U.S. mobile users sent 2.2 trillion SMS and MMS messages during 2020. It’s no surprise that text messages are most people’s preferred channel of communication considering that they’re short, sweet, and to the point. Text messages are also convenient—until you realize that you need to print one out.
You don’t often need a printout of your text messages, but if you do, it’s actually not much of a challenge. You can print out texts from both your phone and your computer. There are multiple ways to do it, depending on your device, printer, and downloaded apps.
This guide will explore how to print texts from the device you have at hand.
What Can You Use Printed Texts For?
When someone goes to the trouble of printing out a text message, it’s often for evidence, an artifact, or “receipt,” as the kids say. In other words, printed texts can act as a permanent backup of an important conversation.
You might use a printed text for business-related reasons, like for evidence in court or a compliance review (if you’re a business texting customers). Alternatively, you may need to print out texts for very personal reasons, like to remind you of something a loved one said or to equip yourself for a breakup or tense conversation
Whether you plan to use the message as legal proof or as a memorial to a loved one, it’s a good idea to hold on to it in a permanent format that can’t be easily deleted or erased.
How to Print Text Messages from Your Phone
Since text messages are on your phone, is there an easy way to print them out? In short, yes. Texts can be printed from either an iPhone or Android device. How you accomplish this depends on the type of phone you have and apps you have at your disposal.
The AirPrint Method
If your printer supports AirPrint, a native Apple tool, you can print right from your iPhone. After you make sure your printer offers AirPrint, you can start the process of printing from your iPhone:
- Open your text message conversation and take a screenshot or multiple screenshots. Press down on your side button and volume up button simultaneously to take a screenshot.
- Open your Photos app, then navigate to “Albums” and “Recents,” then tap on your screenshot or screenshot. They should be your most recent photos.
- Tape the share symbol in the bottom-right corner of your screen. It looks like a box with an arrow.
- Scroll all the way down (not across) the menu that pops up, and tap the “Print” option.
- Click “Select Printer” in the upper right of the screen, then select your printer.
- Tap “Print” in the top-right corner.
The Google Cloud Print Method
If your printer supports Google Cloud Print, you can print right from your Android device. After you make sure your printer offers Google Cloud Print—and that you’ve got the Cloud Print app installed on your phone—you can start the process of printing from your Android device:
- Open your text message conversation and take a screenshot or multiple screenshots. The exact process depends on your device, but you probably will have to press the volume down and power button at the same time.
- Find your Cloud Printing in Settings. Tap the magnifying glass symbol, then search for “Printing.” Then tap on “Cloud print.”
- Add your printer to the cloud by selecting “Add printer.”
- Navigate to Photos, then find your screenshot.
- Tap the three-button menu in the top right corner, then press “Print.”
The Printer Manufacturer App Method
There’s a chance your printer brand offers its own smartphone app. In this case, the process of printing from your printers’ app for either an iPhone or Android device looks something like this:
- Take a screenshot of your text or texts.
- Navigate to the printer’s app.
- Access your photos or select files through the app.
- Choose the “Print” option.
The BlueTooth Method
You can use bluetooth to print screenshots of texts from either your iPhone or Android device. The process of printing through Bluetooth should look something like this for both operating systems:
- Take a screenshot of your text or texts.
- Make sure the Bluetooth option is on for both your printer and your phone.
- Navigate to the Bluetooth menu.
- Select your printer.
- Navigate to your photos, then find your screenshot.
- Tap on the share symbol, and scroll to the bottom of the screen.
- Select “Print.”
- Choose your printer, and confirm “Print.”
There are multiple third-party apps available that allow you to print from your Android or Apple device. Whichever app you choose, the process will look different. For example, some apps ask you to combine a text thread into a PDF, which you can then send to your printer or computer. Some apps might ask you to create a backup file from your texts, then send it to your printer or computer. These apps make it easier for you to print from your phone if you don’t have AirPrint or Google Cloud Print.
The Email-to-Printer Method
Some printers allow you to print simply by emailing a document to your printer’s specific email address. (HP is the main participating brand.) The process for printing directly to your printer through email via either an iPhone or Android device should look something like this:
- Take a screenshot of your text or texts.
- Find your printer’s email address.
- For an iPhone, select the screenshot(s) in your Photos app, choose the share symbol, and hit “Mail” within the option bar. In the address bar, add your printer’s address, a subject, and tap the arrow in the top right corner of the screen.
- For an Android device, select the screenshots in your Photos app and hit the share button. Then, select “Gmail” and send the screenshots to the printer’s email address.
How to Print Text Messages from Your Computer
How do you print out text messages from your computer? If you don’t have a cloud-enabled printer or third-party app—or if you are a business that sends hundreds or thousands of messages from a computer—you’re going to have to print texts from your computer. Still, you have multiple options for doing so.
Transfer Screenshots to Your Computer from an iPhone
If you don’t have a printer that supports AirPrint or if you need to print at a third-party location, you can send your messages from your phone to your computer. To do this, you have three options:
- Email the screenshots to yourself. Select the screenshots in your Photos app, choose the share symbol, and hit “Mail” within the option bar. Alternatively, you can save your photos in a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive, which should be included in the option bar as well.
- AirDrop your screenshots to Mac. Select your screenshots, choose the share symbol, then click “AirDrop” and the appropriate device. A Downloads window should appear in your Mac, and you can drag those images to your desktop and print as you usually would.
- Photos sync. If you have enabled iCloud Photo Library, your screenshots will appear in the Photos app on your Mac. Select the photo, and go to File > Print.
Transfer Screenshots to Your Computer from an Android Device
If you don’t have a printer that supports Google Cloud Print, or if you need to print at a third-party location, you can send your messages from your phone to your computer. To do this you have one main option:
- Email the screenshots to yourself. Select the screenshots in your Photos app and hit the share button. Then, you can select “Gmail” and send the screenshots to your email account. Alternatively, you can upload them to your Drive, which you can then upload to your computer. Then, you simply print those screenshots like you would from any other device.
Printing from a Business Text Messaging Platform
If you run a business and communicate with customers regularly, you’ll want to be able to print out texts easily. They can be critical for legal situations, like if you need to show texts in court, or for compliance reviews.
Business text messaging services make it easy to print out conversations between you and your customers. Your business SMS platform never deletes messages, and allows you to search a message body or contact for the messages you need. Then, you can export and print that chat. To print from any business SMS platform, you will follow a process that should look something like this:
- Navigate to “Administration” on your navigation bar.
- Select the inbox you want to export chats from. This could be the inbox from your sales team, for example, or your customer service team. Alternatively, you may just have one inbox if you’re a smaller company.
- Click “Settings” and scroll down to “Export Chats.” Then, you’ll be prompted to select the dates from which you’d like to export chats. You can also choose whether you want to export chats individually or all in one CSV.
- Click “Export” on the bottom right of the window.
- Click on the link next to the Export Chats link. You will download a .zip file with the CSV, which you can open in your spreadsheet management system and print.
Keeping a reliable record of text messages that you can print at any time is critical for a business. With a business SMS platform, you’ll know that you can print out important messages any time you need them.
Printing Texts from Your Phone or Computer
How do you print out text messages? There’s no need to wonder any longer. There are quite a few options for printing texts from your phone or computer. If you’re an individual who only needs to complete this process one or two times, you may want to print from your iPhone or send screenshots to your computer. If you’re a company, however, you’ll want to print right from your business SMS platform, which allows you to search through all of your undeleted customer messages, find just the one you’re looking for, and print on demand.
Want to learn more about how you can use saved texts? Check out our blog.