HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer

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HP Scanner 3

A lot of Mac users are nowadays reporting that they are getting a strange message on their Mac that appears in the form of a pop-up stating that “HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer”.

This alert seems to be connected with HP printer drivers which the built-in MacOS anti-malware App (Xprotect) seems to be detecting as malicious. Users with MacOS Catalina 10.15.7 seems to be getting the alarming pop-up warning the most.

HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer Mac

This article outlines several alternatives, including measures found in Apple and HP forums, to help you circumvent this alarming warning. So if you were invaded by such an alert pop-up lately, stick with us until the end.

Verify the HP Certificate

The possibility that you have your driver’s license expired is one of the reasons the warning message “HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer” may appear. At least, this is what is suggested in HP Forums, where it is explained that this is what forces Mac to alert you that HP Scanner 3 is dangerous.

HP Forum Solution 1

One solution to the problem is to upgrade your software and drivers through HP Easy Start.

To do that, HP Easy Start needs to be downloaded from here.

Next, follow the setup instructions of the printer. You will be notified whether the program requires an upgrade.

If you need an upgrade, you have to click on the “Install” button that is found in the Printer Essentials checkbox that will be marked by default.

If you want to be in full control of the setup process and guarantee a clean installation of the software, you can take the following steps:

  1. Download HP Easy Start on your computer.
  2. Then, open the HP Easy Start.
  3. Pick HP Easy Start Menu from the macOS menu bar.
  4. Next, from this menu, pick Uninstall HP Software.
  5. To start uninstalling, press “Continue”.
  6. After the procedure has been completed, click Set Up New Device.
  7. Follow the guidelines for the new device configuration process.
  8. The software will start installing.
  9. Follow the remaining instructions to complete the process.

The Apple Forum solution

There is no specific guidance about the issue from Apple, but some users posted some solutions to the HP Scanner 3 message on Mac forums. The steps are as follows:

  1. Navigate to the “Library/LaunchAgents” with Finder.
  2. Select and transfer the newest and most questionable-looking file to the bin.
  3. Do the same in the “Library/LaunchDemons” folder
  4. And the same for the directory “~Library/LaunchAgents”.
  5. Go to “Applications”, sort the list to see the latest additions, and search for suspicious entries added lately and remove them.
  6. Finally, restart your Mac to see if this fixes the issue.

Is it a smart idea that the “HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer” alert message be bypassed?

The “HP Scanner 3 will damage your computer” warning is not officially verified by Apple as a false positive. We, therefore, suggest that you do not underestimate the warning easily. It is quite possible that your MacOS may have discovered something questionable or malicious, so such warnings should always be handled carefully.

How do I bypass the Mac notification anyway?

One of the ways is to right- click  the app and select Open.

You will get a “HP Scanner 3” alert, but you can still open this software.

Additional options for bypassing the warning:

  1. Locate HP Scanner 3 through the Finder.
  2. Control-Click on the app.
  3. Through the shortcut menu select Open. From then on the program is whitelisted, and you can open it without seeing the “macOS cannot verify that this app is free from malware” alert.
  4. Another way for whitelisting the app is to navigate to “Security&Privacy” Preferences and select Open Anyway.

Remember that this button would be available only for an hour after you have tried to open a blocked application. To navigate to it, follow the directory described below:

Apple Menu>>> System Preferences>>>Security&Privacy>>>General.

Is my Mac at risk?

This HP framework could be safe and malware-free. However, it may contribute to system exploits if not addressed carefully.  Thus, we recommend to search the computer with a trusted anti-malware tool that checks and removes system dangers or other files that could cause problems in future. ComboCleaner is a great tool for doing so. 

Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com, a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people.

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