How to Print From iOS to Any Printer Using IFTTT , Dropbox and Automator

Posted in How To, iOS on 18/09/2012 by J. Glenn Künzler

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While Apple’s AirPrint technology is cool, it doesn’t work with the majority of printers on the market. There are a number of Mac apps that can solve this problem – but most of them cost a fair bit of money, and are inconvenient.

If you don’t feel like shelling out extra cash for a Mac app, or buying an AirPrint-compatible printer, Dave Caolo wrote a tip over at 52 Tiger that you just might find useful!

My printer, a Kodak 5250, does not support Apple’s AirPrint and likely never will. That’s too bad, because I’d like to print from my iPhone and iPad. Today I worked up a convoluted work-around with some additional benefits. 2 Best of all, it didn’t cost me a dime.

The idea is to create a folder in Dropbox and attach a Folder Actionto it that prints new additions. I use email to populate that folder and thereby trigger print jobs. Here’s how to set it up with IFTTT,Dropbox and Apple’s Automator.

As Caolo states, the workaround is a bit convoluted. It also requires your Mac to remain powered on if you want to print – but then again, so do all of the paid Mac apps attempting to work around the lack of AirPrint!

If you’d rather save some money, and you’ve got a few moments to set this up, head on over to 52 Tiger for all the details on how to make it work!

Update: As Dave notes in the comments, this doesn’t actually require your Mac to be powered on after all. Sorry for the confusion!


  • Thanks for posting this! I appreciate it. Note, however, that your Mac needn’t be powered on for this to work. Thanks again.

    • Ah – that’s good to know!

    • K Sapp

      Can you please explain your reasoning as to how this would work with the Mac being powered off? Automater requires the Mac to be turned on.

      • djunaidi

        I am also curious how can it will be work when your mac is off, please let us know how you could do it

Author

J. Glenn Künzler

Glenn is Managing Editor at MacTrast, and has been using a Mac since he bought his first MacBook Pro in 2006. Now he's up to his neck in Apple, and owns an old iBook, a 2012 iMac with an extra Thunderbolt display for good measure, a 4th-generation iPad, an iPad mini, 2 iPhones, and a Mac Mini that lives at the neighbor's house. He lives in a small town in Utah, enjoys bacon more than you can possibly imagine, and is severely addicted to pie.