How to Print Text Messages from an iPhone or Android Device
Text messaging has become one of the most popular forms of communication between people in recent years, but it does have some disadvantages. One of these is that the message itself is limited to the device that it’s sent to. This makes sharing rather inconvenient, as you either have to show it to people individually or forward the message itself to multiple people.
Fortunately, technology provides ways to address this, for example printing these messages out. Not only does this make the electronic information on your cellphone more tactile, but it also gives you a way to record these messages for future use.
In this article, we’ll be showing you how to print text messages for those times that you may need to do so.
How to Directly Print Text Messages from an Android to a Printer
If you wish to print a message directly from your mobile phone to a printer, there are several requirements that you must meet. These are:
- Your Printer must be capable of connecting to Wi-Fi or a local network. Unless you have a Wi-Fi ready printer, direct printing will not be possible. To check Wi-Fi connectivity, refer to your printer’s manual. Alternatively, if you see a Wi-Fi button on your printer, then that’s a clear indication that it’s Wi-Fi ready.
- Your phone should be able to connect to a printer. As Android devices have various manufacturers, not all Android phones and tablets are guaranteed to be capable of connecting to a printer off the bat. To check, do the following:
a. Open your Settings menu. To do this, swipe down and then tap on the gear icon on your quick menu, or swipe up to bring up the app menu, and then look for then tap Settings.
b. On the search bar on the settings menu, type in Print, then tap Search.
c. If results such as Printing services, Print jobs or Printing show, then your phone is capable of direct printing.
- Both your Android phone and printer should be both connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Refer to your printer’s manual to check how to connect your particular printer model to your Wi-Fi.
Once you have both your printer and Android device connected, you can proceed with printing your text messages by following these steps:
- Take a screenshot of the message you want to print. This is necessary because Android has no built-in method to print messages directly from the texting app. To take a screenshot, hold down both the power and volume at the same time.
- Open your device’s Screenshots folder. This can be done by:
a. Opening the Apps Menu by swiping up while on the main screen.
b. Finding and tapping on the Files icon. This is usually represented by the image of a folder.
c. Opening the main menu by tapping on the three lines icon to the upper left.
d. Tapping on Images.
e. Tapping on Screenshots.
- Choose the image that has the messages that you want to print and then tap on it. If you are prompted to choose an app to open it in, the default Photos app should be fine.
- Tap on Share. This should be the three connected circles icon or Share icon.
- From the list of icons that appear, tap on Print.
- You will be given several printing options. Adjust them as desired. Once you’re done, tap on the dropdown arrow on the upper right corner, then select the name of your printer from the list.
- You will once again be given the chance to edit printer options, such as page range and the number of copies. Once you’ve confirmed that the current values are correct, tap on the Print button.
- If your printer is currently connected and turned on, it should automatically start printing.
- Repeat the process for all screenshots as needed.
How to Directly Print Text Messages from an iPhone to a Printer
Printing messages directly to a Printer can also be done when using an iPhone. To do this, follow these steps:
- Have a Wi-Fi capable printer ready and connected to the same network that your iPhone is using.
- Open the text message that you want to print.
- Take a screenshot of the message by pressing both the Power and Home button simultaneously (Or, if you don’t have a home button, press the Power button and the Up-Volume button). As mentioned, you will need to take screenshots as the iPhone text messaging app doesn’t have a direct way of printing conversations.
- Open the images of your saved conversations using the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down to the menu below, then tap on Print.
- Tap on Select Printer and choose the Printer that is currently connected to your Wi-Fi network.
- If your printer is on and currently connected, it should start printing automatically.
How to Print Text Messages from iCloud
The Apple iCloud allows users to backup data from their Apple devices to the cloud for later use. This is a great way to archive data but it doesn’t provide a way to directly print messages from the iCloud application itself. In order to get around this, you can install third-party software that allows you to print the messages instead.
AnyTrans is a good program to use, as its interface is rather intuitive, and it comes with a free trial if you only want to use it for a short time. Install AnyTrans on either your Mac or PC, then proceed with the instructions below.
In order to use the iCloud to print text messages, you’ll have to turn it on first. To do this, follow these steps:
- On your iPhone, open the App Menu.
- Scroll and tap on Settings.
- Tap on your iCloud account. If you don’t have one, you will need to sign up for one. Apple provides free storage for all iPhone users.
- On the menu below, tap on iCloud.
- Find the Messages icon, and make sure that the iCloud toggle is turned on.
Now that your iPhone has backed up your messages, you can print these files via a printer connected to a computer. You will be needing the AnyTrans app for this, so make sure that you already have it installed. Then, do the following:
- Open AnyTrans on your computer.
- Click on the iCloud Manager Tab.
- Open your iCloud account.
- On the Category page, find and click on iCloud Backup.
- From the list of devices, choose the one that has the messages that you wish to print.
- On the menu to the left, click on Messages.
- Find the message that you wish to print, then make sure that its check box has been toggled on.
- Click on the To Computer icon located on the upper right corner of the screen.
- On your computer, find the export folder. Messages should have been saved as html files, and images will be located on the img folder. Now you can use the printer connected to your computer to print the files.
How to Print Text Messages by Copying from a Phone to a PC First
Transferring text messages from your phone to your computer is also a feasible way to print them, although it will require third-party software. Mobile text messages come in a file format that is unreadable by your computer. If you want to use these text messages, you will first need to make them readable by your PC.
The advantage of this method is that you don’t need a Wi-Fi capable Printer to print the messages themselves. As long as you have a printerconnected to a computer that you’ll be sending the messages to, that will be enough. If you’re using an iPhone, refer to the iCloud transfer method asabove, as this would be the simplest way to do this on iOS. If you’re using an Android phone, choose one of the following apps:
Available for both Mac and Windows, the Android Manager app allows users to backup data including SMS messages from any Android device to a PC. It alsohas options for users to view and print text messages that have been transferred. It requires a USB cable to connect the phone to the computer, butmost android devices usually come with these included.
Android Manager is a paid software, but there’s a free trial period for those who want to try it out.
Another popular app for those who frequently transfer data from one phone to another is Dr. Fone. This app is free to download and use, and is also available for both Android and Mac. Similar to the Android Manager, you will need a USB cable to connect the phone and the computer.
Another free to use app, Android Mobile Recovery, not only transfers existing text messages from your phone to a PC, but it can also recoverpreviously deleted messages. It’s a handy backup utility if you wish to transfer messages from your phone to your computer.
The big difference between this app and the others is that your device needs to be Rooted if you wish to use it. If you already have a Rooted Androidphone, then that’s not a big problem. If you don’t want to do this, then choose one of the other apps instead.
Once you’ve transferred the messages using one of the applications above, then it’s just a matter of opening the messages on the PC. Once they’ve been opened through one of these apps, you can use the provided tools to print them out.
When printing text messages is discussed, this is usually the most common question asked:
Can I use these printouts for court as proof of communication?
Legally, electronic data such as text messages have the same legal weight as that of other printed documents. This means that they can be used as evidence of communication, but you will still need to meet a few requirements. Different states have different evidentiary stipulations, but the most common are authenticity, admissibility, and relevancy.
All of these requirements must be met in order for printed text messages to be accepted in court.
1. For printed text messages to be considered authentic, they must be identifiable using what is known as a digital signature. Essentially, you must be able to potentially prove that who you say sent the messages actually sent them.
2. For messages to be considered admissible, they must not have been obtained through illegal means. Some states have laws that make even authenticated messages inadmissible if they were retrieved through hacking or theft.
3. For a message to be considered relevant, they must be related to the legal question that is required to be proven in court. If the text message doesn’t prove or disprove a fact that is under legal questioning, then the judge may rule it as irrelevant and refuse to accept them as evidence.
Ultimately though, it’s up to the judge to accept text printouts as evidence. Although it must meet the three requirements, it’s still no guarantee that the judge will accept them.
Providing Physical Records
Printouts of text messages provide a physical record of what can be considered intangible data. Whether it be for legal reasons, or for record-keeping purposes, printing text messages can be very useful. All you need is the know-how.
Do you know of other ways to print text messages from your phone? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.