How to print from your Android phone or tablet
Early humans used ancient devices called “printers” to bring digital items into the real world. These devices were clunky and unnecessarily expensive to fill, but they served a valuable purpose. Nowadays, we don’t have to rely on such outdated tech–what’s that? Printers still exist and are commonly used?
Alright, so printers haven’t exactly aged gracefully, but they do still perform an important task. You can actually print directly from your Android phone/tablet with some simple configuration. Follow this guide and you’ll be spitting out paper in no time.
Google Cloud Print
There are some 3rd-party services for specific printer brands, but the most universal method for printing is Google Cloud Print. This method works even if your printer is not Wi-Fi enabled. All you need is Chrome and a Google account. The setup process starts on your computer.
- Open Chrome on your computer (Mac, Windows, or other).
- Make sure you’re logged in with the same account that you use on your phone.
- Tap the three-dot menu icon in the right corner.
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll down and open Advanced.
- Select Google Cloud Print in the Printing section.
- Select Manage Cloud Print devices.
- This will open up a new tab, select Add printers.
- Check the box next to every printer you want to use.
- Click Add printer(s).
Print from Android
Now that the printer(s) has been added to your Cloud Print account, we can move to your phone/tablet. Some phones come with the Cloud Print app pre-installed. If your device doesn’t have it, simply download the free app from the Play Store now.
You won’t actually use the Cloud Print app like a normal app. It basically adds a feature to the OS. You will see a new “Print” option in the menu on most apps. Just like on your computer, it’s possible to print just about anything. From photos and documents to full web pages.
- Open the item you want to print.
- Tap the three-dot menu icon.
- Select Print.
- The Cloud Print dialog will open. Select your printer from the drop-down menu.
- Tap the printer icon to send to the printer.
- That’s it!
The one downside to Google Cloud Print is your computer needs to be powered on. Your phone is essentially sending a message to Chrome on your computer and telling it to print the item. If you own a WiFi-enabled printer, you should be able to download an app from the manufacturer and skip Cloud Print completely. Either way, printing from an Android device is pretty simple.