How to Use Google Cloud Print from the Desktop
Google Cloud Print is a new service that will help you print emails, documents and other files from any mobile phone or computer that’s connected to the Internet. You don’t need any special hardware or print drivers – just a regular printer and a Windows computer that is running the latest version of Google Chrome browser.
It takes no more than a minute to setup Google Cloud Print.
Launch Google Chrome on your computer that’s connected to the printer and enable Cloud Print under the settings of Chrome (troubleshooting tips). Now open the Gmail mobile website on your phone, pick an email message and choose Print. You may also print individual file attachments that are attached to that message.
Use Google Cloud Print from the Desktop
Google Cloud Print, in its current form, has one major limitation – you can only send print jobs from an iPhone or an Android based mobile phone.
Won’t it be useful if you could also send print jobs to your printer from any other remote desktop or laptop computer over the Internet using Google Cloud Print itself?
One option is that you create your own email based printing setup using Dropbox – it will work with printers that are attached to Windows, Mac or Linux machines and secondly, you can send print commands from any desktop or mobile device as long as it can send regular email.
Alternatively, you may change* the default user-agent string of your desktop browser to Android and enjoy all the features of Google Cloud Print from the desktop itself.
Step 1. Copy-paste the following command in the Windows Run box to launch Chrome disguised as an Android phone (replace
<username> with your Windows username). If you are a Firefox user, simply use the User Agent Switcher extension to change the agent of your browser to Android.
C:\\Users\\<username>\\AppData\\Local\\Google\\Chrome\\Application\\chrome.exe --user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.1-update1; en-us; SPH-D700 Build/labnol) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/530.17"
Step 2. Now go to m.gmail.com in your browser, open any email message and choose Print. If you want to print documents, just send them to your Gmail inbox first and then to Cloud Print.
PS:The steps listed about should be performed on the computer from where you wish to send print jobs to your Cloud Print enabled printer. It will work on all platforms as long as you can change the user-agent of your browser.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.