Connecting a printer to your mobile device like a smartphone or tablet via USB allows you to print documents, photos, and more directly from your mobile device. This guide will walk you through the steps for connecting your mobile device to a printer with a USB cable.
What You’ll Need
Before connecting your mobile device to a printer via USB, make sure you have the following:
- A mobile device like a smartphone or tablet
- A printer with a USB port
- A USB cable compatible with your devices
Most modern printers and mobile devices support USB connectivity. Check the manual or spec sheet for your devices if you’re unsure.
Connecting Mobile to Printer via USB
Connecting your mobile device to your printer via USB only takes a few quick steps:
- Install printer app on mobile device
For printing, you’ll need a printer app installed on your smartphone or tablet. Many printer manufacturers have mobile apps, often called something like “[Printer Brand] Print”. Install your printer manufacturer’s app.
- Connect devices with USB cable Use a USB cable to connect your mobile device to the printer’s USB port. Make sure you use the appropriate cable for your phone or tablet.
- Allow USB access
You may need to swipe down from the top of your mobile device screen and tap a USB notification to allow access. This grants permission for communication between the devices.
- Select printer in app Open your printer manufacturer’s app on your mobile device. You should see your connected printer displayed here automatically. Select it to begin printing.
And you’re all set! You can now print photos, documents, web pages and more directly from your smartphone or tablet using the USB connection.
Tips for Connecting Via USB
Here are some useful tips when connecting your mobile device to a printer via USB:
- Make sure both devices are powered on before connecting.
- If connectivity issues occur, try a different USB cable.
- Connect directly to a USB port on the printer, not through a hub.
- For ongoing issues, check for updates on both devices’ firmware/software.
- If copying large files, don’t disconnect until transfer completes.
Printing from Mobile App
Once your mobile device and printer are connected via USB, printing is very simple:
- Open file you want to print
On your mobile device, open the photo, document, webpage or other content you want to print.
- Tap print option
There should be a printer, share or export icon visible allowing you to select Print. This may be in a menu.
- Choose destination printer Your connected USB printer should appear as an option here automatically. Select it.
- Confirm print settings The print dialogue will open where you can choose paper size, orientation, number of copies, color/B&W and other settings.
Finally, tap Print and your printer will begin printing over the USB connection!
The convenience of wireless printing is great, but sometimes going old school with a wired USB connection just works. Most printers can interface directly with your mobile device given the right app and cable.
Disconnecting and Reconnecting the USB Printer
When you’re done printing from your mobile device, what about disconnecting? Here are some tips:
- Don’t just unplug the USB cable without warning or you could risk file transfer corruption or hardware issues.
- On both devices, look for an eject, unmount or safely disconnect hardware option.
- Once disconnected properly, you can safely unplug the USB cable if you wish.
- To reconnect, just plug the USB cable back in. The printer should automatically reconnect to your phone or tablet typically.
Reconnecting your printer via that trusty USB cable is quick and simple the next time you want to print something from your mobile device!
- What printers work with mobile USB printing?
Most modern inkjet and laser printers support connecting to mobile devices through USB. All-in-one printers with scanning/copying often allow this as well. Check your printer manual or specifications online.
- Does USB printing from my phone use ink/toner?
Yes, printing documents or photos from your mobile device to a printer over USB uses the same ink or toner as printing from a desktop computer.
- Can I print photos from my phone with a USB printer?
Absolutely! Connecting your mobile device to a photo printer via USB allows you to print all sorts of images and graphics directly from your device.
- How do I choose the right USB cable?
You’ll want to use the appropriate USB cable for both your smartphone/tablet model and the printer – likely a standard USB Type A to Micro B cable.
- Can I print documents like PDFs from my mobile device over USB?
Yes, most printer apps and operating systems will allow you to print text documents, PDFs, emails, web pages and Microsoft Office files from a connected mobile device.
- Is wireless or USB printing better?
Wireless provides more convenience and freedom, while USB offers wider device compatibility, higher reliability and often faster print speeds. Choose what works best for your situation!
- Can I connect my tablet via USB to print?
Yes, tablets like iPads and Android/Windows tablets typically support connecting to USB printers. Just install your printer’s app and use a compatible USB cable.
- Why does my phone say USB device not recognized?
If your smartphone or tablet shows a USB device error when connecting the printer, try switching cables, restarting your device or updating its OS/firmware for compatibility.
- Do I need an app to USB print from phone?
In most cases yes, the printer manufacturer will have a mobile app (often branded with their name + Print) which enables USB connectivity and printing capabilities.
- Does USB printing use my phone’s battery?
Printing over USB will use some battery life but keeps your phone battery usage minimal compared to wireless printing which uses more power.
- Can I print from USB flash drive to printer?
Most printers don’t support plugging a USB flash drive directly into the printer. But some models may have built-in ports for importing files from USB sticks.
- Why does my phone not recognize USB printer?
If your phone won’t recognize the connected USB printer, make sure you’ve installed the printer app, allowed USB access on your smartphone, restarted both devices or tried updating for compatibility.
- How do I change USB printer connection settings?
Once your devices connect via USB, all print settings like paper size and number of copies can be adjusted on your smartphone screen directly before confirming print.
- Can I print photos through USB OTG?
On Android phones supporting USB OTG (On The Go) connectivity, you can directly access files through a USB flash drive or printer attached with an OTG adapter cable.
- Why does it say connected USB device has a problem?
This could indicate an incompatible USB cable, defective port, driver issue, improper disconnection before unplugging, loose connection or damaged socket. Try gently cleaning any debris from the ports on both devices.
- Do printers still use USB 2.0 or 3.0?
Most printers still utilize the fast speeds of USB 2.0 which can handle typical print jobs just fine. But high performance printers may boast compatibility with USB 3.x for blazing transfer rates.
- Can I print an email attachment from USB connected phone?
Yes, you can forward an email with attachments like documents or photos to your connected printer through its provided email address after linking your accounts.
- Does USB tethering from phone to PC allow printing?
When you activate USB tethering to share your phone’s internet with your computer, this will not set up printer connectivity. You’d still need WiFi or native USB access to print.
- Connecting your smartphone, tablet or mobile device to a printer via USB allows direct printing capabilities once you install the right app.
- Setup takes just a few quick steps: Install printer app, use appropriate USB cable for your devices, allow access on mobile device, and select printer in app.
- You can print photos, Word/PDF documents, emails, webpages and more from your phone when it’s connected to printer over USB.
- USB printing provides wider compatibility, stability and often faster speeds compared to wireless.
- Make sure to properly disconnect the USB device before unplugging to avoid corruption or hardware issues.
- When powered on and reconnected, the mobile-printer USB link automatically reconnects for printing again fast.
Hooking up your smartphone or tablet directly to a USB printer opens the doors for simple, fast and reliable printing on the go. As long as your mobile device and printer have compatibility and you have the proper cabling, getting set up is quick. USB connectivity skips the potential for laggy wireless networks allows your phone to talk directly to the printer. Just make sure to properly disconnect your device first before removing cables and rebooting devices to prevent any hardware hiccups. With the right mobile app installed, you’ll enjoy USB printing whether at home, work or wherever your on-the-go adventures take you!