How to print from an Android smartphone or tablet

Printers may be on the way out given the rise of digital file sharing, but they’re unlikely to go away completely any time soon. Thankfully, you don’t need a computer to print files. Instead, you can do it straight from your smartphone. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to print files straight from your Android phone.

There are a number of ways to print files from your Android phone. Not only has Android itself gotten better at printing, but the best inkjet and best photo printers have been getting new features to accommodate wireless printing. In case you need to print from your iPhone or iPad, check out our other guide. For this guide, we’re focusing on Android devices.

How to print using Google Cloud Print

Google’s Cloud Print is a technology that allows you to print files from any device, anywhere — whether you’re on the same Wi-Fi network as the printer or not. It’s the best way to print from Android devices, because it’s built into Android itself, meaning you don’t have to download or manage any third-party software. To use Cloud Print, you’ll have to go through a few different steps, which are outlined below. If Cloud Print is not installed on your smartphone, you can easily download it here from the Google Play Store.

Adding a printer to Google Cloud Print

To use a printer through Cloud Print on Android, you first have to add it to the service. Before proceeding with the steps below, make sure your printer is on and both your printer and Android device are connected to your Wi-Fi network.

  • Open the Settings app on your Android phone and type “Printing” in the search box. Tap on the Printing option that shows up. Alternatively, you can find this setting in Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences > Printing.
  • Tap on Cloud Print. There may be a number of other options on the list, and you can experiment with those if you want — but for simplicity’s sake, we recommend sticking to Cloud Print for now.
  • Tap the menu button on the top right-hand corner and select Add printer.
  • Cloud Print will automatically search for printers connected to your Wi-Fi network. Tap on your printer, and it should be connected and ready to go.

How to print using Google Cloud Print

Once you’ve successfully added a printer to Google Cloud Print, you should be able to easily print a file. Follow the steps below to print a file or image from your Android phone using Google Cloud Print.

  • Navigate to the file or photo you want to print. This could be an email from the Gmail app, an image you’ve found in Google Chrome, or anything else.
  • If it’s available, tap the three-dot menu button in the top right-hand corner and find an option to either print the document or to “Export” it, or something similar. If it’s not available, you may need to save an image or file to your gallery or device and navigate to it through the Android Files app or Google Photos app to print it.
  • Tap the Print option.
  • Cloud Print should automatically connect to the printer you’ve added, but if you’ve added more than one, you’ll need to tap on the printer you want to use.
  • Choose the number of copies you want to print and the paper size. You can also select more options by tapping on the down arrow. From there, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to print a color or black-and-white image, the orientation of the page, and so on.
  • Tap the blue printer icon on the right of the screen.

How to print using email on Android

Printer manufacturers have been building features into their printers that give printers email addresses. What that means is that you can send an email to the printer with a document you want to print, and it will automatically print it. Setting this up varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so if you’re having trouble we recommend looking at the manual for your printer, or get in touch with the manufacturer. Here, we’re going over how to send files over email to the printer.

Method 1

  • Open your preferred email client and create a new email.
  • Type the printer’s email address in the “To” field.
  • Tap on the “Attach” button. This may look like a paperclip or some other icon, depending on your email client.
  • Navigate to the file you want to print. It may be located in the default Files app on your phone, Google Drive, Google Photos, or a third-party app. You’ll need to know where it’s located to attach it and print it.
  • Once the file has been attached, press the “Send” button.

Method 2

  • Find the image or file you want to print. You can do so by navigating to the Files app, Google Photos, Google Drive, or a third-party app.
  • Open the file.
  • Tap the “Share” button. The Share button looks like three dots with two lines connecting them. Alternatively, you may need to “Send a copy” in some apps, like in Google Docs.
  • Scroll down to your preferred email client and tap the icon.
  • Type the printer’s email address in the “To” field.
  • Tap the “Send” button.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Wearables

10 top features you should be using on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can do more than just tell you the time, but you may not be aware of all the different functions it has. Our list of the 10 most often used functions and features will help you understand what it can really do.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Social Media

Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October

Google confirmed that it will begin retiring the classic Google Hangouts app in October. The company will start by pushing users to move to the new Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Mobile

How to make a contact group on an iPhone

There's no obvious way to crate contact groups on your iPhone, but you can do it through iCloud or you can install a third-party app to help. We explain both methods as we explore how to make a contact group on an iPhone.
Mobile

Xiaomi shows how its folding smartphone will look, and you’re going to love it

Xiaomi is the latest manufacturer to show off a folding smartphone prototype. The unnamed phone has a different design than others we've seen, adopting a double fold where the sides of the screen fold over the back of the device.
Mobile

These patent images may show the new Moto Razr folding phone

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?
Mobile

HMD Global confirms which Nokia phones will definitely receive Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Mobile

AT&T and Rush System are using 5G to create the 'hospital of the future'

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

Here's how (and why) to use safe mode with an Android phone

When you have an issue with your phone, safe mode can help you determine whether a third-party app is to blame. If you’re wondering how to access it, or how to turn the feature off in Android, then you have come to the right place.