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Apple Security Alert: “HP Utility” or “HPDeviceMonitoring.framework” will damage your computer [SOLVED]

Problem Description

I recently began receiving reports of a security alert on Apple computers that states:

“HPDeviceMonitoring.framework” will damage your computer. This file was downloaded on an unknown date. [] Report malware to Apple to protect other users

In some instances, “HP Utility” will be in quotes in the alert message. There is a check-box next to the Report to Apple option. This is an alarming and disconcerting message for most users to see. When you click on the OK button, the message goes away and then shows up again immediately. Below is a workaround.

Problem Solution Options

OPTION #1 – HP Uninstaller. You may have an HP folder in your Applications folder. Inside of that HP folder there may be an HP Uninstaller option. If you use this, it will remove all of your printers. If you have many printers configured, then using this option will require that those be setup again, including non-HP printers. In our tests, running the HP Uninstaller software did not resolve the problem, but it may have worked toward a solution. Further instructions can be found on the HP software uninstallation support page where there are manual steps are provided in addition to running the uninstaller. [HP Easy Start]

OPTION #2 – HP Easy Start Uninstaller. If you download and install HP Easy Start, you will find under the Easy Start menu there is an option to “Uninstall HP Software.” [HP Easy Start] This seems to work well for many people. Once the software is removed, then use HP Smart to setup your printer. [HP Smart]

OPTION #3 – Cleanup Utility. Programs like CleanMyMac are able to remove programs with their related files. This can be helpful for difficult to remove programs. If you choose this option, be sure to only download that software from the developer’s website MacPaw.com/cleanmymac. Note that this is not a paid or affiliate link.

If you are still having trouble, feel free to post a comment describing your situation in the comments below. A temporary workaround is below.

Temporary Workaround

If you don’t want to do anything about the problem yet and perhaps are hoping Apple or HP will address the solution, the best workaround presently is to move the message window/box to an area of the screen where it doesn’t get in the way. It is persistent across desktops so you can’t hide it on a desktop. It is possible to drag the alert message mostly off the screen with a corner still showing so you can still drag it into view if needed.

Document Purpose

As a tech consultant supporting hundreds of individuals and businesses, I’m fairly quickly made aware of wide-spread problems that impact multiple people because I get inundated with emails, phone calls, and text messages from people all experiencing the same problem. This page describes a recent problem impacting many people around the world.

For an individual experiencing a problem, they don’t know if it’s unique to their computer, or if it is impacting multiple people. Often, support documents are not available in the initial days of a wide-spread issue. So, people spend many hours with trial-and-error diagnostics, sometimes creating more problems than solutions.

The main purpose of this document is to let people know:

  • This is a known issue.
  • There is no threat posed by HP software.
  • You need not try to do something with your computer to prevent this issue.
  • In our tests, printing still worked despite the error.

Additional news about this issue will be posted as it becomes available.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources. Beware of Google search results describing this as a malware or virus and offering instructions for removal.

  • Apple Discussion Forums (23 Oct 2020). Excerpt: “It’s still uncertain exactly what is causing the problem, but please don’t go ripping things out of your systems willy-nilly! Do not remove launch agents or daemons if you don’t know what they are, as that can break legitimate software. If you’re affected, search for information on how to properly uninstall the software in question. For example, for HP software, look for an HP-provided uninstaller, or contact HP support for assistance with removing it. Be sure to use resources only on the HP website, such as support.hp.com, to avoid getting scammed. (Googling for “HP support” is likely to connect you with a scammer.) The same goes for Amazon, etc.” [More…]
  • Apple Insider (23 Oct 2020) Excerpt: “Some Mac users being warned that Amazon Music app and HP drivers are malware.” Excerpt: “Some users are reporting that they can no longer print to HP printers, or can’t continue playing Amazon Music through the dedicated app, because of a macOS error that claims the software is malware. AppleInsider has been contacted by users reporting that their Macs are suddenly claiming their HP printers contain malware and “will damage your computer.” Separately, other users are reporting the same issue, but to do with the Amazon Music app.” [More…]
  • Malwarebytes (29 Oct 2020). Excerpt: “Apple was able to reinstate the revoked certificate, which fixed the problem for some people, but not everyone. We’re still seeing new cases reported days later.” [More…]
  • The Register (23 Oct 2020) Excerpt: “The Register understands from sources familiar with the matter that HP Inc asked Apple to revoke its printer driver code-signing certificates. It appears this request backfired as it left users unable to print. A HP Inc spokesperson told us on Friday night: ‘We unintentionally revoked credentials on some older versions of Mac drivers. This caused a temporary disruption for those customers and we are working with Apple to restore the drivers. In the meantime, we recommend users experiencing this problem to uninstall the HP driver and use the native AirPrint driver to print to their printer.'” [More…]

Global Impact

The map below shows recent visitors to this page. This suggests the problem is impacting people around the world.

Best Practices

Apparently some change to Apple MacOS, HP Software, or both has caused this problem. Those involved should have tested for problems like this prior to rolling changes out to millions of users. The flaw in Apple’s malware detection that produces these false positives should be correctable remotely for this and any future issues. Otherwise, the disruption and negative impact will propagate over several days rather than just a few hours.

Collateral Damage

Whenever a problem like this surfaces, people run to the Internet for answers. Opportunists see this as an opportunity to infect computers with malware or sell fake support services. Below is one of the Google results that shows up when searching on a solution to this problem. The title is misleading because it suggests the software is a virus that needs to be removed. Some people will follow such advice and cause further harm to their computer, causing an even greater negative impact. This is why such problems need to be resolved by Apple and HP as quickly as possible.

Avoid Fake Solutions

For this and other computer issues, you will want to avoid fake solutions which are often attempts to cause other problems on your computer or take your money.

Document History

  • 24 Oct 2020 at 7:50 PM – Document created.
  • 26 Oct 2020 at 9:58 AM – Updated to include some additional problem resolution instructions.
  • 29 Oct 2020 at 5:33 PM – Updated to includes links to The Register and the Malwarebytes blog articles on this topic.p

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com


  1. So should I try one or more of the solutions or leave it alone until Apple and HP sort it out? Thank you.

  2. Hi Debrah,

    Thanks for writing. Certainly the “workaround” option is an easy way to continue working by just pushing that notification aside and out of the way. Today I decided to actually figure out a solution, and eventually did — but it was after doing several things. I wanted to make sure what I recommend is something directly from the HP website, and what I ended up with that worked was to use the HP removal and then add the printer again using HP Smart. I recommend for people to periodically cleanup old printer drivers anyway, perhaps once a year. So, even if this problem weren’t present, it can be helpful to do a removal and reinstallation. Let me know if that sounds like something you’re comfortable doing, or if needed I could provide some help.


  3. There is no problem in printing, but I cannot “scan”? Does this workaround allow scanning? Can I remove all my HP software and scan with “Image Scan” successfully?

  4. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for writing. Recently HP has switched to promoting their HP Smart software on Windows and Mac. It is universal software that is designed to work with any printer. So, I’m thinking you might try installing HP Smart and using that for scanning. Do you use the IRIS OCR software? If so, I believe HP Smart doesn’t utilize that so you’d need the full HP software. Which printer model do you have?


  5. It will not allow me to print, that is my main issue. It just keeps saying it will damage my computer and refuses to print. Is there any better solution to get this figured out? I have a macbook pro.
    Thank you so much.

  6. Hi Ingrid,

    At present, the best solution seems to be removing the printer from System Preferences and then adding it again from HP.com/support where you can get the latest software. I’ve been hearing from people on Windows computers as well who are suddenly unable to print, and this solution works for them as well. Let me know if you have further questions.


  7. There was an Apple update today for the HP Printer software. Will this fix the problem? Also can I delete the problem file through finder or will that cause problems?

  8. Hi Darrell,

    Thanks for writing. I’d not seen that HP update yet, and I’m on a Mac with an HP printer and software installed. I’ve helping people every day with this, and the best ‘fix’ so far seems to be: (1) Install HP Easy Start. (2) Once installed, choose “Uninstall HP Software” from the HP Easy Start menu. This will remove all HP software. (3) Install HP Smart to use your printer. This is all described here https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02440673

    It’s possible that the HP Printer software update will help with the issue. I would not recommend manually deleting system files. Instead, it’s better to use the HP software removal as described on their website.


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