Printers are one of the most common pieces of technology out there, however getting them to actually work reliably can be a challenge. Whether it’s the wrong drivers that don’t work with your OS, or figuring out what cable goes where, it often is more complicated than you expect, and sending documents back and forth between devices and managing print jobs can be a real headache. However, what if your printer just worked with your Android device? Today, we’ll show you how to do just that by connecting your regular printer to your Android device, so that you can print directly from your phone or tablet!
In order to accomplish this in the most compatible way possible, we’ll be using an actual Google service, called Google Cloud Print. Cloud Print is meant to connect your existing printers across all of your devices, by using your Google account as the central point. Basically, you add your printers to Cloud Print using your browser, and then they’ll show up as options for printing across all of your devices.
The procedure is a bit different depending on what kind of printer you have. Modern printers are “cloud ready”, basically meaning that they have WiFi capabilities and are ready to connect to your network. Older printers instead require a local cabled connection to your computer, and that’s the most common kind of printers you’ll see around. Both types are compatible with Cloud Print, so don’t worry. To start, head over to this link to access Cloud Print:
From there, choose the type of printer you want to add. As an example, let’s go with a classic printer. Remember, you’ll need to do this from a computer with Chrome and an internet connection, and the printer must already be set up:
Just follow the steps: type “chrome://devices” on Chrome’s address bar to see all of the available devices on your computer:
Click the “Add Printers” button to add a local printer:
Then, just pick your printer from the list:
And you’ll be set to go!
Now, you can manage your existing printers on the cloud by heading over to your Cloud Print page:
Most importantly, now the printer is available on your Android device, and it should work right away. For example, head onto your Gallery and find a picture you’d like to print. From there, press the three-dotted menu and “Print” should be available:
Tap Print and you’ll be taken to a preview of the print:
There are also extra options for you to explore if you tap the arrow:
By default it will offer to save it as a PDF, which is not what you want, so tap where it says “Save as PDF” and your printer should show up on the list:
To print, just tap over the printer and then tap the print icon on the right:
If your printer doesn’t show up, that’s likely because you have the print service disabled. To fix that, head onto Settings, then “Printing”:
Make sure Cloud Print is enabled:
If disabled, just tap over it and press the toggle to turn it on:
After this, any printers you add to Cloud Print should show up right away! As you can see, adding a printer to Android is actually much simpler and easier than doing it on the computer, mostly because you don’t have to bother with cables and drivers and stuff like that. Since it’s all done over the cloud, once you have the printer working on your computer, you can send it print jobs from anywhere and print from your Android phone, no matter where you are. For example, you can print something while on the bus and have the copy ready when you come home, which is quite handy, or have some printed emails ready ahead of time for you to show to someone. Any questions or doubts? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below!