Print via email

The Print via email service enables you to send documents from your University of Bristol email account and then collect them from any Print Release capable devices. Please note the following:

  • Print via email should only be used where other methods are not working.
  • It should not be used for large or complex documents, or if it is important.

If Print via Email does not work, please use another method of printing (e.g. from a University computer).

How to print via email

Attach the document you want to print to an email in your University of Bristol email (Gmail) account and then send it to the appropriate email address.   for documents that you want to print in black and white, (greyscale). for documents that you want to print in colour.

Within about 5 minutes your document will have been added to the appropriate Print Release queue and you can collect it from a suitable Print Release capable printer in the normal manner. Note that you should collect colour documents from printers capable of printing in colour, they will print in greyscale if you collect them from a mono printer. You will be charged colour rates for any pages which actually contain colour.

Detailed information

Print via email enables you to send most documents to printers using your University email account. You can send the email from any kind of device that you can access your UoB email account on; including PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc..

You can send most popular file formats, including,  but not limited to:

• PDF & XPS files
• Microsoft Office or Open Office files (Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Powerpoint presentations and Publisher documents)
• Image files (JPG, TIF, GIF, BMP)
• Web pages (HTML)
• Text files (TXT, CSV), Rich Text (RTF) files

The system works by converting all incoming documents to PDF format, so documents with custom formatting may not print as intended. We advise transferring non-standard documents to open access computers and printing normally from there.

You can attach multiple files to one email, although it will take slightly longer to process them. Each attachment will be treated as a single print file, (i.e. 4 attachments will be considered as 4 print files and the release queue will show 4 different documents, when you log in to a printer.

You cannot send documents from other email accounts, emails sent from private or group email addresses will not work and your file will not be added into your Print Release queue. Only emails sent from your own University email account will work.

By default documents will print in black and white and on both sides of the paper, though you can change this on the printer by choosing your document and clicking on 'Options', before selecting 'Colour' or 'Single-sided'. Note that colour documents will still only print in black and white on black and white printers!

When composing the email to click on the paperclip button at the bottom, to attach files. Each file that you attach will become a document in your release queue and you can attach several files to the same email. When you have finished attaching documents then click SEND to submit your files to the Print Release system.

Picture of Gmail showing attachments button


Note that you cannot send attachments larger than 25MB using GMail.

Only attachments will be printed, the email subject and body text will not be printed.

Once you have sent the email, the documents will be held in your Print Release queue for 12 hours for you to collect, before being automatically deleted.


  • I've sent an email, but nothing shows up in my print queue?
  1. You must send your email with attachments to be printed from your University email account (i.e. a or account) or nothing will happen. The system recognises who you are because it recognises your University email address and adds the documents to your Print Release queue.
  2. The text in the email will never be printed, just attachments.
  3. Your email should be less than 25MB in size, including all attachments.
  4. You may need to wait up to 10 minutes at particularly busy times for your document to appear in your Print Release queue. The email takes time to be delivered before the attachments are converted to PDFs and processed.
  5. If you have recently changed your mailname (email alias) and are sending from this new alias then the Print Release service will not recognise this new email address until automatic updates have completed on the following morning. Try printing from an open access computer in the meantime.
  6. If you still don't have any success, please check the IT Status page and if necessary contact the IT Service Desk.
  • I sent a file from a specialist application and it failed to print correctly.
  1. If you want to print a document type not listed above, particularly from course-specific software, then it's worth saving it in a generic format first and sending that. For instance, you may be able to save your file as a PDF, HTML or Microsoft Word document, which can be sent via email instead.  We cannot guarantee that every variant of every filetype will print correctly; but if you can save into a common format before emailing it then most document will print correctly.