How to share a printer with PaperCut Mobility Print

Jack Wallen walks you through the process of sharing a printer to the devices on your LAN with PaperCut Mobility Print.

Businessman analyzing investment charts and business plan with printer. Accounting,Business People Planning Strategy Analysis Office print concept,vintage color

Image: iStockphoto/Asawin_Klabma

I recently wrote a tutorial on how to replace the now-defunct Google Cloud Print with PaperCut's Mobility Print. For anyone that makes use of Chromebooks and other mobile devices on your LAN, and you don't have a networkable printer, this solution might well be your best option.

Thing is, although you have Mobility Print set up correctly, your Chromebooks and Android devices might not be able to find that connected printer--even with the Mobility Print Chrome app or the Mobility Print Android app installed.

What gives? This is supposed to be as plug and play printing as it gets on a Chromebook.

There's one more step you might have to take. Now, if you find your Chromebook printing to that shared printer, don't worry about this next step. For some devices, this will be a must-do. I've also found some devices might print at first, but then randomly stop printing, until you take care of what I'm about to show you.

SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players (TechRepublic)

How to share a Mobility Print printer

The solution is very much like what you'd have had to do with Google Cloud Print--you have to actually share the printer with the user. 

On the desktop or laptop machine running the Mobility Print server (remember to read the original piece first), log in to the web-based admin page at http://SERVER:9163/login/ (where SERVER is the IP address of the hosting machine). Make sure to authenticate with the credentials you created during the installation of the Mobility Print server. 

Once logged in, click Manage, associated with Cloud Print (Figure A). This shouldn't be necessary if all of your devices are on the same LAN, but if you have multiple LANs at your business, this will be a must. I've even found this necessary with some devices, even when they're on the same LAN.

Figure A

pcsharea.jpg

The main Mobility Print admin window.

In the resulting window, click New Link (Figure B).

Figure B

pcshareb.jpg

The Cloud Print Manage window is where you share printers.

In the link generating window, give the link a name, such as the printer you're sharing, and then fill out a link expiration date (if applicable) and a printing expiration date (if applicable) (Figure C). If neither of those are to expire, check the box for No Expiration. 

Figure C

pcsharec.jpg

Generating a link to share your locally-connected printer.

Click Generate and then click Copy To Clipboard. Once you've copied the link, share it with those who need to print to that particular printer. If those users have the Mobility Print app installed, they can then print to your printer with ease.

As far as I'm concerned, PaperCut's Mobility Print should be the de facto replacement for Google Cloud Print. Once set up, printing is actually much more reliable than the Google option. Give this fix a whirl and see if it doesn't have your users printing with ease.

Subscribe to TechRepublic's How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.

Also see