and icon of the printer, and remove any data associated with the HP LaserJet M101-M106 printer on the device. Microsoft notes that it will do so for any printer that does not match the make and model of HP's printer.

The troubleshooter will furthermore uninstall the HP Smart application if "there are no HP printers or HP printer drivers installed" and if the application was installed after November 25, 2023.

Affected users and administrators may download the Microsoft Printer Metadata Troubleshooter Tool December 2023 from Microsoft's Download Center. The program has a size of 188 KB and includes executable files for all supported architectures. Most users need PrintMetadataTroubleshooterX64.exe, but there is also a 32-bit version and versions for ARM processors.

Here is a step-by-step guide to using the tool:

  1. Download the right version from the Microsoft Download Center.
  2. Open Start, type cmd.exe and select "run as administrator" after making sure that Command Prompt is the highlighted result.
  3. Use the CD command to switch to the downloaded tool, e.g. cd /d C:\Users\Martin\Downloads
  4. Type the name of the tool, e.g., PrintMetadataTroubleshooterX64.exe and press the Enter-key.
    1. Tip: type print and press the Tab-key for autocomplete. You may need to press Tab multiple times if you have multiple files beginning with print in that directory.

The tool fixes the issue automatically and returns a status. You may also run it by right-clicking on it in File Explorer and selecting run as administrator, but this won't return a status report in the end. You can verify changes by checking the installed printers or searching for the HP Smart app.

Closing Words

Windows users affected by the issue may want to download the troubleshooter and run it to fix the issue on their devices.

Now You: were you affected by the printer issue on Windows? (via Deskmodder)

Article Name
Microsoft releases troubleshooter for HP Smart App printer issue on Windows
Microsoft has released a troubleshooting program to address the HP printer identification issue on Windows and download of HP Smart.
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  1. Tachy said on December 16, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    I can’t run troubleshooter on my win 10 home pc. It says it’s been disabled by a group policy.

    Since home has no group policy editor I can’t figure that one out.

    I can’t even update that PC because it breaks the start menu. Not the search, that crap still works even though it’s usually hidden and never used, just the start button.

    Still working on that one as M$ suggests reinstalling windows to fix it.

    1. TelV said on December 17, 2023 at 2:35 pm

      It’s most likely to have been caused by one of the many privacy tools that are available around the track. In my particular case it was an app called W10Privacy. These apps comprise of a list of settings you can apply by checkmarking the appropriate box. The problem is that unless you check each and every one of the settings every time you can end up almost bricking your machine.

      I had exactly the same thing happen to me with the message which can be seen in this screenshot:

      Like you, I couldn’t figure it out initially and couldn’t find the answer to it anywhere around the web. Many sites tell you to edit the Registry, but that didn’t work for me. The only thing I could think of at the time was the privacy tool I’d installed several weeks ago at the time. So I uninstalled thatt and used the System Restore point I created before making the changes to revert to the settings which were in use prior to installing the app. That did worked and I breathed a sigh of relief.

      It meant reinstalling all the apps and Windows updates which had taken place after installing the app, but at least I had a fully working machine again.

      Hope this helps.

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