How To Scan Documents With Your iPhone

With iOS 13 it is easy to use your iPhone as a scanner and scan single or multi-page documents. You can scan directly to iCloud Drive and then your documentd would be on your Mac without any additional steps. You can even scan while away from your home or office and they documents will end up in the same place with no extra effort. Your iPhone will flatten the pages and make adjustments automatically.

Comments: 30 Responses to “How To Scan Documents With Your iPhone”

    Fred
    3 weeks ago

    Could you please explain to all of us amateurs how you created the scans document folder with all the options you presented in it. Or have you already a video showing how to create that document for cloud drive? Thank you, love your daily video’s through YouTube each day.

    3 weeks ago

    Fred: It is just a plain folder. I just created a new folder like you would create any new folder. In the Finder on Mac, use File, New Folder. On iOS in the Files app you do it with the same three dots you see when I do a scan (at 1:12, for instance). You can create your folder anywhere you want on iCloud Drive and call it what you want. You don’t need to do it the same as me.

    Ronald Hecker
    3 weeks ago

    Great article. I don’t know what scanner you have but Fujitsu did upgrade their software to 64 bit so I can keep using my Scansnap.

    3 weeks ago

    Ronald: Not for the ScanSnap S1500M. Official word for this scanner: “No further updates will be provided to the ScanSnap software… please consider purchasing a ScanSnap that is currently available.”

    frank
    3 weeks ago

    Gary, this scanner has overlap (black edges in the video) on the left and bottom edges of the document. The Dropbox and OneDrive app scanners don’t overlap the page edges such as the scanner on the Files app does. Thanks for your videos.

    Robert Phillips
    3 weeks ago

    I scanned a doc into Files and can open it in iOS but it won’t open on my Mac mini running Catalina?

    3 weeks ago

    Robert: What do you mean by “won’t open?” Was there an error message? Perhaps you tried it before the file was fully transferred via iCloud to your Mac?

    Robert Phillips
    3 weeks ago

    There was a error message and I restarted and reset Pram and it opened, but, it doesn’t do OCR on the doc on the Mac at least.

    3 weeks ago

    Robert: The OCR is for searching, you won’t find the actual text itself anywhere.

    Karl
    3 weeks ago

    Gary, how do you get rid of the black boarders on the left and the bottom?

    3 weeks ago

    Karl: For the most part, you don’t. If these are just quick scans to keep a copy of the document for your records, then just let them be. If you really want to get rid of it though, you can use an app like Preview. You can select the area you want to keep in the Markup tools and then use Tools, Crop to hide the area you don’t want.

    Peter from Perth
    3 weeks ago

    Another great video. Many thanks. The only problem I have had with this method is that the scanned documents seem to be much larger files than if scanned with a dedicated scanner. But very handy when out and about.

    Ricardo
    3 weeks ago

    Fujitsu has repeatedly stated they will not support older 32 bit scanners (ScanSnap 500M for me). I passed the iPhone tip to my iPhone people.

    TOM BENSON
    3 weeks ago

    outstanding video for scanning documents with iphone!
    thanks so much

    Vicky
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Gary – so useful thank you, and such good timing as I’m sending out a scanned Christmas menu to a group of friends. Not sure though how to email the scan as a pdf attachment. I really appreciate all your videos and your great website! Best wishes from the UK.

    Daniela
    3 weeks ago

    can you use an iPad to scan instead of an iPhone

    3 weeks ago

    Daniela: Yes. Try it.

    Eric
    3 weeks ago

    Hi Gary. Another useful tutorial. I don’t know what your old scanner is but have you looked at the VueScan app from Hamrick Software (www.hamrick.com)? It runs on Catalina (and earlier releases) and supports many scanners. I have no affiliation to the company other than having been a satisfied user of the app for years.

    Eric
    3 weeks ago

    Just checked. It looks as though your scanner is supported by VueScan … https://www.hamrick.com/vuescan/fujitsu_scansnap_s1500.html

    3 weeks ago

    Eric: Yes, I know. But $100. Fortunately, I have plenty of old Macs around I can hook it up to if I really need it. That’s a better option for me. Still, if I didn’t have this iPhone option I’d probably try out that app.

    Jim Goddard
    3 weeks ago

    Very helpful video.

    Mike
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks for this Gary. I often want to scan something for my blog and this will help me do it when away from my computer.

    Is there a way to save these scans as JPG file? Except for exporting from preview, I’m not sure how to do it in my iPhone.

    3 weeks ago

    Mike: Just like on a Mac you’d need to find an app that can convert PDFs to JPEG images. Can’t think of one off the top of my head, but there may be something out there.

    Peter
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you very much Gary! I’m in the same boat as you with my scanning and software updates. I’ve just scanned an important document, that I have saved and can now throw out – BRILLIANT❗️

    Dennis
    7 days ago

    Scanning is also available from the Notes app. Just select the camera icon at the bottom of a page, and it will open with an option to take a picture or scan.

    David
    6 days ago

    Hi Gary,
    Love all you do for us and I am a Patreon supporter. One question…the problem I have when using my iphone 11 to scan is the file size become enormous…each page is 5 to 7 MB even though it’s just a PDF. so a few pages become too large to email. is there any built in solution to reduce file size?

    thanks

    5 days ago

    David: Thanks! One your Mac, you could always open them up in Preview and then do File, Export and select the Reduce File Size Quartz Filter. When scanning you also have options that I briefly show to use black and while, which may help.

    Eric W.
    3 days ago

    Hi Gary,
    The question I have is; I created a file (“Scanz”) on my iPhone in the iCloud Documents folder, but am not seeing it being populated on my Mac through iCloud. On the contrary, I tried creating a similar file (“Scanz2”) on my Mac>iCloud>Documents and it immediately populated on my iPhone. With that being said, I tried scanning a doc (3.4 MB in size) into that Scanz2 file which worked, however, it still has not populated on my Mac’s Scanz2 folder. Thoughts?

    3 days ago

    Eric: Hard to say what could be wrong. Try the usual things: restarts, maybe logging out and back in.

    Eric W.
    3 days ago

    Gary: Thank you, that actually worked. Anyone having the same issue with iCloud folders not syncing between your devices, try logging out of your Mac’s user account and then log back in (not iCloud, but AppleLogo>Log Out *name*>Log back in). Not sure what the bug was, but after doing this my folders were in sync instantly as well as any scanned documents within them. I originally thought it was due to the scanned document size not loading quickly, but that was not the case.

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