Open your PC’s Start menu, and you may find that the HP Smart app has installed itself. This appears to be the result of a Microsoft Store bug. Thankfully, HP Smart is harmless and easy to uninstall, so it’s little more than an annoyance. Microsoft is currently investigating the issue.

HP’s Smart app allows you to interact with an HP printer. It’s preinstalled on HP-branded PCs, and it will automatically install itself on your Windows machine when you connect to an HP printer for the first time (over a wired or wireless connection). The problem, of course, is that HP Smart is finding its way to the wrong PCs.

On November 29th, dozens of Windows users found HP Smart in the “Recently Added” section of their Start menu. If this were a case of user error, it wouldn’t have happened to so many people on the same day. Affected users say that they don’t own any HP hardware. One user thought that the app was malware and repeatedly reinstalled Windows, only to find that HP Smart would reappear in the Start menu.

A Microsoft Store bug may be responsible for this problem. That said, we’re not sure why the Microsoft Store would push HP Smart to random PCs. And the fact that this is even possible is somewhat worrying, as the Microsoft Store contains some scammy apps and malware. If one of these bad apps began appearing on users’ PCs, we’d be having a very different conversation right now.

If you’re affected by this bug, right-click the HP Smart app in your Start menu and select “uninstall.” You can also uninstall apps from the “Programs” view in your control panel. If you plan on using an HP Printer in the future, feel free to keep the HP Smart app, though I suggest that you disable its startup behavior to prevent it from bogging down your system. (You don’t need to use this software with HP printers, as the default Windows printing system will fulfill most of the same tasks.

Microsoft is currently investigating the self-installing HP Smart bug. We’ll update this article as the story develops.

Source: Windows Latest