How to print wirelessly from your iOS or Android device

August 19, 2020

By Kirsten Queen

The world hasn’t gone totally paperless just yet, and thanks to WiFi, you can print from your smartphone, tablet, or another device in addition to your computer. Whether you need to print a return shipping label, your favorite photo from Instagram, or a document for work, you have options.

Both iOS® and Android™ devices support printing without the need for third party apps, but first you have to ensure your printer is compatible with your operating system. We’ll cover how to print using Android, iOS and Windows operating systems. Or, if your printer doesn’t support your operating system, don’t worry — there are apps for that, too!

Android devices

Your device most likely comes installed with Google Cloud Print™ web printing service, but if not, you can easily download it for free from your app store. Any device connected to the web can print with Google Cloud Print web printing service, including Mac® computers, PCs, Chromebook® notebook computers, phones, or tablets, and the app allows you to manage printers and print jobs securely. You can also print from any open tabs in Chrome™ browser and it works seamlessly with any Google™ program, like Google Docs™, Google Sheets™, or Gmail™ email service. Google Cloud Print is compatible with a number of printer brands and models.

Here’s how to set up Google Cloud Print:

  1. Make sure your printer is compatible with Google Cloud Print before you start. Make sure that Cloud Print is also installed on your device (you can find this under your device’s settings).
  2. Start by connecting your printer to WiFi and opening up a Chrome tab in your browser.
  3. Open Settings in your Chrome browser. You’ll find Printing under the Advanced settings.
  4. Select Google Cloud Print and then Manage Cloud Print Devices.
  5. Google will automatically detect compatible devices. Click “Add Printers” to add them to your Google account.
  6. The printer will now be available on any devices connected to your Google account. On the device you want to print from, be sure to register the printer to establish a connection.
  7. To print from an Android device version 4.4 (check by going to your device’s Settings > About Phone/Device > Android Version) and newer, open the app you want to print from.
    • Tap Options. It might look like three dots stacked on top of each other. 
    • On Chrome, select Share and then Print.
    • On other apps, you should select Print.
  8. To print with Android 4.3 or lower,
    • On the page you want to print on, select Share from the app’s menu.
    • Select Google Cloud Print.

iPhone®, iPad®, and iPod® devices

Apple® devices come with AirPrint® software built in, making it easy to print photos and documents from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device without needing to install any other software. AirPrint software comes with many printer models — and Apple has an extensive list of compatible printers. 

  1. To start, connect your iOS device and printer to the same WiFi network. Ensure that your printer is compatible with AirPrint.
  2. Open the app that you want to print from.
  3. To find the print option, tap the app’s share icon.
  4. Scroll down and select Print. 
  5. Choose your printer, and then select Print.

From here, you can select your options and decide how many copies you want or if you need to print single-sided. If your printer is not compatible with Cloud Print or AirPrint, you can try downloading a separate app. Most printer brands come with their own app (HP®, Canon®, Epson®, etc.) Samsung also has its own printing app that you can use. 

Microsoft® Surface®

For Windows® devices running on Windows 8 and up, you can set up a printer just like you would on your PC. Locate your Settings, and then select Devices. When you select Print, you should see all available printers. Select your printer and print. Like the other devices listed in this article, you do need to be on the same WiFi connection as your printer.

We’re all juggling multiple devices these days, so being able to print from your smartphone or tablet in addition to your computer is essential. Whether you’re on the go, or just have your feet up, you can print from almost any device wirelessly over WiFi. Just keep in mind that having multiple devices using your WiFi’s bandwidth can slow down your connection, so disconnect your wireless printer from your network when it’s not in use if necessary. Happy printing!

This blog is provided for informational purposes only and may require additional research and substantiation by the end user. In addition, the information is provided "as is" without any warranty or condition of any kind, either express or implied. Use of this information is at the end user's own risk. CenturyLink does not warrant that the information will meet the end user's requirements or that the implementation or usage of this information will result in the desired outcome of the end user. All third party marks are the property of their respective owners. Apple, iPhone, iPad, iPod, AirPrint are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. 

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