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Why can’t my Android device find my printer?

Printing on Android can be a pain. Here’s why.

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Image: Unsplash

As more printers come with wireless capabilities, that opens the door for wirelessly printing from whatever device you happen to be holding. On iOS devices, it’s just a case of making sure your printer has AirPrint compatibility. It’s even easier on Windows 10, where you just need to make sure your printer is showing up in Printers & Scanners.

Then there’s Android… While some manufacturers using Google’s mobile operating system have built their own wireless printing tools, not every device has it enabled. Even worse, it doesn’t automatically pick up your printers sometimes, leaving you scratching your head as to why it won’t print.

The situation is starting to get better, but there’s a couple of things you can do to make sure your Android device can find your printer.

So, why can’t my Android device find my printer, even when they’re on the same network?

Short answer: Honestly, that’s just the way it is

There are so many printers on the market, all with manufacturer-specific quirks, that a universal solution to print from them is kinda hard to do. Google’s solution is Google Cloud Print, which comes preinstalled on many new Android devices, or you can download it manually from the Google Play Store.

Then it’s just a case of adding your printer to the list. Open Google Cloud Print, tap on “Settings”, then on “Printing.” If your printer is on the same WiFi network as your Android device, it should show up in the list and add itself.

Then you can print from some apps by tapping the “…” that usually indicates more options, to find and tap on the Print option. This won’t work with every app though, but there’s a trick – if your app won’t let you print, take a screenshot by holding the Power and Volume Down buttons, then print the screenshot from the Photos app.

What do you think? Have you ever had issues with printing from an Android device? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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