Whether you’ve just gotten your first iPhone or iPad or have had iOS devices for a long time and need a quick refresher, it’s useful to know how to print directly from your device. Read on for a couple of options to easily print directly from iPhone and iPad.
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The easiest way to print from iPhone and iPad is with AirPrint, an Apple protocol that is built-in to iOS and also many printers on the market.
If you’re not sure if you have AirPrint on your existing printer keep reading and you’ll find out shortly. If you know you don’t have an AirPrint enabled printer there may still be a secondary option to print from your iPhone or iPad which we’ll cover in a moment.
If you’ve had your printer for while and you’re almost out of ink, it actually might make sense to buy a new one. You can pick up a new name-brand printer with AirPrint for about the the same cost as ink refills. Great options from Canon and HP start at about $45 shipped on Amazon.
One last thing to keep in mind before diving in is that iPhone and iPad don’t support wired printing, just wireless.
Printing with an AirPrint printer
Whether you want to print from your iPhone or iPad, the process is almost identical. The only difference is really where you might see the share button (square with up arrow). This button may also move around depending on if you’re using portrait or landscape mode. I’m using an iPhone 7 Plus for the examples below. Let’s start by looking at printing a photo.
In the photos app I’ve found the photo I’d like to print.
Start by tapping the share button (the square with the up arrow in upper right area of the screen, if you’re holding the phone in portrait mode the share button is in the bottom left corner).
On the next screen you’ll notice a check mark on the photos that are selected. You can swipe left and right to select more or print just the first one selected. When ready, tap Next in the top right corner.
Now tap Print (if you don’t see print swipe on the bottom row of options to see more). On the following screen tap Select Printer.
If your printer is AirPrint enabled and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPhone or iPad your printer will automatically appear. Tap it and you’ll see the option to increase copies or toggle to Black & White.
Here’s another look at printing an article from a website in portrait mode.
As long as you see the share button on the content or file you’re looking at you can print directly from your device.
Printing with a non-AirPrint printer
Even if your printer isn’t AirPrint enabled you may still be able to print from iPhone and iPad. The most common way this works is through an app from the manufacturer and a direct wireless access point that the printer creates.
Look for a button similar to the one shown above. Once you’ve pressed it, navigate to Settings → Wi-Fi and look for an open network that contains your printer’s brand or model name in it.
My Canon printer allows me to print wirelessly with this Canon_ij_Setup network and a Canon iOS app. Most of the major manufacturers have an app for printing with iPhone and iPad. Here are a few examples below.
A few other ways to print easily from iPhone and iPad are with third-party software. Some solid options have been shared in the comments and via Twitter by readers. The most mentioned option is Printopia while others have mentioned handyPrint and Printer Pro as worth checking out. Thanks for sharing, all!
Most of these apps give more control to how and what you can print and give you functionality even if you don’t have AirPrint.
Another slick option pointed out by Robert in the comments is that your printer may have the capability to have its own email address. This process is usually set up during the product registration and once complete you can print by using this email address, even if you’re away from your printer.
One last less common way to print from an iOS device is via Bluetooth. This usually applies to a small portion of mobile printers, check your owner’s manual if this applies to yours.
Since every printer is a bit different feel free to ask questions in the comments below or look up your specific printer model on your manufacturer’s website.