How to print from your Android phone or tablet

by: Joshua OlivieriAugust 5, 2016
388

cloud-printer

Android devices can do just about anything these days (though I’m still waiting for the one that makes coffee), from storing music to handling massive Word documents. Another great feature is the ability to print from Android.

Don’t have a Wi-Fi enabled printer? That doesn’t mean you can’t print wirelessly. In fact, Google has created a way to link your printer with your Chrome account and your phone to move and print with ease. The setup can be a bit confusing, so we’ve compiled a helpful guide that will get you up and running within minutes.

Connecting to Google Cloud Print

Screenshot 2016-08-04 at 10.45.51

 

While most printers are capable of printing through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or another quick method, not everyone has a printer that supports this. And some just like the idea of running it all through the cloud. That’s where Google Cloud Print comes in. By registering your printer, you connect it to the Internet by which you can operate it from anywhere so long as you have a good connection.

Bear in mind that while most printers are capable of working through Google Cloud Print, there are some that cannot. To save you the trouble of trial and error, Google compiled a list of printers that work with Cloud Print.

  1. Launch Google Chrome on your computer.
  2. Log in to Google Chrome if you’re not automatically logged in.
  3. Click the Menu button (represented by an icon showing 3 horizontal lines; 3 little dots if you’re running a Chromebook) at the upper-right corner of the window.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Click Show advanced settings.
  6. Scroll down to the Google Cloud Print section and click Manage.
  7. Click Add Printers
  8. You will be taken to a shortlist of all available printers. Just check the ones you want to add, click Add Printers. It should detect your printer, and the task is done.

Print from phone: how to do it in Android

Screenshot_20160804-103555

Some phones come with Google Cloud Print already built into the software (largely the ones that run stock or near-stock Android). If that’s the case, then don’t worry about the download. If your phone doesn’t include the app, you can get it here.  Download the app and follow its installation instructions.

After you have Google Cloud Print, you don’t have to run the app itself in order to print; think of it like an add-on to your phone software. It’s convenient once you get the hang of it. Make sure however that the Google account linked with your phone is the same account that you used on Google Chrome in the previous step.

  1. Open a document you’d like to print (this can be anything from Google Drive docs to pictures saved on your phone).
  2. Select the Menu button (the 3 dots in the top right corner).
  3. Click Print, and it will take you to a new page.
  4. Click the down arrow that sits just to the right of Save as PDF.
  5. Select the printer you want print from. If you can’t find it off the bat, click the All printers… to get a list of every printer you have connected.
  6. Once you’re all set, click the print button (the light blue circle that looks like a printer).

Printing web pages and Gmail messages

Screenshot_20160804-103613

You can even print web pages and Gmail messages through Google Cloud Print. The process is largely the same, so you’ll have no problem figuring it out.

  1. Open Gmail or Google Chrome.
  2. When you find the page you want to print select the Menu button (3 dots).
  3. A list of options will drop down. Select Print.
  4. It will take you straight to the printing page, where you can select the right printer.
  5. Click Print when you’re all set.

Does it work for you?

Are you a proud user of Google Cloud Print? What is your experience with it like? Is printing from Android something you find useful? Let us know in the comments!

  • Otomo

    As we have one chromebook at home, it was kind of necessary to start using Google Cloud Print. But, since the printers are in another room, connected to the router and not to a PC, I had to find another solution. Right now, I’m running Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi 2, with Chromium installed, and the printers connected, so that the Raspberry Pi enables the Google Cloud Print. Also running a CUPS-server, to connect the printers to the Pi. Works kind of slow, especially for large documents, but it does the trick!

  • Nice! It works realy good. Thanks for the tip.

  • chris

    I have been trying and trying to no avail to get my Android device (Nexus 5X) to “see” my cloud printer. I have followed your steps in your “Print from phone: how to do it in Android” section, however when I reach step 5 and click “All printers… to get a list of every printer you have connected,” my cloud printer is not listed. I attempt to add a printer and am presented with two print service choices: Cloud Print OR Add Service. The Cloud print option is unsuccessful and only tells me that there are “no printers to add – connect to WiFi to turn it on.” It IS connected as all of 4 of our laptops are printing just fine through cloud services. The Add Service option just takes me to the Play Store where I can download and install third party apps.

    What exactly am I doing wrong? How can I get to the point where I can be at work and print to our cloud printer at home using Cloud Print from my Nexus 5X?