How to Print from Your Android Tablet or Smartphone

Smartphones and tablets are very handy but what if you want to print something? Maybe you’ve got a document or a picture that you want a copy of. What to do then? Printing from a mobile device is not as straightforward as from a standard PC but here is one method for Android platforms.

It uses a free service from Google called “Cloud Print”. You’ll need a Google account and a separate PC with a Chrome browser and an attached printer. You’ll also need a free app for your Android device.

First, configure the PC that has a printer attached.

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. If not already signed in, sign in to your Google account by clicking the menu button in the far-right upper corner and then select “Sign in with Google.”
  3. After signing in, return to the Chrome menu page and click “Settings”.
  4. At the bottom of the Settings page, click “Show advanced settings”.
  5. Scroll down to the section “Google Cloud Print” and click the button “Add printers”.
  6. A confirmation page will open. Click “Add printer(s)”. Internet-enabled printers will not need this step.
  7. A Cloud Print web page will open where you can make further configurations of your printers, if desired.
  8. The Google Cloud Print section of the Chrome Advanced Settings page will now have two buttons, “Disconnect printers” and “Manage printers”. 

Next, set up the Android device that you want to print from.

  1. Download and install one of the free Cloud Print apps. I tried the newly released Google Cloud Print app. 
  2. Open the Cloud Print app and it should show the printer(s) that you set up on your PC.

You should now be able to print from any apps that allow sharing. The PC and/or the printer do not have to be on when you want to send a print command. The print job will be queued at Google Cloud Print until you turn the PC and printer on. You can check what print jobs are waiting by clicking the Chrome “Manage printers” button mentioned above in step 8. If you do not want your printer to always be connected to the Internet, simply click the "Disconnect printers" button imentioned in step 8 above.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Comments

by wdhpr on 4. August 2013 - 6:22  (109893)

Works like a charm. Not sure if I will ever use it because document printing is normally used at my desktop.

by jbones42 on 12. July 2013 - 15:21  (109171)

If you look in the Google play store for the brand of printer you have there may be an app for that brand. I down loaded the Brother app and it found my MFC Printer instantly. It is wireless and on my Home WiFi network. Printed a pdf perfectly. Printer has never been wired to a computer. BTW I also have an HP wireless Printer and their app is there also. Check it out.

by DrBongo on 23. June 2013 - 21:47  (108682)

I just enabled it and having a print to fax on my computer and pdf printing facilities, it means I can also send a fax from my Droid and save a page from my phone to a pdf on my home computer.

by dollarist on 22. June 2013 - 22:17  (108669)

Nice if it worked, the app wont work, keeps saying no print jobs.

by bernardz on 23. June 2013 - 10:45  (108675)

I have looked at many of the printings apps since v .Laurie wrote this article, as well as this one. It appears that all are very iffy. For example, you will read comments that people are saying it works on one printer but not another one, which is exactly the same printer or you will read that it prints but not right or that it does not work at all. There are many other apps that do something similar and maybe you will have more luck with them. I have decided to hold off a while to give them time to get this printing to work and then I will try again in three months this app.

by v.laurie on 23. June 2013 - 15:08  (108677)

Thanks for the research, bernardz. All I can say is that I got the Google app to work with my Canon MP210 printer.

by Jojo Yee on 24. June 2013 - 3:34  (108692)

Cloud Print by Google has not rolled out to my country yet for use as an Android app. I used Cloud Print by Paulo Fernandes instead and it worked perfectly as well on my classic HP printer.

by bernardz on 22. June 2013 - 10:01  (108659)

According to this it should work with firefox too https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/mobile/addon/cloud-printer/

by v.laurie on 22. June 2013 - 12:57  (108661)

I haven't tried it but thanks for the information, bernardz.

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