Can You Hook a Kindle to a Printer?

by Melly Parker

Amazon's Kindle is a tablet/e-reader you can use to go online, read e-books, communicate with friends and interact with apps. Some Kindle models run apps that contain documents or images you may want to print. Unfortunately, Kindle isn't designed with a printer hook-up that connects to a printer. You have to work around the hardware limitations to print documents and images from your Kindle.

Kindle Models

Of the two main lines of Kindle -- the e-reader and the Kindle Fire tablet -- only the e-reader can print from the device itself without third-party help. Even the e-reader can't print without being hooked up to a computer. To print from the e-reader, select the text you want to print with the cursor and wheel on your Kindle, then copy it so that it's moved to your clippings. Once you're done, hook it to your computer and open the My Clippings file.

Printer Hookups and Software Issues

To print from a Kindle e-reader, hook up the Kindle to a computer that is connected to a printer. The Kindle should connect to your computer with a USB cable. Even a printer that can be connected to devices with a USB cable won't be able to print Kindle documents because it is incompatible with the Kindle's software. The reason you can't print from a Kindle is that there is no software in a Kindle that speaks to the software in a printer. The way your computer connects to your printer is through compatible software. That software doesn't exist in the Kindle and therefore you can't print without an intermediary -- your computer.

Kindle Fire Apps

As printers become more compatible with mobile devices, printer companies and third parties have released apps for the Kindle Fire that allow you to print directly from the device. You have to install it and allow the third-party access. Before you download an app -- especially one that costs money -- ensure that it is compatible with the printer you intend to use. In the Device area under Quick Settings, you can allow installation of apps that aren't from the Kindle Store, which will enable you to install printer apps from a website.

Solutions

An alternate solution, if you don't have a compatible printer, is to email yourself the document or image you want to print. You can also transfer it from your Kindle to your computer via a USB cable. Once it's on your computer, open the media in the appropriate program. Use that program to print from the printer connected to your computer.

About the Author

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.

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