Do you have a printer with Wi-Fi? Then you can print directly from your Android phone or tablet. See the process.
Printing printed documents is one of the most basic tasks a computer with a printer can perform. But did you know that it is almost as easy to do from an Android phone or tablet?
Although this feature is not widely advertised, it can be done with any mobile device and you do not require even special equipment. Whether you use a manufacturer's app from the Play Store, or directly over Wi-Fi, you can print your favorite documents or photos on almost any printer with Wi-Fi. See how.
Print directly to your printer through an application
When you want to print from your Android phone or tablet, the first place to start is the Play Store. Most major brands, including Canon, Epson, and HP printers, have their own proprietary applications that will install the necessary drivers to allow you to print directly to their wireless printers.
To find the right app for you, either search the store or go to Settings> Connection Preferences> Print on your phone and press Add service. For Xiaomi with MIUI the sequence is Settings> Connection & Sharing> Printing.
The resulting screen will display all available print applications and you can select the one that corresponds to the brand of your printer.
Each application works differently, so follow the on-screen instructions for the application and printer you selected.
In general, you need to make sure that your printer is connected to the same wireless network as your phone and that it is working !!. If it is, the application should detect it automatically and then you can select "printer" and get started.
Print using the default print service and Wi-Fi Direct
Depending on the printer you are using, you may not need to download a specific application to use this method.
Android 8 and later include the Default Printing Service, which can automatically detect and configure compatible printers on your network. From Android 9 onwards, compatibility includes printers that support Wi-Fi Direct.
If your printer is quite recent, chances are it is compatible.
To use it, go to Settings> Connection Preferences> Print (for Xiaomi Settings> Connectivity & Sharing> Print) and select Default printing service (for Xiaomi System Print Service).
Turn on the service, and the scan for compatible printers on your Wi-Fi network will begin. If it appears, just select it to complete the setup process.
If it does not, you can add it manually if you know the details by tapping the three-dot menu icon and selecting Add a printer.
Keep in mind that some of these menus and options may be slightly different depending on the version of Android you are using (and the manufacturer of your phone), but the basics are the same.
Print via email
Another option you could use if you have a supported printer is email printing. Some printers have an email address that you can use to print from anywhere. Just open your email application, attach the file you want to print and the printer will take care of the rest.
The advantage of this is that you can print from anywhere at any time (as long as your printer is turned on and connected to a network). The printer does not need to be on the same network as your phone.
The downside is that it only supports certain file types. These include all common image and office files, but if you have a proprietary file type from a particular application, then you will not be able to print it via email.
Is Google Cloud Print still available?
One commonly suggested way to print from an Android phone via any printer was to use the Google Cloud Print service.
Google Cloud Print is no longer available. It was phased out in late December 2020. Even if you used it before, you can no longer.
Cloud Print was a system that allowed you to print to almost any printer, even if it was not wireless, from anywhere. The service was originally designed to facilitate printing from Chrome OS. It was a classic Google product: in beta for a decade and then closed. Look no further.
How to print documents on Android
With print button
When you're ready to print, the process is different depending on the applications you use. Some applications, such as Google Gmail and Drive, third-party file managers, image viewers, etc., have a direct print option in their menu.
- Press the Print button.
- Select your printer from the drop-down menu.
- Press the down arrow or drag down to change print settings, such as copy number, page orientation, paper size, etc.
- When done, tap the printer icon to print. It's essentially the same as printing from your desktop.
With hidden print button
Some applications do not have a dedicated print button. Instead, the option is often hidden under the menu "Common use", For example in browsers. Click the Share button to find the print option. The actual steps for printing are the same as above.
By applying your printer
A third printing option is to use your printer company application, which you will download from the Play Store. This is different from the application you will find in the Play Store in our instructions above "Print directly to your printer through an application".
For example, in an Epson XP-245 printer to give our mobile the drivers of our wireless printer, and through the instructions "Print directly to your printer through an application" we downloaded the application "Epson Print Enabler".
With the third method we are talking about now and after we connected the printer wirelessly to our network, we downloaded Epson iPrint application and we installed it on a Xiaomi mobile.
Applications of this kind, in addition to giving information about the status of the printer (ink level, readiness, etc.), can perform diagnostic and corrective tasks (head cleaning, firmware update, etc.) and of course print documents and photos. They just need access to your photos, storage, etc.
With third-party application
If none of these options work for you, you can try it PrinterShare Mobile Prin applicationt from the Play Store. After installing and activating this application, you will find a new PrinterShare option that will appear under the Sharing menu, in at least several applications.
Tap it and you will have access to all the printers set up on your Android device. Touch the various screens and finally, you will end up with the standard print screen. You can now print your document.
PrinterShare supports wireless, wired, and remote printing, but there are limits to what you can do with the free version. Try it first to see if it works for you.
Print to PDF
One of the standard options you will see on the print settings screen is Print as PDF (or Save as PDF). It saves the selected document as a PDF file. It is very useful for sharing documents in a format that is easily readable on almost any device.
It is easy to print from Android
It may not be as important to print files as you used to, but when you need to, you have no choice. Whether you want to print PDFs, important emails or just your holiday photos, it's easy to do it right from your Android phone.
And if you print a lot, make sure you have a quality wireless printer. Read about our article “Printers, a painful story".