Windows 7 will not set up my HP Photosmart 8050 Printer

My HP Photsmart 8050 is not detected on startup, so it Win 7 won't set it up. (Manual setup does not work as this seems to cause connection issues with the virtual USB port creation and asssignment). Have tried HP tech "support" Have followed HP online setup recommendations and have downloaded the HP 8000 series driver. No luck. My Brother HL-2140 laser is recognized and set up immediately and works great. Help, please? I really want to use this printer. I have already had to replace my beloved Visioneer 6600USB scanner and don't want to do the same with my HP printer. Thanks.

Your printer is part of the Photosmart 8000 Series from HP.  I have the same printer and am running Windows 7 Ultimate and got my HP Photosmart 8050 to work just fine.  Here is what worked for me:

1. open Control Panel

2. select view by and then large icons if you haven't done so already Device Manager

4. locate your HP Photosmart 8050 Printer in the Device Manager

5. once located right click it's listing in Device Manager and select Update Driver Software

6. select option 2 Browse My Computer For Driver Software

7. next choose the second let me pick from list option and then if asked to provide a device type choose printer(s)

8. then you will see a list dialogue that has 2 sides one will list the manufacturer and the other the devices and their drivers

9. select HP (Hewlett Packard) and then choose Photosmart 8400 Series and click next if you receive a message saying that installing the driver isn't recommended because hardware compatibility can't be confirmed click yes to continue because it's safe to do so

10. Device Manager will then install the device and it should then show up in your printers list as HP Photosmart 8400 Series if it asks you weather this should be the default click yes

11. you have succesfully installed your HP printer and it will continue to function perfectly all the time.

Note:  if you need to enable more advanced photo printing features of your device go to and input HP Photosmart Essentials 3.5 and choose the first link and click download now.


the reason the above driver for the 8400 Series mentioned above works is that if you noticed on your original CD that came with it, the 8000, 8200, and 8400 Series printers use the same drivers and software.  the same applies when installing it on Windows 7.  That is why we are able to use the HP Photosmart 8400 Series driver included with Windows and have it work with your device. 

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Last updated December 13, 2020 Views 10,731 Applies to: