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How to print from your iPad

From iPad screen to paper in a few taps.

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Your iPad does loads of cool stuff. You can work on documents, do some online shopping, or watch a film — all on the go. It’s like a having a powerful laptop that’s even more portable.

But did you know that you can print from your iPad too? Yep, and printing from an iPad is pretty simple. Which is great, as dealing with printers can sometimes be a right pain!

How to print from an iPad with AirPrint

Apple have their own wireless printing tech called AirPrint. It’s been around for a while and loads of printer brands like HP, Brother, Canon and Epson support it. Which makes it easy to get your iPad (and other Apple gadgets like your Mac and iPhone) hooked up to plenty of different printers. All without having to download and install any drivers or extra apps. Nice.

If you’ve got an AirPrint-enabled printer, here’s how to print from iPad:

  1. Make sure that your printer and iPad are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

  2. Open the document, photo, or web page you want to print.

  3. Tap on the Share icon (it looks like a square with an upward arrow).

  4. Scroll down and select 'Print'. This’ll open a window with printing options.

  5. Your printer might already show up in the 'Printer' field. If not, tap on the box to add your printer to your iPad.

  6. Go back to your print options screen to tweak your preferences (like how many copies you want and the size of the paper).

  7. When you're happy, tap on the 'Print' button at the top-right of your iPad's screen.

Tech tip: The print job might take a bit longer than it does with a computer, so be patient. But if you want to check the status, just open the App Switcher by swiping up from the bottom edge and pausing in the centre of your iPad’s screen. Then tap 'Print Centre'. If you've got an older iPad with a home button, just double-click on it to bring up the App Switcher instead.

How to print on iPad without AirPrint

If you’ve got a printer that doesn’t support AirPrint, then it’s not the end of the world. Lots of printer brands have made their own free apps which you can print from instead. HP have 'HP Smart', Epson offer 'Epson iPrint', while Brother provide their own free 'iPrint&Scan' app too.

If you have an HP, Epson, or Brother printer — here’s how to set them up with your iPad:

HP Smart

iPad printing is pretty easy with HP Smart. But setting it up the first-time round can take a while, so here’s how to get it up and running on your iPad:

  1. Download the HP Smart app from the App Store on your iPad.

  2. Open the HP Smart app and accept the data collection settings. You'll also have to allow the app to access your photos and send notifications.

  1. Make sure your HP printer is turned on, connected to your Wi-Fi network, and in 'Setup Mode'.

  2. In the HP Smart app, choose to 'Set Up a New Printer'.

  3. Open your iPad's Settings app, tap 'Wi-Fi', and then select the network that starts with “HP-Setup” and ends with your printer model.

  4. Click on the notification that pops up to return to the HP Smart app. Then enter the Wi-Fi network password to connect.

  5. After it’s done connecting, go back to the Settings app to reconnect your iPad to your original Wi-Fi network.

  6. Go back to the HP Smart app to continue the remaining setup instructions.

  7. You'll then see a menu screen with a few different options like 'Print Photos' and 'Print Documents'. You'll be asked to sign in or create an account with HP when you click on one of these.

  8. After you've set up or logged into your account, it'll open a 'View & Print' screen. Here, you can select the files you want to print — including photos or docs that are saved on cloud storage services.

  9. Select the printer you want to use from the preview page, then tap on 'Print' to print out your document or photo.

That process might vary slightly depending on your printer, but it should work for most models. Remember that you can always check your printer’s manual if you get really stuck too!

Epson iPrint

Epson's iPrint app for iOS lets you print out files saved locally on your iPad and from cloud storage services like DropBox and Google Drive. To get it set up on your iPad using your Wi-Fi network, follow these instructions:

  1. Check that your Epson printer is turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad.

  2. Download the Epson iPrint app from the App Store on your iPad and open it.

  3. Agree to the terms of use and allow it to access your photos.

  4. Tap on the 'Printer is not selected' button at the top of your screen.

  5. Select your printer model on the 'Local' tab. If you can't see it, just tap the search button at the bottom of your screen to search again.

  6. Once connected, you should now be able to print photos and documents saved on your iPad. As well as print files from cloud services.

Brother iPrint&Scan

Got a Brother printer without AirPrint? Don’t worry, their free 'iPrint&Scan' app will turn it into a top-notch iPad printer. Here’s how to get them connected:

  1. Download the 'iPrint&Scan' app from the App Store.

  2. Open the app and tap on 'No Device Selected'.

  3. Select your Brother printer from the list.

  4. Tap 'Print' and choose what you want to print (it can be a photo or document saved on your iPad, a file from a cloud service, a web page, or even something copied to your clipboard).

  5. Once you've selected what you want to print, just tap 'Print'.

FAQs

Why can't I print from my iPad?

It’s not always easy getting different bits of tech talking to each other. So, if you're having trouble printing from your iPad — here are a few things you can try to get it working:

  • Make sure your printer’s compatible with AirPrint. If it’s not, check if the manufacturer of your printer has their own printing app that you can download from the App Store.

  • Check that your iPad is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your printer.

  • Make sure that your printer is turned on and properly set up.

  • Try restarting your iPad and printer. It’s cliché, but turning tech off and on again works wonders sometimes!

Is it easy to set up a printer on an iPad?

It’s a lot easier to set up a printer for your iPad if it has Apple’s AirPrint tech built in. Then you can wirelessly print out stuff from apps like Photos, Safari, and Mail just by using the Share button. Lots of other apps from the App Store support AirPrint too, letting you easily print screen from your iPad.

But even if your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, most printer brands have built their own apps for iOS devices like iPad. So, you can use them to print photos and docs from your iPad instead. It just might take a little longer to get set up.

What app can I use to print from my iPad?

You don’t need an app to connect your iPad to your printer if it has built-in AirPrint tech. But some people find that AirPrint can be a bit limiting when it comes to printing options.

That’s why you could check out the iPrint Printer for AirPrint app. It supports loads of AirPrint-enabled printers and gives you a bit more wiggle-room when it comes to your printing preferences. It can automatically resize your paper size based on your printer’s features, and some Smart Options take out lots of the guess work too.

Which printers are compatible with iPad?

Loads of printers work with most iPad models. In fact, Apple have a list of all the printers that use their AirPrint tech. And it’s more than 9000! But even printers that aren’t AirPrint enabled can still connect to your iPad through apps designed by the printer’s manufacturer.

Any more questions?

Now that you know how to connect your iPad to a printer, why not learn how to scan documents on iPhone and iPad too? Or check out our best iPad tips for beginners if you’re new to Apple’s tablet.

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