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  • Can’t find the printer program on my computer

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Can’t find the printer program on my computer

    This topic contains 25 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  BobStr 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    • #2084254 Reply

      BobStr
      AskWoody Plus

      Maybe this is specifically an HP printer issue, and not a Win 10 issue, but I’m starting here, since maybe there’s a broader question about apps from the Microsoft store.

      The question arises because of different ways the program for my HP printer acts on my Win 10 laptop and my Win 10 desktop.

      At the time I got my Win 10 laptop a year ago, I had a pre-existing executable for the HP printer, from when I had used it for my Win 7 desktop. After I installed it on the laptop, I used AutoHotKeys to create a script so I could launch the printer program with a Win key shortcut.

      Forward to my Win 10 desktop. As I was setting things up, I don’t know what specifically caused  it, but I got pop-ups from the MS store (which I had browsed, but never used before) regarding setting up my printer. I clicked on what I thought was a link to download something to set it up. And whatever happened, the printer now works.

      But now that I’m trying to create a script for a shortcut, it appears that no printer program is on the computer. I can’t find anything regarding an HP program in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86), and when I right-click on the relevant icon in the start menu (“HP Smart”, and under that, “app”), it doesn’t produce a “properties” item where I can see a path to an exe file.

      Am I missing something fundamental? Are “apps” now something different than what I have always thought of as “computer programs”?

      I’m inclined to uninstall the “app” and starting over by installing from the exe file, but if someone can explain, maybe that won’t be necessary.

      Thanks.

    • #2084263 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      There are really two different printer programs.
      One is the Microsoft program, the other is the OEM HP program.
      You seem to be using the Microsoft program.
      You can go to the HP website and download the HP OEM full s/w and install it – then you will have the menu selection for HP Smart (providing HP has Win10 s/w for your model). If the printer is hooked up with USB, you need to disconnect it and do not reconnect until the HP software asks you to (doesn’t apply fot WiFi connected). Otherwise it will pick up the MS generic s/w again.
      And in the Setings App under Devices, uncheck to let Windows control the printer.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2084468 Reply

      BobStr
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks for the help.

      I didn’t know that the app in the MS store was going to be something different than the basic setup program.

      I uninstalled the MS program, went to the HP site, downloaded the software and got more oddness. The printer works, in that I can print in the customary manner from within various programs. But I can’t bring up any printer settings or controls (except for those generally available through the Control Panel).

      Attachment “1” is a screenshot of the desktop shortcut icon that the HP setup created for the printer. On my Win10 laptop and my Win 7 desktop, that icon (same name and appearance) launches the printer settings and controls shown in Attachment “2”. On the Win 10 desktop, however, all it does is bring up a further setup screen, as shown in Attachment “3”.

      That setup screen — unless I’m missing something fundamental — basically leads to an endless loop. Clicking on “Connect a new device” merely takes me through the original setup routine that I’ve already completed. “Reconfigure wireless settings” is beside the point, because the printer is already connected and working. And “Add more software” is essentially a link to the general HP website, and not to any particular software.

      For all I know, this is an HP problem, and not a Windows problem. But my question started here, so I’m still asking here before (futilely, I’m sure) trying to get HP to answer questions about an out-of-warranty printer.

      So, any idea what could be going wrong here? Worst comes to worst, I can re-install the MS app (which also was offered on the HP download page, and was the only alternative software option I saw there for my specific printer), but then I’d be back to where I was, with apparently nothing residing on my computer that I could tie a script to for the purpose of a keyboard shortcut. (Also, that MS app, from my limited dealing with it, is a terrible eyesore — more of MS’s benighted idea of eye candy, although the controls are there.) I’d prefer to get this thing working the way it already does for my laptop and my Win 7 desktop, but am mystified as to why I can’t get it to do so.

      And a second question, while I’m at it. I went into the Control Panel | Hardware and Sound | Devices and Printers | right clicked on the HP printer and hit “Set as default printer.” Instead of immediately setting the printer as the default (as has happened on every pre-Windows 10 computer I’ve ever dealt with), Windows popped up a message stating that “Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer.” I’ve never encountered such a thing before, and have no idea what it means. What does it mean for Windows to “manage” the printer?

      Thanks again.

      Attachments:
      • #2084570 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        You should Reconfigure the wireless setup because the setup is from/for the previous program and the HP software needs to set it up for HP s/w use.
        Granted it is setup, but not right.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2084724 Reply

          BobStr
          AskWoody Plus

          At your suggestion I’ve now dug into the wireless settings, and encountered some issues that raise questions beyond my ability to formulate.

          Fortunately, this being a new computer, I have a contract with Dell which includes assistance installing programs. I didn’t go to it first, because I think that obtaining guidance online is a better way to increase my understanding than by simply having Tech Support do whatever. But now I’m off to them.

          Thanks very much for your help.

          • #2084729 Reply

            PKCano
            Da Boss

            See your third attachment for the button to do the reconfigure.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2084740 Reply

              BobStr
              AskWoody Plus

              That’s really not a button on the left side (if that’s what you’re referring to). The only active part of that third option is the link to http://www.hp.com, which merely takes me to the basic HP website, and not even a download page, much less something relevant to the printer.

            • #2084744 Reply

              PKCano
              Da Boss

              This link doesn’t work?
              Screen-Shot-2020-01-14-at-12.00.19-PM

              Attachments:
            • #2084772 Reply

              BobStr
              AskWoody Plus

              Sorry, I misunderstood which link you were referring to.

              That link to reconfigure the wireless settings is the one that’s problematic and makes me think that I’m going to have to involve tech support.

              See attachments 4 to 6. Number 4 shows the first pop-up I get after clicking the link. Number 5 shows what I get when I click the Show Network Settings Button: the added information that the network info and password couldn’t be retrieved (even though the printer does print from this computer). And Number 6 merely makes some general statements about router interfaces, which is where I’m completely lost. I’ve explored router interfaces before, and have never had any idea what I’m looking at, and was able to do something only when I had cookbook instructions at hand. I’m especially reluctant to tinker with it in this case, given the fact that the other two computers work just fine, and even this one is able to print, albeit without giving me access to the controls in the designed manner.

              Thanks again.

              Attachments:
    • #2084515 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      As that’s a recent networked printer Windows should find and configure it without additional software. Try removing any software and see what Windows finds.

      What do you want the “app” to do?

      Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer.

      I saw that on one of mine the other day. Just ignored it and all seems fine.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2084734 Reply

        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the suggestion. But I had previously tried removing the software, and what Windows did was lead me to the app in the Windows Store. As I’ve mentioned, the Windows app works, but still leaves me with two issues.

        First, I’d like the installation to work the way it’s supposed to — the way it worked on my Win 7 desktop and Win 10 laptop. The fact that it’s not doing so suggests an underlying problem which needs to be fixed.

        Second — and this is simply an aesthetic choice — I don’t like the eye candy approach that MS decided to go with in Win 7 and then multiply in spades as time went on. I use a classic desktop and keep the “look” of my computer as clean as possible. If I can set up a computer to offend my eye as little as possible, I’ll try to do it. In this case, it means trying to get the HP interface, rather than the one from the MS app. Not an earthshaking issue that diverts me from my daily quest to bring about world peace, but one that I try to resolve if I can. (I originally mistyped “peach” there. Not a bad idea to try to bring about world peach, either! I’ll work on that one too.)

        Thanks again.

    • #2084861 Reply

      mledman
      AskWoody Plus

      Windows popped up a message stating that “Setting this printer as default means Windows will stop managing your default printer.” I’ve never encountered such a thing before, and have no idea what it means. What does it mean for Windows to “manage” the printer?

      It’s an option.  Settings > printers & scanners – let windows manage my default printer.  checking the box makes the most recently used printer the default.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2084952 Reply

        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        Ah, that explains it.

        I had noticed that when I set the printer in one program, then used a second program with a different printer (e.g. pdf instead of the HP), when I came back to the first program the printer had changed to what I had used in the second program.

        I had assumed that that was part of the general printer installation dysfunction that I’ve been dealing with. Turns out that that’s what it means to let Windows manage things. That had never happened with my Win 10 laptop, because I’d always had the default set to the HP printer. Maybe Windows gave me that warning when I first set it, but if it did, I either didn’t notice or had long forgotten it.

        Thanks for the explanation.

        • #2084955 Reply

          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Did you by any chance read #2084263 above?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2084974 Reply

            BobStr
            AskWoody Plus

            More than by chance; I actually read it intentionally, but it obviously made no impression.

            I think I simply forgot as I went through the first part of what you suggested (e.g., downloaded from HP again, etc.).

            Or maybe I printed it and then the dog ate it. I dunno. No good explanation.

            In any case, I went through the setup process again, with that item unchecked, and it made no difference.

            Again. Thanks for the help.

    • #2085138 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      Maybe the HP software want to be installed before the printer – it used to work that way.

      Remove the HP software.
      Delete the printer from Windows wherever you can find it. Settings, Device Manager etc.
      Turn off the printer.
      Re-install the HP software and turn the printer on when prompted.

      cheers, Paul

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2085162 Reply

        PKCano
        Da Boss

        Another repeat of instructions. See #2084263 above.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2085243 Reply

          BobStr
          AskWoody Plus

          I’m sure I followed those instructions, both before and after you pointed out that I had missed the point about unchecking letting Windows control things. But I don’t claim to be infallible, so if there’s something in what I’ve said here that leads you to believe that I didn’t follow the instructions, please identify the particulars so I can give them another try.

          Thanks.

      • #2085244 Reply

        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ll try that later today.

        Thanks for the suggestion.

      • #2085634 Reply

        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, I tried it. Uninstalled everyone I could and unplugged the printer. When the installation software told me to turn it on, I plugged it in and turned it on. The software was then able to detect the printer, but was unable to connect to it at all. The message was uninformative, except to say there was a problem connecting.

        So on to tech support tomorrow.

        Thanks again for the suggestion.

        • #2085637 Reply

          Kirsty
          Da Boss

          @bobstr, a question about your HP OfficeJet Pro 8720… what firmware version is it running? i.e. have you updated it? how old is your printer?

          If not, you may be having issues with SMBv1, which was the default on HP Printers until after the WannaCry security issue, but isn’t normally enabled in Windows 10. I note that the latest firmware (#1919B) mentions that printers older than 1/Dec/2016 would not have Dynamic Security enabled.

          This could possibly relate to your problem.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2086323 Reply

            BobStr
            AskWoody Plus

            It has the latest firmware. At least that’s what it tells me.

            But in any case, I think it’s unlikely that compatibility is the issue, since the printer works just fine with Win 10 on my laptop. The issue is limited to my new Win 10 desktop. Both have Version 1903.

            I’m guessing that either there’s something messed up with the newer machine or the Illuminati are after me again.

            When I get a long period of free time, I’ll be calling tech support to see if I can eliminate for former possibility.

            Thanks for the suggestion.

            • #2086338 Reply

              Kirsty
              Da Boss

              It could be possible that the laptop has SMBv1 enabled, while the desktop doesn’t? Might be worth checking, just as a test?

              Of course, using SMBv1 is not to be recommended (see the link)!

              1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2086449 Reply

              BobStr
              AskWoody Plus

              I looked just now, and it’s unchecked for both computers.

              Thanks for the suggestion.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2086336 Reply

      Alex5723
      AskWoody Plus

      I think it’s unlikely that compatibility is the issue, since the printer works just fine with Win 10 on my laptop.

      There could be compatibility issue as both PCs don’t have the same motherboard the same BIOS nor the same hardware drivers..

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2086451 Reply

        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks.

        What I had in mind, and should have said in order to be precise, is it didn’t appear to be an incompatibility with Windows 10.

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