Did you know you can send documents to your printer straight from your iPhone? I didn’t, until I was frustrated by needing to print a single page and sought some answers. It turns out that it’s really easy, as all iPhones come with something called AirPrint. You can do it without AirPrint, too, but we’ll get to that.
Not all printers support AirPrint, but it’s pretty likely yours does. To make sure, Google your specific make and model or contact your manufacturer. As long as your printer supports it, start by making sure it’s connected to the same wifi as your phone. Then, follow these steps:
- Open whatever you want to print, and, depending on what it is, hit the “share” button or the “actions” button. Those will either look like arrows or three dots.
- In the action menu, look for the “Print” option, then tap it.
- This opens a “Print Options” tab, where you’ll see “Printer” at the top, followed by “No Printer Selected.” Tapping the latter will bring you to a page where you can select a printer. If the printer you want supports AirPrint and is on the same wifi, you’ll see it in the list.
- From here, do what you’d normally do when printing: Select how many copies you want, which pages you want to print, what the layout will be, etc.
- Hit “Print” in the upper right corner.
As the request is processing, you can open the app switcher to access the Print Center. You can go in there to monitor the printing progress or cancel the job. It’s that easy, and not too much different than printing on a computer.
If your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, it’s not the end of the road. First, check if your printer has an app in the App Store. Some of them do, though these will require you to follow certain app-based steps to set them up. For the most part, you’ll likely need to dive into your settings after downloading the app, hit “wifi,” and find your printer under “Other Networks.” You’ll be able to print by hitting the “Share” button on your document and selecting the printer there.
You can also plug your phone into your printer with a Lightning-to-USB cable and agree to the pop-up that appears on your phone. You’ll follow the same steps as AirPrint, hitting “Share” and “Print.” The printer you’re plugged into should appear on the “Printer Options” page.
That’s a little more tedious, but still not as annoying as whipping out a laptop for a two-second job, or, worse, heading to the local print shop to email the documents from your phone to a printer that costs a bunch of money.