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Technology has made printing documents on paper a lot less necessary than it used to be, which has left many people without printers. When the time comes, you may find yourself wondering, “Where can I print something for free?” The good news is you have options, and we’ll help you.

First, Get the File Ready to Print

Click Save as PDF in macOS

Before we go to find a printer to use, you’ll need to make sure the document is ready to print. There are a couple of different ways you can do this from your computer, but the first thing to do is “Print to PDF.”

The “Print to PDF” feature is essentially a way to save the document as it would be printed. Rather than choosing a printer during the printing process, you select “Print to PDF” instead. The document will be converted to PDF and saved on your device. This can be done on both Windows and Mac.

After you have the PDF, you’ll need to move it somewhere for printing. You could put it on a USB drive and take that to the printing place. Another option is to save it to a cloud storage service—such as Google Drive—if you will be able to access the internet on a computer with a printer.

Visit a Library

The typical library offers much more than just the ability to check out physical books. Many of them have computers and printers that you can use for free. Some will charge a fee if you have a lot to print, but it’s often the most affordable option.

Check your local library’s website for information about the services they provide. You may even find some other reasons to pick up a library card while you’re there.

Head to a Shipping Center

It’s pretty common for places that deal with shipping packages to also have printing services. UPS and FedEx are two businesses that do this and are found in many places. You may think of them for printing posters and signs, but they can also do standard-size documents.

Unlike the library, you’ll probably pay more for printing at these places. Still, the cost for a basic 8.5″x11″ document is typically very low. Expect to pay around $0.10 for single-sided black-and-white pages.

Brother HL-L3295CDW-Color Laser Printer Main Drawer
Patrick Campanale / How-To Geek

Depending on where you work, you may already have access to a printer that you can use for free. It’s often totally fair game to use your work printer for personal use. However—and this is a big however—you need to make sure it’s okay. Nobody wants to get fired for using a few pages of company paper. Check with the people in charge if it’s okay to use the printer.

Ask Your Friends

As a last resort—or maybe the first resort, if you don’t mind—you can simply ask a friend or family member if you can borrow their printer. We don’t like to stereotype, but there’s a good chance your older acquaintances still have a printer. It’s pretty common to keep a printer around for many years. It may not work well, but it’s free. Don’t be afraid to ask.

There you have it; there are options if you don’t feel like a printer is a worthwhile investment. For many people, that’s true. If you only print a few things a year, it’s probably not worth the hassle of dealing with a printer and ink or toner.