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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 26, 2007
This is a bit tricky and I only have got it to work for Outlook 2007 via our Office Server Machine (but should work for Thunderbird etc. as long as you can create a custom toolbox rule and have a machine that is always on - printer attached - could be a home pc or office server). I should also say that an Outlook plug-in from MAPILab called Print Tools is very handy as it adds the functionality (to Outlook) to print attachments automatically (.doc, .xls, .pdf - all which the iPhone can view). Print Tools is not required but has a free 30 fully functional demo.

This tip creates a rule in Outlook so that when you Forward an email (or a original email note) from your iPhone (or any email capable phone) to your email account with the subject words "Print Me" or "To Printer", the email is automatically printed (with attachments) and waiting for you when you get the office or back home.

1. In Outlook, from the Tools menu select Rules & Alerts.

2. From here you copy the "Clear categories on mail" - as this is a Toolbox Rule. Outlook will ask you what Folder you want to copy this rule to - Inbox is default or you can select your specific email account - Click OK.

3. You should now have a new Toolbox rule called "Copy of Clear Categories on mail" - Double Click it to edit.

4, Next in the Rules Wizard (Step 1: Select conditions) uncheck "from people or distribution list" and check "with specific words in the subject" Below in the (Step 2:) window you will see the rule list being built.

5. You will want to click on the blue "specific words" and add "Print Me" or "To Printer" to the rules subject line search list (when you forward the message this is what you will replace the subject line with so your office or home computer knows that this email is one you want printed). Click Next.

6. In the next (Step 1:) action window now check "Print it". Click next.

6a. Skip if you are NOT going to use the MAPILab Print Tools add in. If you are then you need to change step 6. to Perform a Custom action (unchecking "Print it") and in the Custom action dialog select "Print Tools" from the drop down and then below define the Select Custom action to "Print message and attachments". - This will print the email and any attachments.

7. "Step 1:" will now be to Specify a name for this Rule. I called it "Remote Printing". Also on this page check "Turn on this rule" and click finish.

Send yourself or forward an email from your iPhone with the printing keywords you defined in the subject - and watch it print the email automatically (when Outlook next check for mail that is) - You can add more steps to the rule you just created to delete the email after it has printed or move it to a specific folder etc. You could have it only print if received from your email address etc. also.

If your server or home pc is not set to check for email every xx minutes then you will need to do so by Menu bar "Options", Tab "Mail Setup", Button "Send/Receive" and change the default check period or online and offline.

Alternatively you (if you are an administrator) create a email address and a rule to have any mail that arrives in that box just be automatically printed.

I have found this very useful on my train commute of about an hour each morning. I can read my email and if important simply forward it to print. All of the email that I would have had to taken time to print when I got to the office is ready and waiting for me.


macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2007
Printing from iPhone is actually pretty easy...

I originally posted the above 27 Sept 07, the gist of which is similar to what you did:

How to Print from Your Iphone.

Of course, this works for more than just the iPhone, any PDA phone that can send email can use this procedure. The biggest question might be 'Why bother?'. Just to say you can is fun. One simple practical reason would be that perhaps you have someone who is computer illiterate, yet you would like to have them get an email, document or photo. This tip shows you how to make the message and attachments automagically print what you want and nothing else.


1. Do a search for, and download 'automatic print mail'
2. Get a free gmail or other internet pop accessable email account. I made one called (Don't worry, you can easily make it so those viagra ads and other spam or any other unwanted email never prints, thus this special email account.
3. If using gmail, go to settings and enable pop
4. Important: Set up a filter to auto-delete all email not from your main email that you will send print jobs from.
5. Setup the automatic print mail program to check and print both the email message and attachment automatically, or whichever you prefer (i have it delete the email from that pop account afterward).
6. Now, any email you send that has an attachment will print both the email and the attachment. If it's just the email it will print the email. If any spam or any other person sends to it, it will not print. You also have the option of creating a filter on that app, which you have to have running on a windows system somewhere with a printer.
7. Think of it as a way to have a computer with internet access and a printer to act as a simple fax machine that you can fax to from your email app on your phone or other computer.

Now to figure out how to make a web page print. :)


macrumors newbie
Aug 11, 2009
Is it possible to print from an iPhone using a USB cable?

Is it possible to print documents from an iPhone using a USB cable? I work in a couple of locations that have printer/copiers that are not hooked up to a computer.
One is a Canon imageclass D320 that has a USB port - it's too old for wifi, but it's dependable. I don't want to buy a new set of peripherals every couple of years. There's no wifi in that location.
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