How to print from an iPhone or iPad

iPhone 14 Pro on desk with the display on
Marcus Mears III / How To Geek

To print from your iPhone or iPad, locate the print button in the app you’re using and select your printer’s name in the print options. If your printer doesn’t show up automatically, it probably doesn’t support AirPrint. In this case, you can usually connect to your printer manufacturer’s app instead.

Printing from your iPhone or iPad is effortless provided you have the right printer for the job. If your printer is giving you grief, there are some workarounds that you can use to print directly from your Apple smartphone or tablet.

Print from iPhone or iPad with AirPrint

AirPrint is Apple’s easy-to-use wireless printing protocol. It requires almost no setup, provided your printer is turned on and connected to the same wireless network as the iPhone or iPad you’re trying to print from.

Many printers now come standard with AirPrint, especially as we increasingly use our mobile devices for all sorts of tasks. If you’re not sure if your printer has AirPrint, you can still try to print and see what happens. The printer should only appear if you meet the requirements.

To print from your iPhone or iPad using AirPrint, choose Print in the app you are using. This is often hidden under the Share menu, as is the case in apps like Safari and Notes. This is not the case with all apps; For example, you need to tap the “…” icon in Reminders. In third-party apps like Google Sheets, the “Print” option is hidden under “Share and Export”, which can be displayed with the “…” button.

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Print in Google Sheets for iPhone

From here, tap Printers to see a list of nearby printers you can use. If your printer supports AirPrint and has been set up correctly, it should appear in this menu. Tap a printer to select it.

Select the printer from the iOS print interface

You may see a notification about the app you are using asking permission to search for devices on your local network. Allow this when prompted. (And if you’re having trouble, go to the app settings under Settings and make sure the “Local Network” toggle is toggled on).

Allow the app to search your local network for devices

Once your printer is selected, you can change the print settings by choosing how many copies you want to print, whether you want to print in black and white or color, whether you want to use double-sided printing if available, and also the size of paper currently loaded in the printer indicate. Depending on your model, you may also get additional settings for “Media & Quality” and “Layout”.

Configure print settings when printing on iPhone

Finally, click “Print” in the top right corner of the screen to send your job to the printer. You can also use the “Share” button next to it to save a PDF version of your file locally if you’d like.

Beat "To press" to send the job to your AirPrint printer

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How to print from an iPhone or iPad without AirPrint

Just because your printer doesn’t have AirPrint doesn’t mean you can’t print wirelessly. Many printers have wireless functionality but do not support Apple’s AirPrint protocol.

Use your printer manufacturer’s app

If you have a printer that’s Wi-Fi enabled but lacks AirPrint, there’s a good chance it supports wireless printing via an app. You can usually search the internet for your printer model (you can find it on the printer or on a sticker on the back) to see if this feature is supported.

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HP Smart App for iPhone

Then all you have to do is download an app like HP Smart, Canon PRINT, Epson iPrint, Brother iPrint&Scan on your device and follow the instructions. Some of these apps have the added benefit of remote printing over the internet, which allows you to send a job to your home printer no matter where you are.

Use your Mac or PC to enable AirPrint

If you have a trusty old trusty printer that doesn’t support AirPrint (or Wi-Fi), all is not lost. You can use your Mac or Windows PC as an “AirPrint Enabler” to send print jobs directly to your (wired) printer. No additional apps are required on your iPhone or iPad, the printer appears and works like any AirPrint printer.

To do this, you need to enable the functionality with a third-party app on your Mac or PC. The best tool for the job is Printopia, a $20 Mac app that turns your default printer into an AirPrint-capable machine. Windows users will need to use the pricey Presto (formerly Fingerprint) or try O’Print, both of which come with free trials.

Printopia on macOS 13 Ventura

Once you’ve set up your app of choice, your computer should act as an AirPrint gateway, providing wireless printing access to other devices on the network. This is ideal if you have an always-on Mac mini, iMac, or Windows desktop that can double as a print server for your iPhone and iPad.

Make sure your next printer supports AirPrint

If you still need a printer, especially one that you can use with your iPhone or iPad, it’s worth investing in something that makes your life a little easier. For the most part, AirPrint just “works” over the local wireless network, allowing you (and your guests) to print wirelessly whenever you’re in range.

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We also recommend choosing a laser printer over an inkjet printer if gray or black and white printing is your main application. Laser printers use toner instead of ink, which lasts much longer and costs less in the long run. When choosing a printer, consider not only the price of the device itself, but also the cost of refills over the life of the product. For monochrome printing, a laser printer is usually a more economical choice (and they print much faster, too).

Like inkjet printers, laser printers come in all sizes and at all price points. Models like the Brother HL-L2370DW have AirPrint support and standard Wi-Fi printing (for non-Apple devices), and print speeds reach 36 pages per minute.

AirPrint laser printer

Brother HL-L2370DW

If you primarily print in monochrome, Brother’s HL-L2370DW is a great example of a budget-friendly laser printer. Print wirelessly from iPhone, iPad, or Mac with AirPrint, or use Wi-Fi printing with Windows devices on the same network.

Having printer problems?

Printers are less common than they used to be, but many of us still depend on them. However, printers are still responsible for all sorts of technical issues, from a printer that keeps appearing offline to the lengthy configuration process of setting up a shared printer in Windows.

Looking for a new printer? Check out our top printer recommendations. If you prefer to go paperless, sharing documents and media via cloud storage is a great alternative.