How to Fix “PDE.plugin Will Damage Your Computer”?

Does the warning “PDE.plugin Will Damage Your Computer” keep on popping up on your Mac when you’re printing?

Getting a pop-up warning every time you print a document can be annoying. It can even be alarming when the warning includes the phrase “will damage your computer.” But PDE.plugin isn’t malicious. The error is simply related to your HP printer driver. 

macOS uses a gatekeeping technology that ensures only trusted software runs on your computer. But in 2020, HP unintentionally revoked driver certificates on some older Mac versions. That caused many HP users to experience the PDE.plugin error

Good thing, there are now some easy fixes for this problem. We’ve scoured HP and Apple support threads and other sources to compile a list of possible solutions for you. Here’s how you can quickly fix the “PDE.plugin Will Damage Your Computer” error on your Mac.

Let’s jump right in! 

1. Check for Mac Updates.

The PDE.plugin error comes with a note: Report malware to Apple to protect other users. That’s just your Mac’s Gatekeeper in action. It tags the plugin as malware because it’s unrecognizable since HP driver certificates were revoked. Then again, PDE.plugin isn’t malicious. You just need to help your Mac recognize it properly.

One way to do that is to check for available Mac updates. HP printer driver updates may be available through macOS software updates. Make sure to check that first.

fix PDE.plugin will damage your computer

Here’s how to update your Mac:

  1. In the corner of your screen, you will see the Apple menu. Start by selecting System Preferences.
  2. Then, click Software Update.
  3. If any updates are available, click Update Now or Upgrade Now to install them. 

If that doesn’t solve the problem, you can try other resolutions below.

2. Delete and Re-Add the HP Printer.

Many HP users found that deleting and re-adding their HP printer works. But between deleting and adding the printer back, you have to download the latest HP software. 

Re-installing your HP printer and the latest printer software may take several steps. But taking them helps your Mac recognize PDE.plugin as part of the HP software.

fix PDE.plugin will damage your computer

Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to implement this fix:

Here’s how to exactly do this trick:

  1. First, click System Preferences on your Apple menu.
  2. Then, click Printers & Scanners.
  3. Go through the list and select your HP printer.
  4. Click the Remove (minus sign) button, then select Delete Printer.
  5. Download and install the latest HP printer software for your macOS version.
  6. Lastly, re-add your printer by selecting System Preferences from your menu. Click Printers & Scanners, then click the Add button.
  7. Do a test print to see if it works.

If the issue doesn’t go away, you can give the next solution a try. 

3. Remove and Re-install the HP Printer Driver. 

Some HP users found that deleting and re-adding their printers didn’t do the trick. Others even encountered a different alert: “Matterhorn.framework” will damage your computer. If the same thing happened to you, there’s another solution you can try.

At this point, you might need to re-install your printer driver. But this isn’t as easy as uninstalling the existing one and adding a new driver. It’s crucial that you find and remove the entire HP folder on your computer before installing a new printer driver.

fix PDE.plugin will damage your computer
  1. First, go to Finder and look for the Applications folder.
  2. Then find and open the HP or Hewlett Packard folder.
  3. Inside the folder, click HP Uninstaller. Follow the on-screen instructions. But if you don’t see the HP Uninstaller file, proceed to the next step right away.
  4. Select the HP or Hewlett Packard app and drag it to the Trash.
  5. Go back to Finder. From the Go menu, navigate down to Go to Folder. Or try this trick: hit Command+Shift+G. 
  6. Once the Go to Folder box pops up, type /Library/Printers.
  7. Find, click, and delete the HP or Hewlett Packard folder. 
  8. Now, go to the Trash. Right-click the Trash and select Empty Trash.
  9. Then, on your Apple menu, select System Preferences. Next, click Printers and Scanners and remove the HP printer.
  10. Restart your Mac.
  11. Once your computer is back on, download and install the latest HP driver file. 
  12. After downloading the Driver file, find and double-click the DMG file. Follow the on-screen instructions to install it.
  13. Lastly, once the driver is installed, go to System Preferences on your Apple menu. Click Printers & Scanners. Then, add your HP printer. 

Now, try to print a document to see if it works. If the issue persists, we have a few more tricks up our sleeves.

4.  Update Printer Driver via HP Easy Start.

If the previous solution didn’t work for you, it’s probably because you failed to download and install a driver that perfectly matches your HP device’s model number. But don’t fret. There’s an easy solution to make sure you get the right software.

HP Easy Start allows you to update your printer driver conveniently. It is designed to help you set up the most updated drivers compatible with your HP printer. You just need to download and install it properly. 

fix PDE.plugin will damage your computer

Here’s how to update your driver via HP Easy Start:

  1. First, download HP Easy Start. Here’s a direct download link
  2. Then, locate the file on your computer directory. Open the folder and click the Install icon. Follow the on-screen instructions. This action creates a sequence of processes that allow the most updated support files to be installed.

If that didn’t work, or if you simply want to guarantee that there will be no issues with the installation, you can install HP Easy Start by following these steps:

  1. Download the installer using the link above. 
  2. Run HP Easy Start.
  3. On the menu bar, click HP Easy Start. Navigate down and click Uninstall HP Software. This action ensures any existing printer driver software is removed before installing the new driver.
  1. Wait for the uninstallation to finish. Then, click on Set Up New Device.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  3. Restart your computer and do a test print. 

With the latest and most compatible driver for your HP printer, you should be able to print documents without a hitch. But in case you still need another fix, use AirPrint.

5. Re-install the Printer Using AirPrint.

AirPrint is an Apple feature that allows iPad and iPhone users to print wirelessly. No need to download or install drivers. You can do the same for Mac. That’s possible as long as your printer is AirPrint-compatible. Check the list of AirPrint devices here

fix PDE.plugin will damage your computer

Another requirement for printing wirelessly is that your Mac and HP printer must be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Also, make sure to remove any HP driver software you’ve installed before. That might cause problems when enabling AirPrint.

Here’s how to re-install your HP printer using Airprint:

  1. First, go to the Apple menu and click System Preferences. Then, click Printers & Scanners.
  2. Then, check if your HP printer is already on your Printers list. If it’s listed, select and delete it. 
  3. Next, click Add Printer or Scanner. Look for your HP printer name.
  4. Finally, click the Use or Print Using menu. On the pop-up menu, select AirPrint and then click Add your printer name. 
  5. Test-print to see if your AirPrint-enabled printer is working. 

Here’s another way to print via Apple’s AirPrint:

  1. Start by opening the document you want to print. 
  2. On the top menu, click File.
  3. Click the Print button.
  4. On the Printer menu, navigate down to Nearby Printers, then select AirPrint. Keep in mind that this will only work if you have an AirPrint-enabled printer. Plus, your Mac and Air-enabled printer should be connected to the same Wi-Fi.
  5. Customize the print settings, then click Print.

That wraps up the article. We hope the solutions above helped you fix the “PDE.plugin” error on your Mac. If you have more questions or concerns, feel free to comment below. We will do our best to answer them and help you troubleshoot.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂

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