Check your Windows 11 Start menu for an HP app that’s mysteriously installing itself without permission
Windows 11 and Windows 10 users are reportedly experiencing a puzzling situation whereby an unwanted HP app is being installed on their systems without their knowledge.
Windows Latest flagged up this rather peculiar problem that affected the writer’s PC, as well as others according to reports.
The application in question is HP Smart, and we’re told it’s being errantly installed from the Microsoft Store. It’s an app which allows for controlling HP printers or MFDs (multifunction devices that also scan), and it’s being installed on non-HP PCs and also those not connected to an HP printer, which is pretty mystifying.
It isn’t clear why this installation is happening, but there are reports of it occurring on Windows 11 23H2, 22H2, and Windows 10 (on Reddit and elsewhere, as well as from Windows Latest).
Windows Latest has been in touch with Microsoft about the problem, and the software giant said it was aware of these reports, and will be in touch soon to share further details on the matter.
Analysis: Not so smart move
This is an odd one, for sure, but it seems Microsoft has an investigation underway and we’ll get the results of that soon enough. Stay tuned.
If you’re curious about whether you’ve been affected, you can just jump into the Start menu and scroll down to the ‘H’ section of the app list to see if HP Smart is present. If so, the cure is simple enough – just right click on the entry for the app, and select uninstall. (The app may also be present under the ‘recently added’ section at the top of the menu).
Whether the app could end up being installed again after you remove it isn’t made clear. At any rate, we’d imagine Microsoft will have the solution to this one before long.
It should be noted that in the past there’ve been complaints of the HP Smart app being installed on PCs when people have, for example, taken their computer to a friend’s house and gone on a network that has an HP printer. In other words, Windows detects the presence of the HP printer and then automatically grabs the app. So perhaps what’s going on here is a false detection of HP hardware triggering the installation, but we’re just guessing here.
Really, there should never be a case where software is installed without the user’s knowledge, and there should always be a prompt to show what’s about to happen, and to check that it’s okay to go ahead with the installation.