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  • Printing with a Chromebook

    This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Berton 3 months, 1 week ago.

    • Author
    • #318819 Reply


      With the end of support for Windows 7 approaching, I’m seriously considering buying a Chromebook.  I think it will meet my needs nicely but am concerned with the problems I’ve read about getting a printer to work with it.  I’m considering an HP Chromebook, and have a HP Envy 5660 printer which has the “eprint” symbol on it but not the “cloud print” symbol.  As it stands currently with my Windows 7 laptop, I can print wirelessly  just fine with the 5660 printer.  The printer has it’s own email address as well.  Any idea if this printer would work with a Chromebook?  I’d hate to have to replace the printer which works great but I definitely need the ability to print!  I’ve researched this online at HP’s site and seem to get conflicting info as to whether or not this printer is considered Cloud Print ready.  I should probably mention that I’m considering an HP Chromebook solely because I thought it might “play nicer” with my HP Printer – am I fooling myself and maybe the brand of Chromebook doesn’t make a difference? Appreciate any advice you can share.

    • #318833 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      Just noticed that my post above shows me as “annonymous” – I thought I was logged in when I posted but maybe not.  Sorry about that!

    • #318854 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      It’s been my experience that Chromebooks will print to printers on the same local subnet as long as they have the necessary driver support – no Google Print needed.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318855 Reply

      Da Boss

      Second what jabeatty says… but you have to be on the same subnet.

      I use Google Print from my main machine now (which is on an Ethernet connection, thus not on the same subnet as my printer) and it works great. I can also use the scan functions, which scan the doc and email it to me. And I use Google Print for all of my tablets and phones, from anywhere. No sweat, once I figured out that I needed Google Print.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319048 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks @jabeattyauditor for the link. Perhaps the wiring in my brain is deficient, but I have never really understood Google Cloud Print. It seems complicated just for the sake of being complicated.

      In any case, the above link makes it sound that if I connect a printer to a chromebook with a usb cable, then printing is essentially plug and play with the possible exception of downloading a driver – although even that sounds pretty much automatic – with no need to know the printer’s IP address. protocol, queue, etc. In other words it’s about as simple as connecting a printer to a Mac or Windows machine via a usb cable.

      Is my understanding basically correct?

      I’m asking because I’m trying to keep some Win7 PCs patched for some retired folks on limited income, and trying to figure out what to do next January. These folks want something secure, reliable, and cheap to do some basic stuff: email, logging into social security and bank accounts, and health care portals. And of course, they’ll need to print some pdf documents. It seems that a chromebook would be well suited to this if printing will be easy.

      I’d appreciate anybody’s thoughts about any of this. Hopefully I’m not drifting too far off the original topic.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319390 Reply


      I’m like @drbonzo , my lack of understanding printing from ChromeOS has been my reason to not switch already. My flawed understanding includes that printers cannot connect directly to a Chromebook, and that the OS will not load drivers. Yet the Google link given by @jabeattyauditor plainly shows two notes in separate places:

      Note: If your printer doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi or a wired network, you can also use a USB cable to directly connect your printer to your Chromebook.

      and further down:

      Note: You don’t have to connect to the internet if you have a USB cable. Connect your printer to your Chromebook with a USB cable, then print. If so, the printer doesn’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi after it’s set up.

      These notes are within directions specifically for networked printing. There is no further clarity on how the driver is loaded, suggesting some form of plug and play setup. There is no mention of a list for compatible models or package marking to seek.

      Can anyone confirm they use a printer connected directly to a Chromebook by USB? Is it truly as easy as plug it in, and select from a list? What brand and model works for you? Has it always been this easy? I seem to have misunderstood. Being able to print easily is important to me.


      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319423 Reply

      AskWoody Plus

      And now to show my ignorance – what exactly is “the same local subnet”?  I’m assuming in my case it is the router/modem that my laptop is on and my printer as well?  Both are used wirelessly.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #319436 Reply

        AskWoody Lounger

        … yes, usually being connected to the same router/modem or the same named wireless network means you’re on the same “local subnet”.

        But, usually doesn’t mean always, even some inexpensive “home”-grade router/modems can split their connections into several subnets, and you can also have multiple devices in a single subnet… like differently named wireless stations.

        Determining if this actually is so will require some networking knowledge… or the quickest test might just be to see if “automatically when in the same local subnet” things work between them 😉

    • #319437 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      I’m on the same page as @Dr.Bonzo about Chromebooks.
      First, I read here a little while ago, that you can connect a Chromebook to an ethernet connection with an adapter, which was a huge “happy dance” from me. (I do not have wi-fi)
      Not being able to print was going to be another problem…..
      I have a DSL connection (landline)……yeah I know old school.
      I own a tracfone flip phone for long distance calls which is cheaper than landline costs.
      now this revelation of just hooking up a printer via USB cable to a chromebook, which I now do to my Dell Inspiron Desk top (2013)……
      You have my full attention of believing that a chromebook could be a good fit in my future!
      BTW,  I am now retired and on a fixed income.
      I do not do any online banking, never have, never will.
      My other question about chromebook is email account.
      I use Thunderbird.  How will that work?

      • #319438 Reply

        Da Boss

        Chromebooks are basically a browser in laptop form.
        You won’t have Thunderbird. If you have been using it to download your email to your PC and read it offline, that doesn’t work anymore.

        There is Gmail – which is online. You can forward your mail from your ISP (or whatever mail server you use for an email address) to the Gmail account. But reading the email in Gmail with a Chromebook is an online thing.

        The other alternative is using email on your ISP (or whatever mail server you use) server. Again it requires an Internet connection.

        • #319442 Reply

          AskWoody Lounger

          Gmail will also serve as an IMAP-connected viewer to other email servers – no need to forward the mail unless you have serious storage limitations on your other email account(s).

        • #319443 Reply


          Btw, I didn’t realize this, but the web-based/Chromebook-based Gmail now supports offline use:

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1358107 Reply


      Here is the information on printing to an HP printer from a Chromebook on the HP site:

    • #1452152 Reply


      I can confirm that my very old HP C4280 printer works via USB with my Chromebook. In the printer set-up screen, under settings, my printer was detected automatically. I just had to highlight it and click add.

      • #1452754 Reply


        Thank you very much for a specific example of success. When I read through the directions from the links listed in this topic above, the transition of mentioning USB in passing before getting detailed with WiFi makes it appear that WiFi is the preferred solution to expected failure from direct connection. I am glad to read your experience. At least one instance of USB working.

    • #1456256 Reply


      A note: some HP and probably other printers have ePrint that once set up will receive E-Mail print jobs [have their own E-Mail address] with another message sent to the users address confirming a job has been completed.

      Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"

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