Chromebooks and printing have a historically painful relationship. More specifically, users who have found a printer that works with Chrome OS and set up the printer have long been one of the biggest obstacles for Chromebook owners. For many years, this meant finding a printer that supported Google Cloud Print or setting up an additional computer as a print server for your Chromebook. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you know what we know), Google Cloud Print will soon be no more. As of December 31, 2020, Google’s wireless printing protocol is retired, and it has sent many Chromebook users into a bit of a crisis as they climb to find a viable printing option.
Fortunately, printing on Chrome OS has come a long way in the last couple of years. In some cases, it’s actually easier to set up a wireless printer and use it with a Chromebook than with other operating systems. This is partly because Chromebooks do not need to download drivers or install applications to access network printers. Today we’ll look at how easy it is to set up an HP all-in-one printer on your wireless network with just your smartphone. When we’re done, the Chromebook automatically sees the printer, and you can print without any additional applications, extensions, or plug-ins. Check out this video to see how it’s done.
Set up an HP All-in-One printer for your Chromebook
From start to finish, the entire process takes less than five minutes, and once completed, your HP printer will appear below available devices in Chromebook settings. This is done all from the HP Smart app on your phone. You can get it for free at 123.hp.com. There is also a Windows and macOS version of the HP Smart app if you prefer to use another computer to set up the printer. Keep in mind that Chrome OS is not currently a comprehensive printing solution. I’ve tested and used half a dozen HP consumer models, all of which work perfectly with Chrome OS when set up on the wireless network. That said, you may encounter an HP printer that does not play well with the HP Smart app. If this happens to be your case, try the HP Print for Chrome extension, and chances are it’s giving your Chromebook access to the wireless printer.
In the video, I used the HP Envy Pro 6455 All-in-One, but this method works for both the budget-friendly 2000 series and HP 3000 series printers. To find your specific printer and the protocols it supports, go to this HP support page. I think you’ll find that most late-consumer HP consumer printers will work with either the HP Smart or the HP Chrome extension.
If you have a new HP printer, or if you have recently reset the printer, install the HP Smart app on your mobile device and make sure your phone is connected to the Wi-Fi device you want to connect the printer to. Open the HP Smart app and click “set up a new printer.” From there, the app will search for printers already set up on the network. Click the “+ Add Printer” button and look for the new one or reset the printer. The model number may not be exactly the same as the actual printer, but it should be the same, since there are many models in the HP device family. For our HP, the app showed the HP 6400. Click on the model that is yours and you should be asked to confirm the wireless network and password if you have one in place. ->
The setup should not take more than a minute or two, and when completed, you may be prompted to connect to an HP account for things like HP Instant Ink or other services. You can do this at your discretion, or you can just skip this step and your printer will be good to go. Now, when you go to the printer settings on your Chromebook, you should see the new printer ready to use. You can click the save button next to the printer, and it will now appear as an option anytime you choose to print from the device. Note: If the printer does not appear in the HP Smart app, you may need to put it in setup mode. For information, see the HP Web site and find the manual for the specific printer. For my $ 60 HP 2652, I just had to press the wireless button on the control panel and the app found it.
I hope this quick tutorial helps you get started with a new printer and allay any fears you may have now that Google Cloud Print is disappearing. We’ve found that many Epson, Canon, and Brother printers work just as well with Chrome OS. All you have to do is make sure they are configured in the wireless network on your Chromebook, just watch them and you can easily print to them. If you have trouble configuring your specific printer, please leave a comment below and we’ll see if we can help you figure out the kinks. Cheers.
HP Smart app for Android and iOS ->