Do you own a Google Android phone? Did you know that you can print photos and documents from your smartphone
no matter where you are? All you need is a compatible HP printer. With HP mobile printing for Android, you’re able to stay connected to your printer even if you’re halfway around the world. Let’s review how to print from an Android phone.
What’s mobile printing?
With the very first home printers, you had to connect your device to your printer via a cable. Thankfully, those cavemen days of printing are long gone. Nowadays you can print wirelessly using the internet. There’s a difference, though, between wireless printing and mobile printing.
- Wireless printing is when you print using a wireless connection like WiFi.
- Mobile printing is when you print on your mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.
Mobile printing is a bit more complicated. How on earth can your phone communicate with your printer when you’re not in the same room or on the same WiFi network?
Most HP printers enable you to do mobile printing
on your Android device. You can do it from your iPhone, too, but that's a different article. There are 2 basic methods for mobile Android printing, depending on what type of printer you have and where you’re trying to print from.
Most HP printers enable you to print from your Android device so long as your device is connected to the same WiFi network as your printer. Your device can send printing tasks to your printer via the shared network. Use WiFi to print from:
- Samsung Galaxy devices
- Google Nexus devices
How to print from your Android phone using WiFi
1. Connect your Android device and your printer to the same WiFi network
2. Download the HP Print Service Plugin on your Android device
Visit this link on your Android device
and tap the Get It on Google Play
button. This will take you to the HP Print Service Plugin page on the Google Play Store. If you haven’t already installed the HP Print Service Plugin, tap the Install button to install it.
3. Use the drop-down menus to print
When you’re running the app on your device, you’ll be able to Print, Share, or Export via drop-down menus. Tap the printer icon to print. Popular Android apps that support printing include:
- Adobe apps
- Polaris Office
How to print from your Android phone using WiFi Direct
What if there’s no WiFi network that your printer and Android device can connect to? No problem! You can still print from your Android device by using WiFi Direct. Most HP printers built after 2014 are equipped with WiFi Direct.
With WiFi Direct, you can connect your device to your printer using a printer-based wireless connection. Here’s how to use it:
1. Download the HP Print Service Plugin from the Google Play Store and install it on your device.
2. Get the WiFi Direct printer name. Every HP printer with WiFi Direct has a unique name and password. You’ll need them to connect your device.
For printers with a control panel display:
- Touch the WiFi Direct icon or open the WiFi Direct settings menu to get the name and password
- Go to the Reports menu and select Network Summary or Network config to print a network summary page with the name and password
For printers with buttons only, use whichever method matches your printer configuration:
- Press the Information button to print the report
- Press and hold the WiFi Direct button for 3 seconds to print the report
- Press the Wireless and Information buttons at the same time to print the report
- Press and hold the Resume/Cancel or Resume button for 2-3 seconds to print the information page
- Press and hold the Resume/Cancel or Resume button for 10 seconds to print the information page
3. Use the apps to print
- Open the item you want to print and tap the menu icon.
- Then tap Print
4. Select your printer
- On the print preview screen, tap the Down Arrow to view the printer list
- Select your WiFi Direct printer and enter the password to connect your device
- Go to your printer to confirm the selection
For printers with a control panel display:
For printers with buttons only:
- Press the WiFi Direct or Information button, depending on which button blinks
5. Wait for connection and print
- Wait between 5 and 10 seconds for the connection to complete
- Once the connection is completed, the print preview screen will be displayed on your device
- Tap Print to print
How to print from your phone using HP ePrint
You can use WiFi or WiFi Direct when you’re near your printer. But what if you’re away from it? Maybe you’re across town or even across the country and you need to print a work document in the office, or an important document for your family. That’s when you can use HP ePrint
HP ePrint is a mobile printing feature that’s available on many HP printers. Compatible printers are programmed with a unique email address, and they’ll print any photos or documents that you email to them from your Android device. Your Android device must have an internet connection, but it doesn’t need to be connected to the same network as your printer.
In order to print from your Android device using HP ePrint, you’ve first got to have a compatible HP printer
. Then follow these steps:
1. Find your printer’s email address
First, find your printer’s email address and activate your printer’s web services.
For printers with touch screen displays:
- On the printer, touch or press the HP ePrint button or icon
- Tap Setup, and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on Web Services
- Tap Print or Print info - the printer email address will be automatically displayed on the control panel, and an info page will print out with the printer email address
For printers with text-based displays:
- On the printer, navigate to Web Services Setup, Network Setup, or Wireless Settings, and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on Web Services
- Tap Print or Print info
If your printer doesn’t have a touch screen or text-based display, you’ll have to use the HP Smart app to print from your Android phone. We’ll go over HP Smart a little later.
2. Print a document or photo
On your Android device, open the photo or document you want to print.
- Tap either the Action or Share icon.
- Select the Email option to open a new email message
- Type your printer’s email address in the To field
- Type a subject in the email subject line and tap Send
3. Print an email
To print an email:
- Open the email you want to print
- Tap Forward
- Type your printer’s email address in the To field and tap Send
4. Print a webpage
To print a webpage:
- Open the webpage you want to print
- Tap and hold the screen to select all, then tap Copy. Note that this will include all the advertisements and widgets within the web page. If you only want the text, choose carefully what you highlight and copy
- Open a new blank document
- Tap and hold the screen, then tap Paste
- Save the document to your device. Attach the document to an email message, address the email to your printer, and tap Send
How to change your HP ePrint settings
You might have noticed that HP ePrint doesn’t allow you to adjust your printing options. The HP ePrint default settings are:
- Print quality: Normal
- Print color: Full color
- Paper size for emails: Letter or A4 (whichever you have loaded in your printer)
- Paper size for image attachments: 101.6 x 152.4 mm (4 x 6 inches)
- Number of prints: 1
- Paper orientation: Identical to the original document
- 1-sided printing
However, some eligible HP printers will grant you additional printing options when you add your printer to HP Connected. HP Connected is a program that enables you to adjust your print settings for web-connected printers. Once you’ve added your printer, click My Printers to change the print settings. With HP Connected, you can also change your printer’s email address.
Using the HP Smart app to print from your phone
HP Smart is an app that you can install on your Android phone or tablet, and it’s one of the easiest ways to do mobile printing. To use HP Smart:
- On your Android device, download HP Smart from the Google Play Store
- Make sure your Android device and printers are connected to the same wireless network
- Open HP Smart - on the home screen, tap the Printer icon or Plus sign
- On the My Printer screen, tap Advanced Settings
- Tap Web Services
- Tap Setup and follow the on-screen instructions to enable mobile printing
If you have a wireless printer that has no touch screen or text-based display, tap Print Info Page to get your printer’s email address for HP ePrint.
With HP Smart, you can now print photos from social media, the cloud, or your camera roll. You can scan files using your camera and share them with your email or cloud, and you can also order new ink for your printer.
What are the best HP wireless printers?
Do you need to print professional-quality color documents for your business? Or maybe you just want to print your favorite photos from your Android camera roll in high-resolution. If color printing is your priority, check out some of our wireless HP InkJet printers
. These printers are equipped with one or more mobile printing features, like WiFi Direct and HP ePrint, and they’re able to produce spectacular color images.
If you’re printing very lengthy text documents from your Android device, you might prefer to print from a laser printer. Laser printers are faster than inkjets and are built to handle large printing tasks. Our wireless HP LaserJet printers
have built-in mobile printing capabilities so you’ll always be connected to the office no matter where you go.
About the Author: Zach Cabading is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Zach is a content creation specialist based in Southern California, and creates a variety of content for the tech industry.