Despite all the advancements in how we can send files person-to-person and device-to-device, there is still a need for good old paper. This requires us to print various documents and / or scan them before providing the copies to someone else or another party.
As has been the case for years, HP printers are still among the most popular options on the market. However, there appear to be issues with HP printers and those that have upgraded to macOS Catalina or Mojave.
Why can’t you print to an HP printer?
If you try to print something from your Mac to an HP printer, you might get an error message. This can end up being a bit alarming, as the alert says it will “damage your computer”. Here are some examples of errors you can find:
- “HPDeviceMonitoring.framework” will damage your computer.
- “HpPostProcessing.bundle” will damage your computer.
- “HP Utility” will damage your computer.
- “HP Scanner 3” will damage your computer.
- “PDE.plugin will damage your computer.
What is “The driver will damage your computer”?
This message is nothing new in macOS, as you may have seen over the years when downloading files. Attempting to install unrecognized files would result in a message saying something like “X” will damage your computer. You should put it in the trash. “
Apple implemented this as a security feature known as Gatekeeper (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491), which aims to only allow “trusted” software to run on your Mac. Gatekeeper requires you to manually allow untrusted apps, i.e. apps not downloaded from the App Store, to be installed. This is done from the Settings app in Security & Privacy, and you will need to press the “Allow” button.
However, if you’ve never had any issues with your HP printing and this message only started popping up recently, we need to dive a little deeper. What makes this even more confusing is the fact that in order to install the correct drivers for your HP printer, you will need to download the official software from Apple’s Mac App Store.
How to troubleshoot printer driver certificate issues
If you try to print from your HP printer and continue to experience the issues we have detailed above, you might think you’re out of luck. Especially if you dive into the Apple discussion boards and see that the only advice from Apple or HP is to talk to the other company. Unfortunately, this did not result in any fixes issued directly by Apple or HP.
However, in a recent article by The registry (https://www.theregister.com/2020/10/23/hp_printer_macos/), it looks like we finally got an answer on what happened:
“We have unintentionally revoked credentials on some older versions of Mac drivers. This has caused a temporary disruption for these customers and we are working with Apple to restore the drivers. In the meantime, we recommend that users experiencing this issue uninstall the HP driver and use the native AirPrint driver to print to their printer. “
Here. The reason is that HP has revoked the credentials on some of its older drivers, wreaking havoc on HP printer owners all over the world.
Uninstall faulty drivers
Before you can try to make your printer work properly again, you need to make sure that the outdated drivers have been removed. It is a fairly straightforward process, but one that is a must to get your printer working again.
- Open a new Finder window.
- Navigate to the Library folder.
- Open printers from the Library folder.
- Highlight and delete the hp file found here.
- Open the System Preferences app.
- To select Printers and scanners.
- Highlight your HP printer from the list.
- Press the “–»To remove it from your Mac.
- Close Finder and System Preferences.
- Restart your Mac.
Not only will this remove all persistent HP files from your Mac, it will also completely remove the HP printer from your computer. This is the best method, because it essentially allows you to “start from scratch” and get your HP printer back up and running.
Install new HP drivers
The first workaround is the one described in HP’s response to The register, and it is for using AirPrint. This is a feature built right into macOS software, no matter what version you are using. But the best part about it is the fact that it doesn’t use any third-party drivers or Apple itself.
If you don’t want to rely solely on AirPrint for your printing needs, you’ll want to install the Apple HP printer drivers. It is available on one of Apple’s support pages and is designed to work with HP printers from October 2017 and up.
- Navigate to the Apple HP Printer Drivers page.
- Click it Download button at the top of the page.
- Click on the file in your Downloads folder.
- Follow the prompts on the screen.
- Restart your Mac.
Once completed, the new drivers will be automatically downloaded and installed from Apple’s servers. In addition, these include the latest and most up-to-date HP software.
Using the HP software
For those who have an HP printer released after October 2017, you will need to download and install HP Easy Start. This is available directly from HP, ensuring that you have the latest drivers directly from HP.
Finally, if HP Easy Start cannot locate the correct drivers for your specific printer, you will need to use HP Easy Admin. Again, this is software available directly from HP and will give you access to all the drivers and files you might need, depending on your printer.
Once you’re done locating, downloading, and installing the new drivers, you’ll want to add the printer back to your Mac. This is probably the easiest process of the bunch.
- Open System Preferences.
- Click on Printers and scanners.
- Press the “+Icon ”on the left.
- Locate your printer.
- Follow the onscreen prompts to add your printer.
So this is it! Your HP printer will start working like it did before this whole driver debacle. Plus, you shouldn’t run into any issues anymore.
We understood. Incidents happen regularly and companies are usually good enough to provide updates or fixes to get things working again. The problem here is that, while this is a very common issue, Apple and HP support teams seem to have just pointed the finger at each other. This only causes frustration for the end user. And that could leave a bad taste when it comes to getting a new printer or computer.
If you continue to have issues with your HP printer, let us know in the comments so that we can try to help you. Also, if you’ve found a workaround that makes this whole reinstallation process easier, let us know so we can add it to the list of options here.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the United States.
He’s written for a variety of sites over the years including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while working in the moonlight as a freelance writer at night.