How to Print Photos From Your iPhone

By Chris Hoffman on June 30th, 2015

iphone photos

Digital photos are great, but sometimes you just want a printed photo you can hang somewhere or just hold in your hand. Print photos straight from your iPhone’s camera roll, whether you have your own photo printer or not.

You can do this at home with a printer, have a service print them out and mail them to you, or print them at a local business that offers photo-printing services. All you need is your phone — no computer required.

Print Photos on Your Own Printer

Printing photos yourself is fairly easy, but probably isn’t the best option unless you plan on printing a lot of photos on a regular basis. You don’t want to use any old printer you have lying around and print them out onto a typical piece of printer paper. You’ll want a printer specifically designed for photos and specialty photo paper for it. As this will be an inkjet printer, you’ll also need to pay the high price of printer ink — not even just black ink, but color ink.

Still, you can do this. If you’re shopping for a new printer that lets you do this, be sure to get a printer that supports Apple’s “AirPrint.” iPhones and Macs have AirPrint support built in, so you can wirelessly print to these printers without any setup. If you have an old photo printer that doesn’t support AirPrint, there are ways to make a printer connected to a Mac or PC AirPrint-compatible. You could also purchase photo-printers designed specifically for iPhones, but that’s a bit of a marketing gimmick — any AirPrint-enabled photo printer will do.

If you do have an AirPrint-enabled printer that’s good for photos, you’re ready to go. You just have to open the Photos app on your iPhone, tap a photo, and tap the Share button at the bottom-left corner of your screen. Tap Print and you’ll be able to print it. Your iPhone will automatically detect and list nearby AirPrint-enabled printers, so you can select and print to them.

Print Photos and Pick Them Up at a Nearby Store

You could also use an app that uploads your photos to a nearby business with a photo-printing service, allowing you to pick them up. It’s just like going to the neighborhood photo-processing store years ago — except you can send your photos there ahead of time. No need to drop off a roll of film ahead of time.

The Walgreens app offers this feature, allowing you to order photo prints from your phone and go pick them up. Target offers this service in partnership with Shutterfly. Stores with KODAK Kiosks — including CVS and Target stores — offer this through KODAK Kiosk Connect.

Kicksend also offers this feature, bringing together a list of Walgreens, CVS, and Target stores where you can order photo prints and pick them up into a single app. It’s an easy way to find the nearest location to you where you can pick up those photos.

Print Photos and Have Them Mailed to You

But why bother heading out to a store to pick up those photos? If you’re not in as much of a rush, you could order photo prints online and have them mailed to you.

The Kicksend app offers this feature, too — it encourages you to have photos printed and mailed to you instead of having them picked up. Other options include FreePrints, which isn’t actually free but charges you for shipping, SnapFish, and PostalPix. You’ll find many, many other mail-order photo-printing services with a quick search on the App Store.


If you are thinking about buying your own photo-printer, give it some thought first. The cost of a printer, photo paper, and ink can be significant. You’re probably better off ordering the occasional photo online or picking it up at a local store. Print quality can also suffer unless you have a high-quality photo printer with fresh ink.

Image Credit: Maxime Raphael on Flickr

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 06/30/15
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