As more people replace their laptops with iPads as their main work computers, it’s only natural that they expect the same amount of functionality from their Apple tablets that they would from their laptops. A big part of this is being able to print documents which includes everything from printouts of web pages, official documents, emails, photographs, and more. But before you do this, you must know how to connect iPad to printer. We’re going to tackle this task today and teach you everything you need to know about printing from your iPad, so strap in!
How to Connect iPad to Printer
It’s pretty simple to print from your iPad if you have a wireless printer on the same network. Many wireless printers support AirPrint, which allows iPads and iPhones to print conveniently. The setup process for an AirPrint-compatible printer is easy as you just need to hit ‘Share’ from your Mail or even your Safari browser and then tap ‘Print.’ When asked to ‘Select Printer’, simply connect iPad to the printer listed there. You should now see your printer printing.
How to Connect iPad to Printer: All methods
The iPad has made life quite convenient as it’s a lot of power in a small package — you can use it to watch movies, listen to music, draw the occasional comic, take notes, make presentations, etc. It only makes sense that you should be able to print from it, as you might need a hard copy of a document or email. Let’s see how to get this job done using various methods.
Note that AirPrint is not an app or software that you’re supposed to use; it is simply the name of a feature that is built into your iPad that allows it to communicate with AirPrint-enabled printers, making your printing experience silky-smooth. To check if your printer is compatible, you can check your printer’s box or refer to this list on Apple’s website. Many brands like Brother, Canon, Epson, Fujifilm, HP, Lexmark, Xerox, Samsung, etc., are supported.
As you can see, the list is exhaustive, as many printer manufacturers do want to offer compatibility to Apple customers. Here are the steps to print from your iPad using AirPrint:
- Power on your printer, and follow the instructions in the manual to set it up and connect it to your WiFi network. Update any firmware, if required.
- Make sure your iPad is on the same network.
- For now, let’s print a webpage. Use this page itself!
- On your browser, look for the Share button. Tap that.
- Scroll until you see ‘Print.’ Select that.
- On the Printer Options screen that appears, you should see an option called ‘Select Printer.’ You should see your printer listed on the screen when you tap this. Go ahead and select it.
- You can then select printout details such as the number of copies, range, etc. When you’re done, tap Print in the upper right-hand corner. Your printer should now print this webpage.
So now you know how to print using AirPrint, but what if you do not have an AirPrint-ready printer? After all, not every printer supports AirPrint, at least not yet. There are a few methods that you can try out, so let’s look at your options.
Apps such as Printopia and PrintCentral allow you to communicate with a printer that is connected to a Mac or PC via a wired or wireless connection. While Print Central allows your iPad to communicate with both Mac and PC to execute your print job, Printopia will only work with a Mac.
These apps set up a virtual print server on the computers so that when you wish to print from your iPad, all you need to do is tap Print and then select the virtual printer from your list of printers. This sends a print command to your computer, which then communicates with the printer.
To better understand how this works, here’s a setup video for Printopia:
You can use a USB cable along with an OTG (on-the-go) connector but be warned, this method may not work all the time. You can get a USB cable and an adapter to connect the cable to your iPad. Also, you will need a manufacturer’s app for this connection to work, as Apple does not allow individual device driver installations. Once you download it, connect the cable to your printer and check for any pop-ups on your iPad screen. If everything goes smoothly, the app will let you print documents via the app.
Before wireless printing went mainstream, there was a period where Bluetooth printers were popular. To connect your iPad using Bluetooth, first power on the Bluetooth printer. Then look for any specific instructions on the printer — you may have to download an app that helps your iPad communicate with the printer. Once you install this app, follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the printer to appear on your iPad’s Bluetooth Devices list. Once you see it and connect to it, you can print from your iPad via the app.
Printer manufacturer app
Many big-name printer manufacturers have their own apps on iPad’s App Store, which allow you to print from their range of devices. Apps like HP Smart, Brother iPrint&Scan, and Canon PRINT let you handle tasks such as copying, printing, scanning, and more from the app itself. These apps also let you print from the cloud and use different networks on your iPad. You can also connect to multiple printers on your local wireless network via these apps, which is helpful if you’re in a different section of your office and need to print something urgently.
How can I make sure my iPad recognizes my wireless printer?
Sometimes electronic devices do tend to act up, and if you’re having issues with your printer, here are a few steps that you could try.
- Restart your printer. Sometimes, printers go to sleep to save power, and a quick restart may be just what it needs. Also, give it some time to connect to your network if it’s a wireless printer. Make sure it connects to your WiFi network before you try printing from your iPad.
- Double-check if your printer and iPad are on the same network. This is typically the most common reason why a printer doesn’t show up on an iPad.
- Turn off your iPad’s WiFi connection, wait a minute, and turn it back on. Do the same for your printer. This can reset the link between your iPad and printer.
- If the above steps don’t work, restart your iPad. While you’re at it, also reboot your internet router.
- If this is a new printer, verify if you set it up correctly. Also, confirm that it is, in fact, an AirPrint-compatible printer.
- Check if there is paper in the printer and whether the ink levels are acceptable. You can also try connecting your computer to the printer to run a few prints to check if the printer is working correctly.
- If you can send print commands, but the printer still does not work, then it’s most likely a printer issue and will need troubleshooting. Refer to the manual or reach out to your manufacturer’s customer care team for more help.
How to Print from Your iPad
So now that you’ve figured out how to connect your iPad to a printer, how exactly do you print from your iPad? Let’s look at each method!
Using AirPrint is the easiest way to print from your iPad, as there are minimal steps to follow.
- On your iPad, open a PDF document that you’d like to print.
- Depending on your PDF app, tap the Share icon or look for ‘Share’ in the options menu.
- Scroll until you see ‘Print’ and select it. This should now open a Print Options menu.
- Right at the top, you have an option that says ‘Select Printer.’ Tap this, and you should see your AirPrint-ready printer listed here. If you don’t see it, it’s likely that the printer is not switched on or that your iPad and the printer are on different networks.
- Once you choose your printer, change any other settings like the number of copies and range, and hit Print.
There are multiple methods of printing without AirPrint, as we explained above. But once you figure out how to connect your iPad to your printer, how exactly do you print your documents? Read on to find out!
Using third-party apps
Printopia and PrintCentral are the most popular print apps on the iPad’s App Store, but there are some others that you can also consider. Typically, all you have to do is install the app on your iPad or your PC and follow the on-screen instructions. If you download a third-party printing app to your iPad, it gives you a file manager that you can use to navigate to the file you wish to print.
However, if you use an app like Printopia, you will have to set up a virtual print server on your Mac. This also means that your Mac will need to be turned on and connected to the WiFi network for you to be able to print from your iPad. Once you set up the app, you can simply follow these steps:
- On your iPad, open a webpage on the Safari browser (this is an example).
- Tap the Share button, and then tap Print.
- The Print Options pop-up will appear. Here, tap ‘Select Printer.’ You should now see an option called ‘Send to Mac.’ Note that for different printing apps, this may be different.
- Once you tap this option and then hit ‘Print,’ your Mac will receive the document and give the printer the command to start printing it. You will now see your printer printing!
So once you get your iPad connected to the printer using an OTG (on-the-go) connector and download the printer manufacturer’s app, you are ready to print. Different apps have different instructions, but typically, the app offers a file navigator which lets you go to the file you wish to print.
You could also see the app as an option in your Share menu, so look out for that. In that case, you can simply open the document you want to print, tap Share, and then select your printer’s app. Ensure that your USB cable is connected to the printer before you try this, or your iPad might show you an error message.
We’ve already mentioned that you can’t directly print to a Bluetooth-enabled printer from your iPad, but if you can get your hands on the iPad app for your printer, then you will be able to print via the app. While it’s rare to see Bluetooth printers these days, they do exist out in the wild.
These printers also had iOS and Android apps for the customers, so all you need to do is download the app, and once you do that, you can open the file manager inside the app, navigate to the document, sheet, or image that you wish to print, and tap the Print button.
Printer manufacturer app
If you own a printer from a top printer brand, the company likely has an app in the App Store. We did a casual check and were able to find iPad apps for many big names like Canon, Brother, Epson, HP, and more. While all these apps will have different steps to print, the general methods will be the same.
You will be able to access your photos, documents, and cloud storage via these apps, and if you want to print a document, all you have to do is navigate to the file, open it, and hit the Print button. These apps also let you create Print queues, scan for other printers on your network, and print remotely, so we highly recommend you check them out!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my iPad to connect to my printer?
To connect your iPad to your printer, you first need to check if your printer is AirPrint-compatible. Many printers these days typically are, and it should be clearly written somewhere on the printer or on the box that it came in. If it is compatible, connect to the same WiFi network as the printer, open a file you wish to print, hit the Share button, and tap Print. The printer should then show on your list of available printers under the ‘Select Printer’ menu.
Why is my iPad not finding my printer?
There are a few reasons why your iPad can’t find your printer — the printer might be in sleep mode, it could be on a different WiFi network than your iPad, it might need a restart, or there might be an issue with the printer itself. Also, confirm that the printer supports AirPrint technology.
How do I connect my iPad to my HP printer?
If your HP printer is AirPrint-ready, all you need to do is give the Print command for a document on your iPad, and the printer should show in your list of printers. If the printer does not show, you can try installing the HP Smart app, which will guide you through setting up the printer. Additionally, make sure the printer and the iPad are on the same network.
How do I connect my iPad to my printer without AirPrint?
To connect your iPad to your printer, you could use methods such as Bluetooth pairing (if the printer is Bluetooth-compatible), via a USB cable and OTG adapter (this is possible only if the printer manufacturer has an app), or via a third-party app such as PrintCentral or Printopia.
We are big fans of AirPrint technology and are happy to see that so many printers support this tech. As iPads are so popular these days, we are pretty sure that more printer manufacturers will come on board and offer AirPrint as a feature to customers. We hope our article showed you how to connect iPad to printer, and if you still have any doubts, feel free to leave us a comment below!