How to Print from a Chromebook – Everything You Need to Know (2017)

Are you having trouble setting up or learning how to print from a Chromebook?

how to print from chromebook



So you’d think you could just plug in a printer on a Chromebook and it’ll work. You’re frustrated and confused. You’re disappointed. Maybe you plugged in your printer to your Chromebook via USB and you notice that chrome doesn’t respond to it. Or maybe you’ve been trying to set up Google Cloud print with no success. You just want to learn how to print from a Chromebook. Something so basic. Have no fear, we’re here to help you out and answer all your questions. We’ll get you up and running (or printing) in a snap.

Last updated: 5/6/17.

Okay, so you got your new Chromebook and you’re trying to figure out how to do some basic things like printing. Now on a regular Windows computer, you can simply plug in your printer via USB and it works. It’s simply Plug and Play. However, on a Chromebook you would expect it being a new laptop it would have that feature already integrated. But that’s not the case surprisingly. On a Chromebook, you’ll have to use a network-attached or cloud-ready printer. But the good news is that it’s just a matter of switching on a few settings using Google Chrome’s web-based interface.

The web-based interface on a Chromebook

The web-based interface is like a Central Command station that can send out printing tasks to whichever printer you’re targeting whether it’s the one at home or the one at work- sounds cool huh?  Here’s how to set it up.

How to set up and attach a printer to your Chromebook (USB)

First we’ll set up a network-attached printer. If you don’t know what this is- it’s your basic printer that connects via USB that’s attached to your network, which is what the majority of people have.

Step 1: You have to set up access via Google Print. To do this you want the first launch Google Chrome web browser. If you haven’t already, sign into your Google account.

Step 2: Click the menu button on the top right corner. Go to settings on the drop-down menu. Click show advanced settings at the bottom of the screen.

Step 3: Click sign into Google print. You should now see the Google Cloud print option with a button to add printers. Go ahead and click this button.

Step 4: You now get a printer confirmation message. Go ahead and click add printers.

Step 5: After you register your printer click on manage your printers.

Step 6: Now you’ll see a list of printers. You’ll see a menu with printer management, and some other options on the left along with the list of your printers and available devices on your right. Select your default printer. You’re all set.

Setting up a cloud ready printer on your Chromebook (Cloud Print Ready)

Here’s how to set up a cloud-ready printer.

If you already have a cloud-ready printer you just need to add it to your list of printers like above. Thankfully Google makes it easy because they provide instructions for almost every printer manufacturer such as Canon, Epson, HP, and Dell.

Step 1: Go ahead and follow the steps above until you get to the menu screen.

Step 2: On the left-hand side you’ll see an option that reads add a cloud-ready printer. Go ahead and click it.

Step 3: You’ll be taken to a page that almost looks like a sales page featuring some printers that are cloud ready. On the left-hand side you’ll see a list. Click the manufacturer of your printer.

Step 4: Now Google will present you a list of detailed steps and instructions that are catered to the manufacturer and make of your cloud printer. Go ahead and follow these instructions to set up your printer. It’s really not too difficult and you should be done in a jiffy.

Print using Google Print on your Chromebook

Okay, so now you set up your printer and they’re connected to the cloud. Ready for the next step? So now we’re going to print using Google Print- the fun part.

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Open your Chrome web browser if you haven’t so. Select the menu icon in the top-right corner. Choose print from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: You’ll see a new window with your printer on the left-hand side and some specifications similar to printing on a Windows computer on the left. You’ll see a print preview of what you’re printing on the right. If you want to change your printer, click change printers on the left-hand side. If the default printer is the one you want then you’re all set.

Step 3: Make any changes to the specifications, such as your layout, your number of copies, print margins options, or specific pages you want to be printed.

Step 4: Click print.

Now your Google Chrome web browser will automagically send your print job to your Cloud connected printer via Google Cloud Print. How cool is that? Sure, setting up a printer with Google Cloud Print may take a few additional steps compared to traditional plug and play on a Windows or Mac computer. But once it’s set up it’s a lot more convenient. You can connect to any printer no matter where you are as long as it’s added to your Cloud Print list. Whereas if you are using a traditional printer you would have to connect it and configure it everytime you move location or you’re away from your default printer- assuming it doesn’t have any Cloud Print capabilities.

So now you’ve learned how to print from a Chromebook using Google Cloud Print. We think you’ll like the sense of satisfaction every time you click that print button and how you’ve mastered and harnessed the power of Google Print. Don’t forget to check out our other Chromebook tips.

(Not working? Need help getting it to work? Check out this troubleshooting guide for printers.)

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (

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