How to print from iPhone or iPad

If you have a network-enabled printer from the past 5 to 8 years, there is a very good chance it supports printing from iPhone or iPad. If you look at the printer specs you may see a reference to AirPrint or ePrint which means it’s compatible with mobile devices. Of course, my recommended printer supports it!

  • You do need to set the printer up on your network rather than by USB direct to your computer. See the user manual if needed. Every printer is different so that is beyond the scope of this article.
  • Your printer doesn’t need to be on WiFi if you connect it to your router by ethernet (network cable). WiFi and ethernet are just two doors into the same network, meaning a wireless iPhone can communicate with a wired printer via your router.
  • Unlike printing from a computer, you do not need to set the printer up with your device or install any drivers.
  • You cannot print if your iPhone or iPad is connected to a guest network. These networks are designed specifically so that devices on them can only communicate with the internet.
  • Anyone visiting your home can print to your printer without setting anything up on their devices, as long as they are on your (non-guest) WiFi network. When they leave your home they can no longer print there.

Unfortunately, there is no standard way that every app on iPhone and iPad pulls up the print menu. Most apps follow this first convention but there are a few exceptions.

This is the most common way to print, in Safari, Photos, Notes, and more. Tap the “Action” button (the box with the upward pointing arrow). On the next screen, one of the options you might see is “Print” though you may need to swipe the menu up since there could be so many items that they cannot all fit.
To print from Apple Mail, tap the arrow button at the bottom. In the menu that appears, swipe to see more options such as Print. If you want to print attached documents such as photos, PDF, or Word files, you will need to open the attachment first by tapping it, then from the attachment view screen, you should see the box and arrow icon from the previous example.
To print from some other apps such as Reminders, Pages, Numbers, Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, or Google Docs, tap the three dots and look for Print in the menu. Some apps make you drill down the menu further under something like “Share” or “Export”. The appearance of the three-dot icon and the menu looks different depending on the app you are in.

At the printer menu, make sure that everything is set properly. Then tap the Print button in the upper right corner. Your list of options may be different depending on the capabilities of your printer and the app you are printing from.

  • Printer: if this is blank or if you do not see the printer you want, tap it to see what printers are available.
  • Presets: most people don’t use this feature, but you can create a preset for the choices below, to switch between sets of options as needed.
  • Copies: obviously the number of copies you want.
  • Range: the range of pages to print, but before you fuss with this too much take a look at the thumbnail preview at the bottom, which might be easier to control.
  • Print in Color: you can save color ink by switching this off
  • Double-sided: you can save paper by leaving this on
  • Paper Size: in the United States you will almost always be printing to Letter. If you aren’t then you will know what to choose here.
  • Orientation: Portrait means pages will be upright. Landscape means that pages will be wide.
  • Thumbnails: If you swipe left and right between the pages, you can tap the checkmark to unselect any pages you do not need. To see a thumbnail in greater detail, tap and hold it.

Further help

If you are an existing customer who needs help with this or if you have other questions, or if you are in San Francisco and interested in becoming a client I invite you to book an appointment with me. Otherwise, you may wish to contact Apple Support or find a local Apple consultant.

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