How to Print From an iPhone

Don't worry, the iPhone can talk to a printer with and without any cables

What to Know

  • From iPhone to an AirPrint-capable printer: Share > Print > printer options > Print.
  • From iPhone via USB: Connect USB adapter to iPhone and printer > Share > Print > printer options > Print.

Whether your printer is AirPrint-compatible, is networked to your desktop computer, or just has a USB connection, this article explains how to print from an iPhone.

How to Print Directly From an iPhone With AirPrint

AirPrint is Apple's Wi-Fi printing technology used to print from the iPad and iPhone. To use AirPrint, you need to have an AirPrint-compatible printer (there are hundreds of AirPrint printers available) and that printer needs to be connected to the same network as your iPhone (it can be connected to the network via Wi-Fi or via an Ethernet cable hooked into your Wi-Fi router).

In that situation, follow these steps to print directly from an iPhone:

  1. With the thing you want to print on screen, tap the Share button.

  2. Scroll down and tap Print.

    The Share icon and Print highlighted on iPhone
  3. The Print Options screen contains these settings:

    • Printer: Tap this to choose which available printer to use.
    • Presets: Select your printer's preset options here.
    • Copies: Tap plus or minus to choose how many copies you want.
    • Range: If you're printing a multi-page document, tap this to choose which pages you want (the default is All Pages).
    • Double-sided: This slider enables double-sided printing (if your printer supports it).
    • Paper Size: If your printer can print on multiple paper sizes, tap this option to select your preferred size.
    • Orientation: Choose whether to print in portrait or landscape orientation here.
    • Scaling: Tap plus or minus to zoom in or out on the printout.

    The bottom row shows a preview of each page of your document. A blue checkmark means the page will be printed. Tap the checkmark so that it disappears and that page will not be printed.

  4. With your printing choices made, tap Print. The document will be sent to your AirPrint printer.

  5. After taping Print, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the iPhone's multi-tasking view. The first app on the right is your print queue. If you want to stop the print, tap Cancel Printing.

    Print and Cancel Printing highlighted in the print queue screen on an iPhone

Don't have an AirPrint printer? You can print directly from your iPhone using a USB cable attached to the printer and iPhone. All you need is a USB adapter that plugs into your iPhone's Lightning port and a USB cable to plug into your printer (not all adapters support printing so be sure to check). Once you've made the connection, the steps above are the same.

How to Print From an iPhone Without AirPrint

While AirPrint is the simplest way to print wirelessly, you can print from an iPhone without AirPrint, too. There are Wi-Fi-enabled printers that work with the iPhone and use their own printing apps. Lots of printer manufacturers offer their own dedicated iPhone apps, including:

There are also third-party printing apps that support various printers and offer features that AirPrint doesn't. Some of the most popular third-party printing apps include Print n Share and PrinterShare.

While it's not possible to include step-by-step instructions for every third-party printing app, the basic concepts mirror the last section. You need a printer available via Wi-Fi or USB. printing is done through the Share icon or with a special printer icon added by the app. When you tap it, choose your options—what printer to use, how many copies, double-sided or not, etc.—and then tap Print.

If your printer doesn't support Wi-Fi and connecting via USB isn't practical, you've got another option: set up a print server on a Mac or PC connected to the printer. As long as you've got Wi-Fi, you send the print job from your iPhone to the Mac or PC print server, which then sends the job to the attached printer. If you need help, we've got step-by-step instructions on setting up a networked printer.

  • How do I print photos from my iPhone?

    To print photos from your iPhone, open the Photos app, select the images, then tap the Share icon (the box-and-arrow icon at the bottom). Tap Print.

  • How do I print text messages from my iPhone?

    There is no direct way to print text messages from an iPhone, but you can screenshot messages and print them as photos. You can also copy text messages and paste them into a Pages document to print as a PDF.

  • Why can't I print from my iPhone?

    Update iOS and make sure your printer is compatible with your iPhone. If you're trying to use a wireless printer, make sure your iPhone and the printer are on the same Wi-Fi network.

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