85121 - ECHO/PULSE/WIFI/LIVESCRIBE 3 - Windows (or Mac) - Smartpen not recognized by Echo Desktop (ECHO/PULSE) / Livescribe Helper (WIFI/LIVESCRIBE 3)

Why is my smartpen not recognized by the software when I run the Echo Desktop (Echo or Pulse) or Livescribe Helper app (wifi/Livescribe 3)?

If your smartpen is not being recognized by the Echo/Livescribe Desktop (Echo/Pulse smartpens) or Livescribe Helper (Sky/wifi smartpens) software, please make sure that the smartpen it is connected directly to the computer, not a hub or monitor and test different cables as some cables might wear over time allowing the pen to charge while unable to transfer data ( this might happen due to a broken data wire inside the cable).

In the event that the issue continues, please make sure that the Pencomm service is running, as shown below: 

Windows customers

Please make sure that the Livescribe Pulse smartpen service is running as shown in this article -  https://livescribe.helpscoutdocs.com/article/776-85910-wifi-echo-pulse-turning-on-windows-pencomm-service-manually.

A quick way to restart the service is by opening the Windows start menu, typing computer management, Click on services and applications, services, go to the middle column and search for the Livescribe Pulse smartpen service and make sure that it is running ( it called Pulse but it works for all smartpens including the Echo and the Livescribe 3 ). 

 In the event that the issue continues, please go down to " Smartpen still not recognized" below.

Mac customers

Using ECHO DESKTOP, please run this installer -  


Using LIVESCRIBE DESKTOP (our legacy software), please run this installer -  


If your issue is not resolved by using one of the installers above, please click on the button "Smartpen still not recognized" below.

If Smartpen still not recognized

Smartpen hard reset is needed

Try a hard reset of the smartpen.  This will not affect the data on your smartpen.  

To perform a hard reset -


  1. Disconnect your smartpen.
  2. Press and hold the power button for 10+ seconds.  Your smartpen will restart in a recording session and will turn off again.  
  3. Press the power button.  Your smartpen will restart with the message “livescribe… Starting…” (wifi or Echo) / “livescribe… Starting…Checking filesystem” (Pulse).
  4. Reconnect your smartpen.

  Livescribe 3: 

  1. Disconnect your smartpen.
  2. Take the capacitive tip off of the top of the pen.  
  3. Next to the USB connector is a small hole containing a button that can be used to hard reset the smartpen (this will not affect data already stored on the pen).  
  4. Using a pin or the end of a staple, push on the recessed button and release.   The pen should make a single beep. 
  5. Reconnect your smartpen.

  Did the hard reset resolve the smartpen recognition issue?

If not, try restarting your computer. After restarting your machine, run Echo Desktop (Echo or Pulse)/Livescribe Helper (wifi/Livescribe 3) again.

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