After all these years of smartphones having been around, it feels strange that not many people know where to start when it comes to printing from them. We keep all our documents on them via Cloud services, we take a ton of photos, yet the process of how to print from Android phones still eludes most of us.
There are quite a few ways to go about doing this, but the best of them involve Cloud Print, Google’s service that connects your phone to your home printer.
If You Have a Cloud Ready Printer
If you have a “Cloud Ready” printer, you can use your Android phone to print from printers that aren’t anywhere near you (even on opposite sides of the world). First, you’ll need to check with Google whether or not your printer is Cloud Ready. If it’s not, there is a workaround – just scroll down to the “If you have a WiFi printer” heading.
If your printer is Cloud Ready, make sure it’s connected to your WiFi network. The process of doing this varies between different printer brands, and we’re not going to go through them all here, but if you have the printer drivers on your computer, you should find “wireless setup” options in the printer management software on your PC.
Next, you have two options. If your printer is an older Cloud Ready printer (v1), you’ll need to visit your manufacturer’s website and follow the instructions on setting it up. If it’s a newer (v2) Cloud Ready printer, do the following:
- Type chrome://devices into your Chrome omnibox.
- You should see your printer under “New devices.” Click “Manage.”
- In the dialogue box that appears, click “Register.”
- On the screen on your printer confirm the registration.
- Back on chrome://devices you should see that your printer is now under “My devices,” and it should now appear when you select the “Print” option on Chrome.
Next, get the Cloud Print app for your phone. Oddly, it doesn’t actually appear as an app on your phone and is instead a service or plug-in integrated into existing apps like Gallery, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other Office Software. Once you’ve installed it, you can manage it by going to “Settings -> Printing -> Cloud Print” on your Android device.
Now, all you need to do is open a document or photo in Google Docs, your photo gallery, or wherever, and select the “Print” or “Cloud Print” option. In Google Docs you can do this by pressing the three-dotted options icon next to a document then “Print.” The Cloud Print app will open, and you can select your printer, number of copies, paper size, etc., then hit “Print.”
If You Have a WiFi Printer
If you don’t have a Cloud Ready printer, you can still connect it to Google Cloud Print if you’re using a Mac or PC (no Chromebooks allowed, sorry). Bear in mind that your Android phone will need to be on the same WiFi network as your printer for this to work:
1. Go to chrome://devices
2. Under “Classic printers”, click “Add printers.”
3. Check the box next to the WiFi printer you want to add to Google Cloud Print and click “Add printers.”
Your WiFi printer should now appear as an option when you print documents on your Android device.
It may sound a little complicated getting your Android phone set up with your printer through Google Cloud Print, but it’s really not that bad, and the good news is that once you’ve done it, you don’t need to do it again! There are other methods still of printing from your phone such as Bluetooth, NFC, or by using the dedicated apps from printer manufacturers but Cloud Print remains the quickest, cleanest way to do it.