We all know how to print on a PC or Mac from years of practice clicking File > Print or using the CTRL + P keyboard shortcut, but what about mobile devices such as phones and tablets? In this post we’ll be looking at how to set up printers and print on Android devices. If you’re new to this topic, I hope to do a good job explaining the process. If you’re a veteran Android user and have something to add which I’ve omitted, please chime in below in the comments section.
Table of Contents
– 1. Open Settings and select More Connections
– 2. Open Printing
– 3. Enable printing service or download plug-in
– 4. Downloading plug-ins
– 5. Enable Printing Plug-ins
– 6. List will populate with available printers
– 7. Ensure all services you need are ‘on’
– 1. Tap the three dots menu button
– 2. Select the Print option
– 3. Select your printer
– 4. Print!
– 1. Open the three dots menu and tap Share
– 2. Select Print option
– 3. Select the Printer you want to use
– 4. Print!
- A phone, tablet or laptop running Android
- A network printer
- Both devices connected to the same network (via Ethernet cable or WiFi)
For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m assuming you’ve set up your printer and that it’s available on the network. I’m also assuming that your printer does not need to be set up with a static IP or anything to that effect as I’ve yet to come across one that needs to be set up this way.
1. Open Settings and select More Connections
Settings can be found either in your apps menu or by sliding your finger downwards from the top of the screen to reveal the notification bar menu and tapping on the gear. Once in Settings find More connection settings or simply More Connections on older Android systems
2. Open Printing
From the More Connections menu, select Printing.
3. Enable printing service or download plug-in
Inside the Printing menu, have a look at the available printing services and see if any of them match your printer manufacturer. Please note that the printing service from your phone manufacturer (in my case, Samsung Print Service Plugin) may support your printer without you having to download anything at all.
4. Downloading plug-ins
After tapping Download plug-in you’ll be presented with a list of all the available printer service plug-ins. They’re the Android equivalent of printer drivers. If you have printers from various manufacturers it’s advisable to download the appropriate plug-in for each printer you plan to use your device with. Tap on the icon representing the one you want to download and tap Install.
5. Enable Printing Plug-ins
Once the plug-ins you need are installed, tap the back button until you’re back in the Printing menu. You’ll notice that the services you downloaded are off so tap them one by one and let’s fix that.
In each Print Service Plugin you want to enable, switch the slider to the on position.
6. List will populate with available printers
Once the service is finished searching through your home network it will display all of the printers you can connect to. You don’t need to do anything else here so tap the Back button.
7. Ensure all services you need are ‘on’
In the Printing menu, double check that all of the Print Service Plugins you plan to use are switched on. If they’re not, just go back to Step 5 for each additional service.
Let’s now assume you’ve downloaded and you want to print it. Please keep in mind that not all apps support printing and that the three dots button will be in a different place in most of them.
1. Tap the three dots menu button
To find the print menu, open the three dots or More menu.
2. Select the Print option
Find and tap the Print option. The option may be near the top but if the menu contains a lot of items, you may need to scroll to the bottom to find it.
Here it is in the Google Drive app, near the bottom of the list.
3. Select your printer
Next, choose the printer you want to use. Android defaults to the “Save as PDF” option but you can select a printer from a menu.
If your printer isn’t listed, select All printers to get a complete list of options
From is list, select the printer you wish to use.
Once you’ve selected the printer, all that’s left is to tap the Print button.
Now let’s assume you’re browsing the web and you want to print a web page. This is a little different because the Print options is in a weird place, but the overall process is very similar.
1. Open the three dots menu and tap Share
Make sure that your Internet browser doesn’t have a Print option in the three dots menu – if it does, you know what to do. If it doesn’t, tap the Share option.
2. Select Print option
Near the bottom of the page there should now be a Print icon. Tap it to open the Print menu.
3. Select the Printer you want to use
As before, tap the printer selection menu to reveal your available printers.
Select the printer you want to use from the menu or select All Printers and select it from the list.
Once your printer is selected, tap the yellow Print button.