How to Add a Printer to Your Chromebook

Chrome OS supports cloud-ready and classic printers

Before you can print anything from Chrome OS, you have to add a printer to your Chromebook. Unlike traditional operating systems, such as macOS or Windows, the Chromebook's printing capabilities are managed by the Google Cloud Print service as opposed to the operating system itself. This configuration allows you to send documents to a printer wirelessly or physically connect a printer to your Chromebook.

Here's a look at how to add a network-connected printer or a cloud-ready printer to a Chromebook.

Man Using printer next to a Chromebook
moodboard / Getty Images

How to Add a Connected Printer to a Chromebook

If your printer is connected to your local network, here's how to set it up to use with your Chromebook. You'll also need a Windows or Mac computer on your network to establish a connection to Google Cloud Print.

  1. Turn on your printer.

  2. Open the Chrome browser in a Windows or Mac computer on your network and select the Settings icon (three dots) in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

  3. Select Settings when the drop-down menu appears.

    Click Settings when the drop-down menu appears.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings window and select Advanced.

    Scroll to the bottom of the Settings window and click Advanced.
  5. Scroll down again and select Google Cloud Print.

    Scroll down again and select Google Cloud Print.
  6. Select Manage Cloud Print devices.

    Click Manage Cloud Print devices.

    If prompted, log in to your Google account. Authenticate with the same Google account that you use with your Chromebook.

  7. You'll see a list of available printers under Devices. Under Classic printers, select Add printers.

    Add printers button in Google Chrome Settings
  8. You'll see a list of printers available to register with Google Cloud Print, each with a checkbox. Make sure to check the box next to any printer you want to make available to your Chromebook.

    Add or remove the marks by clicking once.

  9. Select Add printer(s).

    Add printer(s) button in Google Cloud Print settings
  10. Your printer is now connected to Google Cloud Print and tied to your account, making it available to your Chromebook.

How to Add a Cloud-Ready Printer to Chromebook

To determine whether your printer is cloud-ready, check the device for a logo (usually accompanied by the words "Google Cloud Print Ready"). If you don't see the logo, check the box or manual. If nothing states that your printer is cloud-ready, then it's probably a classic printer.

If you've confirmed that you have a cloud-ready printer, open your Chrome browser and continue with the steps below:

  1. Turn on your printer.

  2. From a Chrome browser window, go to Settings > Advanced > Google Cloud Print > Manage Cloud Print Devices > Manage.

  3. Select Add a Cloud Ready Printer from the menu on the left.

    Select Add Cloud Ready Printer
  4. You'll be taken to a Google Print page with instructions for cloud-enabled printers.

    Google's Cloud-ready Printers page
  5. Find your printer's manufacturer or search by model number. Follow your manufacturer's instructions to set up Google Print.

How to Print From Your Chromebook

Now that you have your printer set up, it's time to complete your print job.

  1. Open the item you want to print.

  2. Select the Settings icon (three dots) and then select Print.

    Select Settings and then select Print
  3. Next to Destination, select Change, and then select your printer.

    The next time you print, this printer will show as the default.

  4. Select Print once you're satisfied with the settings.