HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer [How to Fix]

If your HP printer setup cannot find printer, this article will guide you on how to fix this problem.

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Table of Contents

HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer [Error Messages] – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

If your HP printer displays any of these error messages below, keep reading to find the solutions to this error that apply to your software and operating system:

i. Unable to find the printer

ii. Printer not found

iii. Your printer could not be found on your wireless network

iv. No devices found

How to Fix HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer on HP Smart App – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

If your HP printer cannot be found during the setup on the HP Smart app, do the following troubleshooting:

Troubleshoot Connecting your HP Printer to the Wireless Network – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To troubleshoot connecting your HP printer to the wireless network, do the following tasks. Once you do a task, perform the setup again to verify if the problem has been fixed. If it is not fixed, move on to the next task.

1. Restart the computer and HP printer.

2. Enable your printer’s Wi-Fi setup mode.

We recommend that you read this article: How to Restore HP Printer Setup Mode [Detailed Guide]to learn how to enable your HP printer Wi-Fi setup mode.

3. Connect the device (computer or smartphone) to the wired or wireless network you will be connecting your HP printer to.

During the setup, use the HP Smart app to maintain your device’s connection to the network.

4. For computer users, turn on your computer’s Wi-Fi if your PC is using a wired (Ethernet) connection.

In the event that you can’t turn your computer’s Wi-Fi on, you should temporarily unplug the Ethernet cable from your printer and then switch to your wireless network. Alternatively, you can use the Bluetooth feature via HP Smart to locate your HP printer.

5. Enable your device’s Bluetooth (computer or smartphone).

This action allows the app to detect your printer during the HP printer setup.

Note: In case your PC lacks Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, use your smartphone to connect your HP printer to the Wi-Fi network via HP Smart on Android or iOS.

6. For mobile users, navigate to the “Settings” and then turn on the device’s location.

7. For mobile users, navigate to the “Settings” and give the HP Smart app access to your device’s location and Bluetooth.

8. Move your device closer to your HP printer at least within 8 meters. Furthermore, ensure that the signal of your wireless network is strong where the device and your printer are placed.

9. Reinstall the HP Smart app from your app store before re-adding your HP printer.

10. In the event that the HP printer setup problem remains unresolved, restart your wireless router, and then allow the device or PC to perform the reconnection to the wireless or wired network. Now, try to re-add your HP printer via the HP Smart app.

Troubleshoot the Addition of an HP Printer Already Connected to the Network – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

Do the following to troubleshoot the addition of an HP printer already connected to the network:

1. Ensure that your device (computer or smartphone) and printer are on the same wireless or wired network.

Certain HP printers require about a minute for the connection to take place and for the IP address to be established. You should check the printer’s control display and find out if the Wi-Fi or Ethernet icon and LED indicator is solid.

Furthermore, you should check the Ethernet port’s LED indicator and confirm if the green LED indicator is steady while the orange LED indicator will blink. If you cannot establish a connection, check for damages to the cables or loose connections.

2. Reconnect your Ethernet cable to another LAN port on your access point or router.

3. Manually add your HP printer via its IP address.

If you don’t know the IP address of your printer, simply print out a Network Configuration Report or Wireless Network Test Results by following the instructions below that best apply to your HP printer model:

  • Control panel menu Inkjet printers: Open the menu for “Wireless”, “Setup”, or “Network” to find the available reports.
  • Non-control panel menu InkJet printers: Locate and press the printer’s “Information” and “Wireless” buttons at once. Alternatively, press the printer’s “Start Copy Black” and “Wireless” buttons simultaneously.
  • LaserJet printers: Locate and press down your printer’s “Wireless” button until you see the Ready LED blinks or for about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you should check the printer’s Wireless menu and then choose “Wireless Network Test”.
  • Neverstop Laser and Laser NS printers: Press down the “Wireless” and “Resume” buttons for about 3 seconds.
  • Tango, ENVY 6400 and 6000, and DeskJet 6400 and 6000 printers: Press down the printer’s “Information” button: Do this until you see all the LED indicators on the control panel light up. After that, press the “Resume” and “Information” buttons at once.

4. Go to your App store, and then install the HP Smart app again: After doing that, attempt to re-add your HP printer.

5. In case the “HP printer setup cannot find printer message” is displayed, restart your wireless router, and then allow your device (smartphone or computer) to re-establish the connection to the wireless or wired network. After that, attempt to re-add your HP printer via the HP Smart app.

Read this article: HP Printer Setup [How To, Issues & Solutions] if you are interested in learning about other HP printer setups.

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Troubleshoot the Addition of an HP Printer Already Connected via USB – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

Do the following to troubleshoot the addition of an HP printer already connected via USB. To confirm if the problem has been fixed, you have to attempt to set up your HP printer after completing each task.

For HP+ printers, you have to connect the machine to your network. Also, the printer has to be registered to your HP account. This is necessary for you to get the HP+ advantages of your printer. If you are using USB for the setup of your HP+ printer, you might get a prompt from the HP Smart app to change to an Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection. This is also necessary to ensure that you get the HP+ benefits of your printer. Therefore, a USB connection prevents the activation of HP+.

1. Allow the Windows Updates on your computer to finish the process of installing the required drivers.

Once you connect the computer and printer, the process of installing the required drivers will begin automatically. The installation process might last from one to fifteen minutes. To view the status of your printer’s driver installation, go to your “Control panel”, and then click on “Devices and Printers”.

2. Ensure that the operating system of your Windows is up-to-date. If it is not, install the available updates.

3. Your printer and computer should be connected directly via a USB cable to the correct and working USB ports of both devices and not with a USB hub.

HP doesn’t recommend connecting HP printers to USB hubs as the power supply might be inadequate.

4. Ensure that the USB cord in use is working perfectly. Check for loose connections and fix any that you find.

In the event that the cable is longer than 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters) or it is damaged, get a different USB cable.

5. Go to your App store, and then install the HP smart app again: After doing that, attempt to re-add your HP printer.

How to Fix HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer on Windows – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

If your HP printer cannot be found during the setup on Windows, do the following troubleshooting:

1. Run HP Print and Scan Doctor – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To run HP Print and Scan Doctor to fix the “HP printer setup cannot find printer” issue, do the following steps:

Step 1: Ensure that you properly load paper in the printer’s main input tray.

Step 2: Turn on your HP printer.

Step 3: Go to this website to download the HP Print and Scan Doctor.

Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to install the tool.

Step 5: Once the installation is complete, open HP Print and Scan Doctor.

Step 6: Once the welcome screen appears, click on “Start”. This will enable you to choose your HP printer and then run the tool.

Step 7: If your HP printer isn’t listed, click on “My product is not listed”. After that, do the instructions to complete the troubleshooting.

We recommend that you watch the video below:

2. Uninstall your HP Printer Driver and then Use the HP Smart App – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To uninstall your HP printer driver and then use the HP Smart app, do the steps below:

Step 1: Unplug any USB cable connected to your HP printer.

Step 2: Run a search for “Add or remove programs” on your Windows computer.

Step 3: Click on “Add or remove programs” from the search result or any similar search result.

Step 4: Locate your HP printer in the programs list.

  • If your HP printer is listed, click on the name of your HP printer, before clicking on “Uninstall”.
  • If your HP printer is not listed, run a search for “Printers and Scanners” and then open it from the search results. Click on your HP printer, before clicking on “Remove device”.

Step 5: If this message is displayed: “User Account Control”, click on “Yes”.

Step 6: Complete the uninstallation process by doing the instructions on the screen.

Step 7: Restart your computer.

Step 8: Go to the Microsoft Store and download HP Smart.

Step 9: Install HP Smart on your Windows computer.

Step 10: Try to set up your HP printer with the HP Smart app.

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3. Troubleshot the Connection of your Printer – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

Try the following connection troubleshoot to resolve the “HP setup printer cannot find printer” problem:

Troubleshooting Wireless Connection – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To troubleshoot your printer’s wireless connection, do the following instructions:

i. Bad Network Connection

Change the position of your computer and printer and move them closer to your router. You should also confirm that the signal of the router is strong. Another way you can test the strength of the signal is to open a website on your computer using the same wireless connection. If the signal is intermittent or slow, you have to restart your wireless router by unplugging its power cable, and then wait for about 15 seconds before plugging the cable back into your router.

ii. Printer in Sleep Mode or off

To wake your HP printer from sleep mode, simply press the printer’s “Power” button. This action will put your printer in ready mode. If your HP printer has a touchscreen control panel, touching the control panel will also get your HP printer into ready mode.

iii. Check the Connection Status of your Printer

Ensure that the router’s wireless signal on your printer is on. Also, confirm that your HP printer and computer are on the same wireless network. If your HP printer is designed with a LED indicator beside the “Wireless” button or icon, ensure that the indicator is on and solid. If the indicator is blinking and not solid, then it means that your printer is not connected to the wireless network.

iv. Reconnect your HP Printer to your Wireless Network

Move your HP printer to be within the signal range of your router. After doing that, connect your printer to the wireless network by following the instructions below that best apply to your HP printer model:

  • Touchscreen control panel printers: Open the menu for “Wireless Settings”, “Network”, or “Setup” from your printer’s control panel. After that, choose the “Wireless Setup Wizard” option and then do the on-screen instructions to choose the wireless network name before entering the network password.
  • Non-touchscreen control panel printers: Press down the printer’s “Wireless” button for about 5 seconds. Alternatively, instead of waiting for that duration, release the button once the Wireless LED indicator begins to blink. Within 2 minutes, press down your router’s Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button and only release it when the connection between both devices begins. Your printer’s Wireless LED indicator will cease to flash when both devices are completely connected.
  • HP Tango, ENVY 6400 and 6000, and DeskJet 6400 and 6000 printers: Press down your printer’s “Power” and “Wi-Fi” buttons at the same time for about 5 seconds until you see the blue bar on the printer flashing. Within 2 minutes, press down your router’s Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button and only release it when the connection between both devices begins. Your printer’s blue bar will cease to flash when both devices are completely connected.

v. Restart your HP Printer and Computer

To ensure that all conditions responsible for the error at hand are fully cleared, restart your HP printer and then do the same for your computer.

vi. Print out a Wireless Test Report

A Wireless Test Report will enable you to discover any other issue with your printer’s wireless connection.

If you don’t know how to print a wireless test report, check your printer user manual. Alternatively, you can go the HP’s Customer Support website and then search for the model of your HP printer, before searching for “self test page”. The document will then guide you on not only how to print the report, but also how to evaluate it.

vii. Enable your Computer’s Bluetooth

To enable the HP Smart app to detect your printer when you are performing your HP printer setup, you have to turn on your computer’s Bluetooth function.

viii. Contact the Manufacturer of your Router

In some cases, wireless isolation is a reason why your HP printer cannot be found during setup because the wireless isolation has made it appear offline. In such a case, you need to contact the manufacturer of your wireless router to provide you with information on how to fix the problem.

Troubleshooting Wired Connection – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To troubleshoot your printer’s wired connection, do the following instructions:

i. Turn your HP printer off.

ii. Unplug the Ethernet cord from your HP printer and your router.

iii. Check if the cable is damaged; if it is, change it.

iv. Confirm that you are not using a telephone cable in place of an Ethernet cable.

This mistake is quite common because of how similar both cables are. However, you can distinguish both by checking the size since Ethernet cords are bigger. Also, their connectors have 8 visible wires on them.

v. Plug the Ethernet to another LAN or Ethernet port on your wireless router.

vi. Plug the cable’s other end into the Ethernet port on your HP printer.

vii. Turn your HP printer on.

viii. Check the indicators on your HP printer’s Ethernet port and confirm that you have a successful connection: The green LED indicator should be solid, while the orange activity indicator should blink.

ix. Print out a Network Configuration Report or Wireless Network Test Results by following the instructions below that best apply to your printer model:

  • Control panel menu Inkjet printers: Open the menu for “Wireless”, “Setup”, or “Network” to find the available reports.
  • Non-control panel menu InkJet printers: Locate and press the printer’s “Information” and “Wireless” buttons at once. Alternatively, press the printer’s “Start Copy Black” and “Wireless” buttons simultaneously.
  • LaserJet printers: Locate and press down your printer’s “Wireless” button until you see the Ready LED blinks or for about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you should check the printer’s Wireless menu and then choose “Wireless Network Test”.
  • Neverstop Laser and Laser NS printers: Press down the “Wireless” and “Resume” buttons for about 3 seconds.
  • Tango, ENVY 6400 and 6000, and DeskJet 6400 and 6000 printers: Press down the printer’s “Information” button: Do this until you see all the LED indicators on the control panel light up. After that, press the “Resume” and “Information” buttons at once.

x. Check the “Network Status” on the report and confirm that it is indicated as “Ready”. Alternatively, just do the instructions as presented on the result or report to fix any identified network issue.

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Troubleshooting USB Connection – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To troubleshoot your printer’s USB connection, do the following instructions:

i. Turn your HP printer off.

ii. Turn your computer off.

iii. Remove the USB cord from your printer and computer.

iv. Inspect the length of the cord and also check for damages.

  • If the cord is longer than 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters), or it is damaged, then you need to change it.
  • If the cord is not longer than 9 feet 10 inches (3 meters) and is undamaged, then you should plug the cord into another USB port on your computer. Ensure that the port is USB 2.0 or higher. Do not use a docking station or USB hub for the connection.

v. Plug the USB cord into your HP printer.

vi. Turn on your computer and allow the startup to be completed.

vii. Turn your HP printer on and then wait for your Windows PC to install your printer.

For Mac users, you will have to add your HP printer yourself.  

How to Fix HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer on Mac – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

If your HP printer cannot be found during the setup on Mac, do the following troubleshooting:

1. Reset Printing System – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

When you reset the printing system on your Mac, it allows you to get rid of most error states but also removes the printers on the computer. Therefore, when you do this process, you will have to add your HP printer again.

How to Reset the Printing System – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To reset the printing system, do these steps:

Step 1: Click on the “Apple” icon/menu.

Step 2: Click on “System Preferences”.

Step 3: Click on “Print and Scan” or “Printers & Scanners”.

Step 4: Right-click any space in the list of printers.

Step 5: Click on “Reset printing system”.

Step 6: To confirm, click on “Reset”.

Step 7: Enter the admin user name as well as password.

Step 8: Click on “OK”.  This final action will reset the printing system.

Step 9: To re-add your HP printer, click on the plus (+) sign below the printer list.

Step 10: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process of re-adding your HP printer.

2. Uninstall your HP Printer Driver and then Use the HP Smart App – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To uninstall your HP printer driver and then use the HP Smart app, do the steps below:

Step 1: Go to this site to download and then install HP Easy Start. 

Step 2: Once the installation is complete, open HP Easy Start.

Step 3: Click on the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Click on “Uninstall HP Software”.

Step 5: Follow the onscreen steps to complete the uninstallation of HP software on your Mac.

Step 6: Go to the Apple Store to download HP Smart. 

Step 7: Install HP Smart on your Windows computer.

Step 8: Try to set up your HP printer with the HP Smart app.

3. Troubleshot the Connection of your Printer – HP Printer Setup Cannot Find Printer

To troubleshoot the connection of your HP printer, follow the instructions we shared in the “Troubleshot the Connection of your Printer” section of this article.

If your HP printer is not found during network driver setup, use the guide we shared in this article above to resolve the issue.