How to print from a Chromebook

Chromebooks are meant for the cloud, but yes -- they can still print. Here's how

how to print from a Chromebook
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Chromebooks are compact, agile laptops meant to do most of their work in the cloud. But from time to time, you probably still need to print something. When a printing job comes along, don’t get taken off guard: Here’s how to make sure your printer is ready to use and how to print on a Chromebook.

It should be noted that we’re going to go over the Google Cloud version, which requires a Wi-Fi printer. This is the ideal method with the average modern printer. However, if connecting to a printer via Wi-Fi isn’t an option for you, then we suggest connecting your Chromebook to a printer with a USB cable first and skipping the parts about connecting over a network.

Set up your printer

canon g series printers printer header

Since this is happening over Google Cloud connections, you first must make sure that your Chromebook and the printer are speaking to each other. Here’s what to do.

Chrome WiFiStep 1: Make sure the printer is turned on and connected to the internet. If you are using someone else’s printer or a printer that’s already been set up, you probably don’t have to worry about this. However, you will need to connect a new printer before you can get anything done.

Step 2: Start up your Chromebook and check your network settings. You want to make sure that your Chromebook is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the printer, and not a nearby network.

Step 3: Assuming this is the first time every using this printer, you need to help your Chromebook to recognize the right printer. In Chrome OS, click your account photo and then select Settings to begin. From here, scroll down and choose Advanced. This should give you access to several more sections, including the Printing section.

Chrome Add Printer

Step 4: In Printing, look for an option that says Printers or Google Cloud Print (depending on what version you have). Now look for an option that says Add Printers or Manage Cloud Devices. This will take you to a window where you will be able to see any new devices that your Chromebook is aware of, with the ability to Add new devices. Select the right printer and Add it to your Chromebook. You can also type up the information manually if something goes wrong.

Find the page you want to print

Okay, now your Chromebook has recognized the printer and is ready to go, so let’s get started.

Step 1: Head over to the page that you want to print out. Once there, press the Ctrl and P keys at the same time to open up the printer window.

Change Printer

Step 2: The printer window should appear on the left of your screen. Look for the first section marked Destination. This will show you where the page is going. Chrome may automatically recognize your printer, but it’s smart to double-check this. Select Change in this section, which will open up a number of categorized options to save or print the page in various ways.

Printer Destinations

Step 3: Since you just set up your printer, you will probably find it as an option in Recent Destinations—you should also see it under the category Google Cloud Print if it’s not in Destinations for whatever reason (it may well appear in all three sections, actually). Check to make sure that the name and model are correct—you don’t want to choose the wrong printer by mistake—and then select your printer.

Test the printing function

Now you are ready to finish up!

Step 1: Take a look at the other printing options, including Pages, Copies, Color, and so on to make sure everything is correct. When you are ready, choose Print to begin.

Step 2: Wait for the printer to print. This may take a little time, especially for the first time, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait a couple minutes. When the printer starts working, head over and check the page to make sure it printed correctly and is what you want.

Troubleshooting: If the printer just isn’t responding, head back into Settings and check to make sure that you have added the right printer model and that all information appears correct. If your printer Wi-Fi connection appears spotty, try a good old-fashioned reset and re-connection to see if this helps fix the problem.

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