Windows 11 users (as well as those on Windows 10) have been experiencing weirdness around a frustrating bug with printers, but the good news is that there’s now a fix.

The bad news is that it’s not quite a straightforward solution, as rather unusually, Microsoft requires the installation of a standalone troubleshooting utility in order to facilitate repairs.

As we’ve previously reported, the problem is that PCs are getting the HP Smart app installed when they haven’t got an HP printer connected – or even a printer at all, in some cases – and printers are being renamed as a specific HP LaserJet (whatever their model).

As a result of this, some functionality is failing to work with affected printers, and there’s been quite a lot of head scratching going on (especially for those who don’t have a printer at all, who are apparently suffering at the hands of the Microsoft Print to PDF icon being renamed).

At any rate, the fix is here as noted, but you’ll have to download the aforementioned troubleshooting tool from Microsoft and run it.

This will reverse any printer renaming which has taken place, and reinstate the correct icons for printers, and uninstall the HP Smart app if it shouldn’t have been installed.

You can check out Microsoft’s support page for the full instructions on how to use the tool here.

Analysis: Metadata issue confirmed

The theory behind this bug was that the printer weirdness was happening because of incorrect metadata supplied in a Windows update, which led to printers being wrongly identified as an HP LaserJet.

It seems that idea was bang on as the tool which brings in the fix is called the ‘Microsoft Printer Metadata Troubleshooter.’

Normally, we’d expect the fix to be piped through via Windows Update, so as noted, it’s rather unusual to have to go through a separate download. It’s a slightly clunky process, in short, but at least it is a fix, which was much-needed for some folks, because in some cases, this bug could prevent functions beyond basic printing from working.

Via Tom's Hardware

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