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How to Print From Your iPhone or Android Smartphone

All it takes are a few simple steps


spinner image a phone using wifi to send an image to a printer
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​​Even as our personal and professional lives become increasingly digital, sometimes having something on paper is still preferable. Just as you can scan documents on your smartphone, you can also print documents anytime if your smartphone is connected to a designated printer. It’s not difficult to set up, but it may require a few tweaks on your end.​

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Having printer access from your smartphone is especially helpful if you’re pressed for time and need to print an item right away, such as: ​• boarding passes

  • contracts
  • photos ​
  • recipes​
  • wedding invitations or registry lists​
  • articles ​
  • emails ​
  • maps or directions ​
  • notes​​

How you print varies based on the model of your phone and printer. Some printers let you print documents or photos from anywhere (over a cellular connection), while most require your phone and printer to be on the same Wi-Fi network. You can ensure this by checking your devices’ settings. Some printers use Bluetooth wireless connectivity instead.​​

iPhone gives you two options

​​Apple has a wireless proprietary technology called AirPrint, which lets you print documents and photos without the need to download or install any drivers. You’ll first need to confirm that your printer supports AirPrint. If it’s not listed on the printer, check the manual or website. Make sure your iPhone (or iPad) and printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.​​

AirPrint

1. Open the app you want to print from, such as Mail, Photos, Notes or Safari.​​

2. When you’re ready to print, tap the app’s Share button, which looks like a box with an up arrow. If you don’t see this option, depending on the app you’re using, you may need to select Actions, which looks like three horizontal dots, and then choose Print. If you’re printing an email message from Apple Mail, you may first need to tap Reply, a left-facing blue arrow at the bottom of your message, then Print.

3. A list of options will appear. Scroll down or across and tap the Print button. Not all apps support AirPrint, but most major ones do.

4. If your printer (Epson, HP, Canon, etc.) or model number isn’t listed, tap No Printer Selected and choose an AirPrint-enabled printer on your wireless network.​​

5. Now choose your options — number of copies, page range, ink color, single- or double-sided paper, paper size, orientation (portrait or landscape) and more.​​

6. Tap Print in the upper-right corner.​​ Your iPhone will remember this as your preferred or default printer, but you can always add another one from the pull-down menu.​

Print from iPhone without AirPrint

​​Not all printers are AirPrint-compatible, especially older models. You can use your printer’s official app, free from the App Store, to print from your iPhone as well. ​​

First, confirm your printer is on and connected to the same wireless network as your iPhone. Some Bluetooth printers will work, but you’ll have to connect one wirelessly to your phone under Settings | Bluetooth.

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1. Download your printer’s companion app from the Apple App Store. Your printer’s manual or website should tell you the exact name of the app, or you can do a search using keywords, like “Epson” or “HP.” You’ll see an official app and a few third-party ones.

2. Open your printer’s app on your iPhone and see if it automatically recognizes your printer. If not, you may need to select it from a pull-down list. Follow the instructions to detect and add your printer.​​If this doesn’t work, you may be prompted to go to your iPhone’s Settings | Wi-Fi and look for the name of your wireless printer under Networks. Tap it to connect. You’ll only have to do this once.​​

3. Now open any web page, document, note or photo you want to print, and then tap Share (a box with an up arrow). If you don’t see this option, depending on the app you’re using, you may need to select Actions | Print.​​ If you’re looking to print an email message from Apple Mail, you may need to tap Reply at the bottom of your message first, then select Print.​​

4. A list of options will appear. Scroll down or across and tap the Print button, which should show the name of your printing app or printer name.

​​5. Choose your print format options. Tap Print at the upper-right corner. As with AirPrint, your iPhone will remember this as your preferred or default printer.​​

Print from Android

​​Printing from an Android phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel or Moto device, is super easy. Most apps let you wirelessly print directly from the app, such as Google Docs and Photos.​​

1. Your wireless printer needs to be on the same Wi-Fi network as your Android phone. Check via Settings on each device. If you’re connecting via Bluetooth, make sure the Android phone and printer are connected over a Bluetooth connection at Settings | Bluetooth (or depending on the model, Settings | More connections |Bluetooth or Settings | Connected devices).​​

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2. Open your document or photo. ​​

3. Depending on which app you’re in, you’ll see a Share icon that resembles an arrow with dots at the end; a hamburger menu icon with three stacked lines; three horizontal dots; or, as we found in Google Docs on a Pixel phone, three vertical dots.

​​4. Select Print, and your wireless printer should be listed in the drop-down menu. If it’s not, make sure your phone is on the same Wi-Fi network as the printer, or check the Bluetooth settings to make sure you’re connected.​​

5. As with Apple, choose the number of copies, page range, etc.

​​6. Select Print. That’s it! ​​Your Android phone will remember this as your preferred or default printer going forward, but you can always add another one by selecting the printer you want from the drop-down menu.

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