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Smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives and are used to access emails, important documents, and more. A smartphone is defined as a mobile or cellular phone that runs off a mobile operating system (OS) and functions as a mini-computer. With all these possible functions, one might want to know can I print from my phone?
It is possible to print directly from most smartphones. While very few may not have this function, most iPhone and Android phones can. All they need is to be linked to the same Wi-Fi as the printer. It is also possible to print from your phone without a Wi-Fi connection.
In this article, I will explain how an individual can print directly from their smartphone. I will also explain how to connect a smartphone to a printer, what to do when your phone won’t connect to the printer, and how to print from your phone without a Wi-Fi connection.
How Do I Connect My Phone to My Printer?
The fact that most smartphones are designed to support printing is great. The next step is to learn how to connect your mobile phone to your printing device. The main method that individuals use to connect their phones to a printing device is to use wireless printing functions.
I will discuss the steps on how to connect both an Android phone and iPhone to a wireless printing device here.
How to Connect My Android Phone to My Printer
Most Android phones now come with default print services. This makes it easy to connect your mobile device to your printer. Here is how to do it.
First, make sure both your phone and printer are connected to the same WiFi or network. Proceed to Settings on the Android phone and search for Device Connectivity or similar settings, select the Printing option.
Make sure to turn Default Print Service on. You can also add a printing service by downloading an app, like HP Print Service Plugin.
How to Connect My iPhone to My Printer
You can print from your iPhone using AirPrint. Check that your printing device supports AirPrint before you attempt to connect. Proceed by connecting both the iPhone and printer to the same network.
The printer can’t be accessed in Settings like Android devices.
The printer can be detected when you select the document you want to print. I’ll explain how to print from your iPhone in the next section.
How to Print From My Phone
Once you have connected your phone to the printing device, you can proceed to print. I will explain how to do this here.
How to Print Using My Android Phone
If you want to print from your Android phone, you can follow these steps.
Printing an Image
To print an image, go to the image in the Gallery. Select the three dots, called More, and choose Print or export to PDF or a similar option.
A preview will be generated, select the printer by going to All printers. Once your printer’s name comes up, select it and proceed to print.
Printing a Document
To print a document, open the file you want to print, tap the three dots or menu button, then select the Print option.
Select the printer’s name and proceed to print the document.
How to Print Using My iPhone
If your want to print from your iPhone, you can follow these steps.
Printing an Image
To print an image using an iPhone, open the image you would like to print in Photos. Then, select the share button on the left side of the screen.
Scroll down to Print, then tap Printer and select the printing device when it is detected. Proceed to print the image.
Printing a Document
To print a document, go to Files, open the document you wish to print. Tap the share button on the left, scroll to the Print option.
Tap Printer and select the printing device when it is detected. Proceed to print the document.
How Can I Print From My Phone to My Printer Without Wi-Fi?
There may be scenarios where the Wi-Fi is down or access to a connection is not possible. Users can easily print from their phones using a USB connection. I will explain how to do so using an Android phone or iPhone.
Printing From an Android Phone
Printers usually come with an OTG (on the go) USB cable that individuals need to connect the printer to their device.
You’ll also need a USB cable to attach the OTG cable to the printer. It is important to make sure your particular Android device supports an OTG cable.
Connect using the OTG Cable
Once that is sorted, proceed to switch the printer on. Insert one end of the cable into the printer and the other end into the phone. A plugin will pop up on your phone, select OK to accept the device.
When this step is complete, proceed to print the document or image. You can do so by selecting it in its location, either in images or documents, choose the share option and select print.
What to Do if the Plugin Does Not Work?
In the case where the plugin does not seem to be working, you might need to download one from the Play or App Store for that particular printer’s brand. Most popular brands do offer one. Here is what to do.
Go to the Play or App Store and search for the plugin, for example, if you have an HP printer, search for the HP Print Service Plugin.
Download and Install the app, connect the OTG cable to both devices, then a popup message should come up for the plugin, select OK.
Proceed to print by navigating the image or document in its location, select Share, then select Print.
Printing From an iPhone
To print from an iPhone, you’ll need an OTG USB cable and a USB cable to attach them. Check to see if your iPhone supports the cable first since the port is different compared to Android phones. You can also purchase an OTG USB cable specifically for iPhones.
Connecting Using the OTG Cable
Once you have made sure the cable is compatible with the iPhone connect it to the printer. Start by inserting one end of the USB cable into the printer and the other end into the USB port on the OTG USB cable. Connect the other end of the OTG cable to the iPhone.
To enable access to USB access on your iPhone go to Settings, then Touch ID & Passcode, scroll down to USB Accessories and turn it on. Once the USB is detected, a plugin message should pop up on your phone. Select OK and your phone is ready to print.
Once this is done, you can print from your iPhone by navigating the desired image or document in its location. Click on the Share button on the screen, scroll down and select Print.
If the iPhone won’t detect the plugin then you can download a plugin app. These apps are different from the ones designed for Android. For example, the HP plugin support is called HP Smart on the App Store.
Search for the printer’s plugin on the App Store, download and install it, and then proceed by connecting the cables so that the plugin message pops up on the screen. Say OK and continue to print the desired image or document from your iPhone.
Why Won’t My Printer Connect to My Phone?
Sometimes there is an issue that prevents your phone and printer from connecting. There could be many reasons for this. I will discuss the most probable ones and provide practical solutions to solve these here.
Check Your Phone for Issues
You first need to ensure that the plugin message pops up on your phone when you connect it to the printer and you selected OK. You can also try to reboot your phone and ensure that it has the latest updates. Another technique to solve issues is to select the option Forget Your Printer as Bluetooth Device and then try to reconnect it.
Nowadays, devices are designed with troubleshooting features that can be carried out by resetting the operating system. This is usually the first step to solving technical issues. The first thing you want to do is reboot all your devices.
Start by turning off your phone, then the router, then the printer. Leave them off for about a minute, then start by turning on the router. Once all the lights have come on and have stopped flashing proceed to turn the printer and phone on.
If the problem has not been solved, go to Setup on the printer, go to the wireless settings, then restore network defaults. Switch the printer off and on again. Try to connect the phone to the printer again to see if the reboot has worked. If the devices still won’t connect, proceed to the next step below.
Use the Printer Troubleshooter
If the problem persisted after rebooting your devices then run the Printer Troubleshooter. This will help detect issues with the printer and is done using a laptop or PC. To do this go to Start and select Settings.
Then, go to Devices, Printers, and scanners and scroll down to Open Troubleshooter Settings. Then run the Troubleshooter to detect issues with the printing device. If there are any recommended fixes, apply them and try to connect your phone and printer again. If there are no issues then continue to the next step.
If All Else Fails?
If your devices are not connecting despite these efforts you can do the following.
My Phone Won’t Detect the Printer
If you have tried using another phone or device to detect the printer and it was detected then it may mean your phone is the problem. If you have an iPhone, you may want to contact Apple support or another tech support service.
For Android devices contact a tech support service. Many ISPs provide technical support, so that could be a viable option.
My Printer Cannot Be Detected
In this case, you have tried connecting to the printer with other devices and the printer was still undetectable and you ran the printer troubleshooter from your PC or laptop. The next step is to contact the printer manufacturer or a technical support company to help you find the problem.
Printing from your mobile device has become easier than ever. Most devices, both Android and iPhone, have built-in printing functions. One can also download a printer plugin app to handle their printing needs. With options to print either wirelessly or using an OTG USB cable, printing is now possible in most scenarios.