When smartphones first started to gain popularity, the prospect of printing something from them seemed like a pipe dream. Printers were already hard enough to deal with on a computer, and it seemed unlikely that it could work on a phone.
But the Google Docs app started adding new features like the ability to add small numbers in Google Docs, and it became apparent that the app was going to gain most of its desktop counterpart’s functionality.
Now we are also able to print from Google Docs on our iPhone or Android device, and it’s surprisingly accessible.
Most modern printers have some sort of network compatibility, meaning that devices on the same network as the printer can use that printer if they have that capability.
Mobile phones, but those that use the iOS and Android operating systems, are now able to print wirelessly to printers that support it. Plus, most of the apps that you would want to print from, such as creative apps and productivity apps, will usually support some type of printing functionality in addition to the other features they offer, like file sharing.
Our guide below will show you how to print through the Google Docs app on your iPhone or Android phone, plus we will address some of the common issues that might arise if you can’t make it work.
How to Print from the Google Docs Mobile App
- Open Docs.
- Choose a document.
- Tap the three dots.
- Select Share & export.
- Choose Print.
- Touch Select Printer.
- Chose a printer.
- Tap Print.
Our guide continues below with additional information on printing from the Google Docs app, including pictures of these steps.
How to Print from Google Docs on an iPhone (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this section were performed on an iPhone 11 in iOS 14.6. These steps will also work on other iPhone models using this same version of iOS, as well as in most other versions of iOS. I am using the most current version of the Google Docs app that was available at the time this article was written.
Step 1: Open the Docs app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Select the document that you want to print.
Step 3: Touch the three dots at the top-right of the screen.
Step 4: Select the Share & export option.
Step 5: Choose Print.
Step 6: Tap the Select Printer option.
Step 7: Choose your printer.
Step 8: Tap Print at the top-right corner of the screen.
Our article continues below with information on how to print from your Android device.
How to Print from Google Docs on Android (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this section were performed on a Google Pixel 4A, using Android 11. I am using the most current version of the Docs app that was available when I wrote this article.
Step 1: Swipe up from the center of the screen.
Step 2: Touch the Docs icon.
Step 3: Choose the document from your Google Drive that you want to print.
Step 4: Tap the three vertical dots at the top of the screen.
Step 5: Select the Share & export option from the menu on the right side of the screen.
Step 6: Chose Print from the list of sharing options.
Step 7: Touch the Select a printer dropdown at the top of the screen.
Step 8: Select the desired printer from the list of printing options.
Step 9: Tap the Print icon.
Our article continues below with additional information on printing from Google Docs.
Why Isn’t My Printer Listed?
Trying to resolve printing issues can be a tricky prospect, as printers are notoriously difficult to work with. When you combine this with the fact that you are printing from a mobile device, then there is a strong possibility that something isn’t going to work properly.
The first thing to check when you are trying to print is that your mobile device is connected to the same wireless network as the printer. If your iPhone or Android device is not on Wi-Fi, then you probably won’t see your printer.
A second consideration is that the printer may not be turned on. Many modern printers will turn off if they haven’t been used in a while. If you don’t see the printer but know that it should be there, try power cycling the printer (turning it off and on again) then wait a few minutes to see if it shows up in your mobile device’s printer list.
One final option to check is whether or not the printer is AirPrint compatible. Since you aren’t able to install print drivers on your mobile device, your printer will use a feature called AirPrint so that it can communicate with your phone. However, not all printers have this feature. Additionally, not all printers are network compatible. If your printer isn’t connected to your local network, either wirelessly or via an ethernet cable, then you probably won’t be able to communicate with the printer through your smartphone.
What is Google Cloud Print
There is a feature that is available as part of your Google Account that is called Google Cloud Print. If you have installed the Chrome browser on your computer and have added it as a printer that is available through Cloud Print, then this gives you some additional printing options.
After you select the Print option from the Share & export menu, you will see Google Cloud Print option listed there as well. If you choose that option you can follow the instructions on screen to select a printer and send it there. This means that you can even print Google Docs files on a printer that is in a completely different location.
How to Print from Google Docs on a Laptop or Desktop Computer
Printing a Google Docs document from your computer via a Web browser is a similar process to printing other documents. I am going to perform the steps below using the Chrome browser, but you can also use another browser like Firefox, Edge, or Safari.
Step 1: Navigate to https://docs.google.com and open the Google Docs file that you would like to print.
Step 2: Select File at the top-left of the window.
Step 3: Choose the Print option at the bottom of the menu.
Step 4: Adjust the print settings as needed, then click the blue Print button.
More Information on How to Print from Google Docs on iPhone or Android
The number of options that you can adjust when printing from your iPhone or Android device is pretty large.
When you have the Printer options menu open on your iPhone you will be able to specify the number of copies that you want to print, as well as the range, whether or not to print double-sided, and whether you want to print in black and white or color. Other document settings can be changed through the Page setup menu that is accessible from the menu where you selected the Share & export option.
The number of printing options on Android is greater, although you might initially have trouble locating them. After you choose the Print option from the Share & export menu, then select your printer, there will be a small downward-facing arrow in the top section. If you tap that arrow you will have these options:
- Paper size
- More options
If you choose more options then you will be given the option to install additional device services, or to manage existing services.
While this article is focused specifically on printing from mobile phones, the same steps will work to print documents on an iPhone or iPad, as the Docs app and the printing process is similar for both of those iOS devices.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.