Android

Quick Tip: Print an email from an Android device

Printing email in Gmail is possible, but not obvious, from Android devices. Andy Wolber shows how to do it.

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Printing from Google Apps works best with Google's Cloud Print service. (If you haven't already linked your printer to Cloud Print, follow the setup process.) Once a Cloud Print device is linked to your Google Account, you can print from anywhere. Internet-enabled printers work best, although other printers may also work.

Once Cloud Print is setup, we can open the Gmail app and print, right?

Well, if you're using Chrome on an iPhone, iPad or desktop, then yes. That's exactly how printing works on those devices.

Not Android

To print an email from Gmail on iOS: Tap the triangle in the upper right, then select the device. Simple.

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On iOS: print from Gmail to Google Cloud Print

To print an email from Gmail in a desktop/laptop Chrome browser: Click the printer icon to print everything in an email thread. Or, select print from the drop-down menu to print a specific message. Simple.

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In laptop/desktop Chrome: print from Gmail to Google Cloud Print

Android

But to print an email from an Android device you need to use the browser, not the app: Open Chrome, login to Gmail, select an email. Print.

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On Android: Use Chrome to print an email.

Yes, you read that correctly. You can't print an email from the Gmail app on Android. To print, Android users have to access Gmail in a mobile browser, not the Gmail app.

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Gmail on Android lacks a print option

There is one work-around that permits printing without leaving the Gmail app on Android: print-via-email forwarding. First, you enable a secret email address for your printer during a web-setup process. HP printer owners, for example, manage this address online at www.hpeprintcenter.com. Then, you forward an email to your printer's email address from Gmail. The printer will print both the contents of the email and most standard file-format attachments. (To prevent print spam, you can configure the printer to accept print jobs from specified email addresses.) Unfortunately, not all printers support print-via-email forwarding.

Bottom line

So, to recap: you can print from Google's iOS Gmail app. And you can print from Gmail on your laptop or desktop while in Chrome. And you can print from Gmail on Android while in Chrome.

But, as of October 2013, you can't print from Google's Android Gmail app.

Can anyone explain why not?

About

Andy Wolber helps people understand and leverage technology for social impact. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.

6 comments
Karen D.
Karen D.

I am so over Android and am going back to the Apple universe.  It's not because I'm a fan girl.  It's because I find it absurd that Android, which is built by Google, does not integrate well with Google products.  Besides the printing issue discussed here, my calendar on my Samsung Android phone and on my tablet did not sync with my Google calendar automatically.  I  had to install the Google calendar to get everything to sync up.


On my iPhone, on the other hand, once I had set up my Gmail and Google accounts in the settings, everything else I did synced and worked seamlessly.  When Google and Apple sync seamless but I have to do extra steps and install extra apps to get Android and Google to work, it's game over and good-bye to Android.


As soon as I'm eligible for a smartphone upgrade, I will be leaving planet Android for Apple.

kbpipes
kbpipes

I was a huge supporter of android and google.  My household had 5 android tablets and 4 android phones.  I was in the market for 2 chrome books.  A point came that I really needed to print from my phone or tablet. After purchasing a wifi enabled printer.   I was surprised I could not achieve this function in a realativly easy way.  I found some apps that allowed printing of files, and word arounds.  These work arounds did not work well with my wife.  So now we own 2 ipads, 2 iphones, ipod touch, macbook and macbook pro.  Basically I have jumped ship.  I actually miss android.  I just cannot justify spending more money on products that cannot do basic functions that I need for day to day computing. 

timbox
timbox

Hello


There is a bit of a workaround for this. If I have an email with in-line text, I just select all with a long press on any word. This brings up the share option in the contextual menu. Then you share to cloud print. 

wainwda
wainwda

I'd like to know the answer to this too.  It seems completely bizarre for such a simple function to be missing from one of the most widely used apps on the planet.  You'd have thought that Google could at least allow an email to be "shared" so that other apps can send the email to be cloud printed, but even that has been prevented.  It seems to be deliberate but I can't imagine why they've done this.

nega
nega

What the matter if i use opera mini instead of chrome to print an e-mail?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Have you noticed that you cannot print email directly from the Gmail App on an Android device? Has this frustrated you?