How to Print Your Own Photos

Turn out frame-worthy prints at home

You've got a digital photo. You want a paper print. Now what? In this guide, we show you how to print a photo using basic apps like Photos for iOS and iPadOS, Photos for Windows, and more.

Two people printing out photographs
JGI / Getty Images

Before You Begin

Here are a few things to keep in mind before printing photos on your computer or mobile device.

What Is the Print's Purpose?

Think about your finished product when choosing an image to print. Do you want to frame it? Is it for a scrapbook? Choose the best image for your intended purpose. It may be helpful to choose a timeframe, a person, an event, or a particular type of image (such as wildlife).

Do You Want to Edit the Photo First?

If so, you need photo editing software. There are plenty of free and paid offerings available on multiple platforms. Once you have one installed, here are some suggestions for improving your photo:

  • Get rid of red-eye.
  • Lighten a dark photo.
  • Sharpen the image.
  • Crop the photograph to remove unnecessary background or emphasize an important feature.
  • Resize the photo to fit on a certain paper size.
  • Implement a fun filter.

Choose the Right Paper

There are many types of paper available for photo printing. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Photo printing uses lots of ink, so use the thicker papers developed for photos. Plain office paper doesn't work well.
  • Paper comes in gloss, satin, and matte finishes. While glossy paper looks the most professional, it's the hardest to see in brightly-lit conditions.
  • Photo paper is expensive, so choose the right inkjet photo paper. For best results, choose the highest quality you can afford.

How to Print a Photo on Android

If you own an Android device, you can print a photo from the default Photos app. Here's how:

  1. Open the Photos app and select the photo you want to print.

  2. Tap the More icon (the three vertical dots) in the upper-right corner.

  3. Choose Print from the list of options that appears.

  4. Select the printer, paper size, and the number of copies you want to make. Then, tap the Print button.

    The More menu and Print button

How to Print Photos on iOS and iPadOS

Follow these steps to print a photo using the default Photos app on iOS and iPadOS:

  1. Open the Photos app and select the photo you want to print.

  2. Tap the Share button.

    The Share button in Photos
  3. Scroll down and choose Print from the list of options.

    The Print option in Photos
  4. Select a printer and the number of copies you want to make. Then, tap Print.

    The Print button

How to Print Photos on Windows

Unlike iOS and Android, the Windows default photo app includes a few more options when printing a photo. Here's how to use it:

  1. Open the photo you want to print in the Photos app.

  2. Select the Print icon.

    You can also print using the keyboard shortcut CTRL+P.

    The Print button in Windows 10
  3. Select your printer and choose other options if necessary. You can change the paper size, orientation, photo size, and more.

    You can change paper size, orientation, and more in the Photos app for Windows
  4. Select Print.

    The Print button on the setup screen

How to Print Photos on Mac

Like iOS, Mac uses the Photos app for printing by default. But the steps are slightly different. Here's how to do it:

  1. Select the photo you wish to print in the Photos app.

  2. Select File > Print.

    Alternatively, press Command+P on the keyboard.

    The Print command in Photos
  3. Choose the format you wish to print in.

    Some formats let you resize the photo. Other options, like aspect ratio, appear depending on the format you select.

    Print options in Photos
  4. Choose your printer and change the printer settings as necessary.

  5. Select Print.

    The Print button in Photos
  6. The printer dialog box appears. Select Print.

    The Print button in Photos' print settings box