Scanning HP LaserJet Pro PDFs to your Mac

Installing the HP Software on a Mac is a nightmare. The simplest and probably the best solution is to stick to MacOS software only for printing, scanning, and faxing. But as I wanted to configure more things from my Mac and wanted to scan PDF directly to a folder on my Mac I figured it out the hard way.

My Configuration

  • HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw with Firmware CLRWTRXXXN002.2014A.00
  • iMac 2019 with MacOS 10.15.5 (19F101)
  • Connected with USB and Ethernet. Ethernet or WLAN is required for this set-up here.

Prepare your Mac

The HP Scanner uses samba (smb://) to access a shared folder on your Mac drive with an authorised user and password.

  • Therefore, we set-up a dedicated user on the Mac in order to prevent that your private password get’s lost. I do not trust the HP software at all just based on the tons of bugs I have seen in the last week. MacOS offers a special kind of user for this: „Sharing Only users can access shared files remotely, but can’t log in to or change settings on the computer“.  This user does not even have files in the /Users/<username> structure. I picked the usernamehpprinter“ and generated a strong password
  • Then we create a shared folder „HP-scan with read & write access for everybody on your Mac via the user group „staff“ and the just created user „hpprinter.“
  • The shared folder „HP-scan“ requires very special access right inheritance rules, because the HP scanner generates files which have only read-write rights for the user „hpprinter;“ all other users on the Mac cannot access the HP generated files.
    • For this you open the „Terminal“ window,
    • log-in with your root or administrator user e.g. „su root“ and then
    • set the folder access right with „sudo chmod -R +a "staff allow list,add_file,search,add_subdirectory,delete_child,readattr,writeattr,readextattr,writeextattr,readsecurity,file_inherit,directory_inherit" /Users/<your file path>/HP-scan.“ Please change the last phrase to your exact folder path on your Mac.

Installing HP application

Although there are plenty of HP applications on the support web-site my advise is to ignore them ALL. Just install from the MacOS app store the HP Smart app

In the HP Smart app you can configure all set-ups from your Mac via the HP Embedded Web Server. For this you need the Ethernet connection! Accessing the HP Embedded Web Server is not working via Safari nor Chrome as the HP certificates are not valid.

Configure HP Scanning functions

In the HP Smart app click on the „Scanning“ menu and configure the network scanning options which is well described in the HP support page. But attention: set-up a „Quick Set“ with the name „scan2mac“ as the standard set-up did not work for me. Here you use the user „hpprinter„, its password, your computer name, and the shared folder name „HP-scan„. Important: The network path is just „\\<your computer name>\HP-scan“ with windows backslash as samba shares the folder without the complete network path. The HP software has a test button which will tell you if your configuration did work.

Now, scanning

Put paper on the HP Scanner ADF or the scanner glas and open the menu „Quick Set“. In there you find the „scan2mac“ button. Just press it and you are done.

If you want you can move the „scan2mac“ button on the top level menu in the setting tab of the HP Smart app.