How to Scan on iPhone?

Software FAQ

If you find yourself needing to sign, scan, and send a document but don’t have access to a dedicated scanner or all-in-one printer, don’t worry! You might have a powerful scanner right at your fingertips—your iPhone or iPad.

When we say scanning, we don’t mean simply taking a picture and cropping it later. That can be more hassle than it’s worth. Instead, let’s utilize the built-in document scanner tucked away in Apple’s Notes app. This feature was introduced in iOS 11 back in 2017, but if you don’t regularly use Apple’s Notes app, you might be unaware of its existence.

In the following guide, we’ll not only reveal where to find this hidden scanner but also explain how to use it effectively. Additionally, we’ll provide some general tips to help you make the most out of this valuable, yet often overlooked, feature.

Scanning Documents with Your iPhone or iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

To scan documents using your iPhone or iPad, follow these simple steps:

  1. Prepare the Document

    Find a flat surface in a well-lit area and place the document(s) you want to scan on it. Consider creating a dedicated folder, like “Scanned Documents,” in the Notes app to conveniently store and locate your scans.

  2. Open the Notes App

    Launch the Notes app on your device. Create a new note or open an existing one where you want to save the scanned document.

  3. Access the Scanner

    Once you have a note open, tap on the camera icon located within the note. From the camera options that appear, select “Scan Documents.”

  4. Position and Capture

    Your device’s camera will activate, displaying a shutter button at the bottom of the screen. However, instead of immediately pressing the shutter button, carefully follow the on-screen prompts. For optimal results, hold your device directly above the document.

  5. Automatic Scanning

    As you position your device, a yellow box will appear, indicating that the camera is scanning and searching for the document. Helpful tips like “get closer” may appear as the device detects the edges and corners of the paper. Once the entire document is recognized, the scan will be automatically captured. In case your iPhone or iPad is having trouble detecting the document, you can manually press the shutter button.

  6. Multi-Page Scanning

    Each scanned page will appear as a small thumbnail in the bottom-left corner, allowing you to scan multiple pages in one session. The scanner will remain open until you finish scanning all the desired pages.

  7. Save the Scan

    Once you have completed scanning, tap the “Save” button to store the scanned document within the note.

How to Scan on iPhone?

By following these steps, you can easily scan documents using the built-in scanner feature of your iPhone or iPad. Enjoy the convenience of digitizing your important paperwork with just a few simple taps.

Enhance Your Scans: Fine-tuning for the Perfect Result

Once you’ve completed scanning the document, you have the option to make adjustments and optimize the scan. Here’s how:

  1. Access the Scanned Document: Open the scanned document within the Notes app by tapping on it. This will display the document with editing tools along the bottom of the screen.
  2. Utilize Editing Tools: Look for the various editing tools available for refining your scan. These tools allow you to perform tasks such as defining the corners, changing the color scheme, rotating the document, or adding additional pages if needed.
  3. Adjust Corners and Crop: To ensure precise scanning, use the crop tool to adjust the corners of the document or remove specific sections that you don’t want to include. A helpful tip is to position your finger near the small circle located on each corner of the document, which also functions as a magnifying glass. This allows you to have a clear view of your adjustments without obstructing them.
How to Scan on iPhone?

By utilizing these editing tools, you can fine-tune your scanned documents, ensuring they meet your desired specifications. Enjoy the flexibility and control to obtain the perfect scan for your needs.

Sign, Share, or Save Your Scanned Document: A Guide

Once you have scanned and adjusted your document, you have several options to consider. You can store it within the Notes app for future reference, sign it digitally, and share it with others. Here’s how:

  1. Access the Share Sheet: When viewing the scanned document, tap the share button located in the top-right corner of the screen. This will bring up the share sheet, providing various sharing and saving options.
  2. Add Your Signature: To digitally sign the document, scroll down below the app shortcuts in the share sheet and tap on “Markup.” This will open the markup tool, which offers features to draw, write, add text, or insert your signature. To explore all available tool options, tap the “+” sign.
  3. Sign and Annotate: Use the markup tools to sign or annotate the document according to your preferences. You can add your signature, draw or write on the document, or include text as needed.
  4. Share or Save: Once you have finished signing or annotating the document, you can proceed to share it. From the share sheet, you can email it, save it to the Files app, or treat it like any other document on your iPhone or iPad. Choose the option that suits your requirements best.

With these steps, you can confidently sign, share, or save your scanned documents directly from the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad. Enjoy the convenience of managing and distributing your scanned documents digitally.


Can I scan multiple pages into a single document using the iPhone or iPad scanner?

Yes, you can scan multiple pages into a single document using the scanner feature on your iPhone or iPad. After scanning the first page, the scanner will remain open, allowing you to continue scanning additional pages. Simply tap on the “+” button to add more pages to your document. Once you have scanned all the necessary pages, you can save or share the multi-page document.

Can I convert a scanned document into a different file format, such as PDF?

Yes, you can convert a scanned document into different file formats, including PDF, using the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad. After scanning the document, open it in the Notes app and tap on the share button. From the share sheet, select the “Create PDF” option. This will convert your scanned document into a PDF file, which you can then save or share as needed.

Is it possible to edit or make further adjustments to a scanned document after it has been saved?

Yes, you can edit or make additional adjustments to a scanned document even after it has been saved. Open the document in the Notes app and tap on it to access the editing tools. You can use the crop tool to redefine the corners, rotate the document, change the color scheme, or even add more pages. These editing options provide flexibility in modifying your scanned document to meet your specific requirements.

Joshua Brick
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