How to Print from Android Using the USB OTG Cable

Usually when you have to print some documents or pictures that you have created yourself or downloaded off the internet on your Android smartphone, you first have to turn on your PC, connect your smartphone to PC via a USB data cable and then you can proceed to printing. If you have a WiFi or Bluetooth enabled printer, then you can send the document to be printed directly to the printer. But what about those people who have the printers without WiFi or Bluetooth access? You can use Google Cloud Print but that also requires that you keep your PC turned on. A much better approach is to use the USB OTG cable to connect your Android smartphone directly to your printer.

Connecting the printer to your Android smartphone using a USB OTG cable works find for some newer models of printers flawlessly, and you can see the connected printer in the print dialog in Android. But the older printers are not readily supported. For example, the Canon Pixma MP258 printer that I have is not recognized by my Android smartphone when connected through the OTG cable.

Update: The PrinterShare app used in this article is unfortunately no longer free. You have to buy the premium app to actually print the pages. (13 October 2016)

If your printer is not being readily detected by your Android smartphone, then you can use the free PrinterShare Mobile Print app that can help you identify your printer by installing proper drivers in your Android phone. After the installation of the app, it installs itself as a virtual printer in Android and you have to enable it from System Settings → Printing → PrinterShare (the settings screen is automatically opened for you). You can enable it by flipping the on-off switch on the top.

PrinterShare MobilePrint for Android

After this, you can connect your printer to your Android device through a simple USB OTG cable and then launch the PrinterShare Mobile Print app from its home-screen shortcut. In this app, you have to tap on Select Printer icon near the bottom edge of the screen. Then you have to select the type of printer you are connecting. In this case, we have to chose Nearby – USB from the list.

PrinterShare MobilePrint for Android

It will detect the USB connected printer and as you click on the printer in the found list, you will be shown a prompt to download the appropriate drivers. The download and installation of the drivers takes only a fraction of a second. After this, your Android device is ready to print documents and pictures to your USB OTG connected printer.

When you give the print command from any application like WPS Office (Kingsoft Office), you have to choose PrinterShare as the target printer which further lets you select all the different printing options like the number of copies, size of paper, duplex printing and more.

PrinterShare MobilePrint for Android

Conclusion: If you want to print from your Android smartphone directly to your USB printer, then you can use the USB OTG  Host cable to connect the two. And if your printer is not readily detected by Android, then you can make use of the free PrinterShare app to help you recognize the printer in your smartphone.

You can download the PrintShare Mobile Print app from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamixsoftware.printershare.

  • UniverslSerialBus

    This has a very nice interface that shows all your folder location and cloud accounts in one place. The free trial only lets you print Test pages. The full version will let you print most of your files and it also preps you to install different PDF viewers that work with Printshare. The full version is $12.95.

  • rajat jain

    I installed the application and my printer was detected, no driver was found so I used the generic one. When I do a print job, it shows that it is completed successfully but nothing is printed, please help asap.

    • The generic driver may not work for your printer.

  • sambhav jain

    Hi I have HP LaserJet M1005 Multifunction Printer
    (CB376A) and lenovo k3 note it has otg function I have installed thisthis print share app but still not able to connect the printed

    • Your printer is officially supported by PrinterShare. Try clearing the app cache or reinstall a newer version of the app.

  • ManvendeR Pratap Singh Shekhaw

    Hi I have hp deskjet 2130 and yureka± it has otg function I have installed this print share app but still not able to connect the printed.
    I installed the application and my printer was detected, no driver was found so I used the generic one. When I do a print job, it shows that it is completed successfully but nothing is printed, please help asap.

  • decapitated

    how about canon p200, what driver can I use? the generic one fails

  • Geo

    What about for konica minolta bizhub164

  • Sanjay Kapoor

    The PrinterShare app is free to download but when you connect your printer to you android smartphone, the phone detects the printer but does not print your desired document. It only prints test page. After that it demands payment for printing the document. This App is not free its a paid App

  • Geoff

    Followed instructions to the letter and still wont find my printer very disappointed then only to find out that you have to pay to print anything !
    So my question is why not tell people that they have to buy the full version when the free version won’t allow anything to print in the fist place ?

    • When I wrote the article, it used to print for free. Now they have updated the app.

  • Haseeb

    What about HP LaserJet 1010 using via otg cable?