Scan Documents Directly To Your Mac Using Your iPhone

If you want to keep a paperless office, you need to be able to scan documents. Previously, you needed a scanner to do this. But today you can use your iPhone to scan documents quickly and easily. With Continuity Camera you can scan directly into your Mac using your iPhone. You need to make sure you have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled with both devices and that they are using the same Apple ID and latest macOS and iOS.



Having trouble with Continuity Camera? Check out this page: Use Continuity Camera on your Mac.

Comments: 31 Responses to “Scan Documents Directly To Your Mac Using Your iPhone”

    William Brandenburg
    7 months ago

    Gary, I’m not clear on one thing. Can this be done remotely or do the iPhone and Mac need to be in the same vicinity?
    Thanks

    7 months ago

    William: All “continuity” features rely on the devices being in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range of each other. If you want to scan something remotely with just your iPhone, you can use the Notes app or one of many third-party apps that do it on just the iPhone and transfer to your Mac via iCloud or some other method later.

    Joe JULIANO
    7 months ago

    You didn’t mention or I missed it
    How do you click scan ?
    What button
    OR
    once the camera sees it does it click automatically?? You didn’t mention?

    7 months ago

    Joe: It does it automatically. 1:36. You also have the camera shutter button (big circle, just like in the Camera app) if you are impatient.

    Eric Jackson
    7 months ago

    Thanks Gary, that was excellent!

    Bob
    7 months ago

    Hi Gary!
    everything is on…Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and I am updated on both my iMac and iPhone X, but it doesn’t want to work. I also tried rebooting the iPhone.
    Can u help me?
    Bob 

    Terry
    7 months ago

    Excellent video but cannot get it to work. MBP running Mojave, iPhone XR iOS 12.1.1. Both devices on the same network, both showing Bluetooth as connected and both signed into the same iCloud account. When I select the action and then Scan nothing happens and eventually I get a timed out message. What am I doing wrong?

    nick
    7 months ago

    hey Gary, do you think we might see third party OCR apps that could take advantage of this feature? That would be great for extracting data from receipts !!

    7 months ago

    Bob, Terry: Are you signed into the same Apple ID and using two-factor?

    7 months ago

    nick: Not sure. There may be some security issues with allowing third-party apps to use continuity like that. But perhaps try contacting your favorite OCR app developer and ask them if they plan to support this.

    Reid Engstrom
    7 months ago

    My phone does not go into the camera app and so the scan message on the Mac times out. I have both WIFI and bluetooth enabled on both devices and latest MacOS and iOS updates.

    Bob 
    7 months ago

    Yes Gary, signed into the same Apple ID and using two-factor.

    7 months ago

    Reid, Bob: Maybe test other continuity features too. Are you using fairly recent models of hardware? Maybe restarts will help. Maybe signing out and in to iCloud. It is hard for me to say why it isn’t working for some people. It will probably require firsthand troubleshooting.

    MURRAY G ATHERTON
    7 months ago

    Thanks, Gary….. at first the phone and MacBook didn’t connect…. but give it a few minutes and the phone will show up on the scan pulldown from the action button. Works fine! WOW…. I was using another app… saving the document … then emailing it to my MacBook to save to the desktop and then to the file location i wanted Now virtually seamless!

    Reid Engstrom
    7 months ago

    Signing out of and back into iCloud on my MBP fixed the issue.

    Terry
    7 months ago

    Yes Gary same as Bob using the same Apple ID and two factor. Will see what happens in the morning on start up.

    Stanley Greenberg
    7 months ago

    I used the Continuity Camera and the scanned document was 3.5 MB PDF. I scanned the same document with my Scansnap scanner and it was 785kb. Why the large discrepancy?

    7 months ago

    Stanley: Just image compression, I’d imagine.

    Candace
    7 months ago

    Bluetooth/wifi are both on. iCloud has two factor on. My Mac is up to date with Mojave. I am in a mail document in the body and I see Insert from my iPhone (8 with 12.1.2) but my iphone is greyed out. I can pick take photo or scan but it says it times out and the camera app never pops up to take the photo. I have tried the Mac on wired and wireless (I see they are both connected in bt). On the above advice I signed out of both my iPhone and Mac and signed back in. And it still doesn’t work?

    7 months ago

    Candace: Maybe try restarting both devices? Note: You shouldn’t “connect” the Mac and iPhone via Bluetooth. That doesn’t do anything.

    Terry
    7 months ago

    Gary; no luck with a reboot or signing out/in of the iCloud account. This issue seems to be just with the iPhone XR as the iPad and iPod work as they should. All settings on all devices appear to be the same. The MBP shows all 3 devices in bluetooth but none of the devices ‘see’ each other. All three are shown in the Finder action drop down.

    Wieland
    7 months ago

    I’m using an older iPhone SE. Worked first pop. – Thanks Gary.

    Jasper Robinson
    7 months ago

    I use this feature with whiteboards after meetings too. I like to add Comments to the PDF in Get Info/Inspector (e.g., Emma Meeting/Project xyz) so that I can get Spotlight to find it later.

    rocky
    7 months ago

    This works on my iMac for all pertinent apps except for finder. in finder, it is grayed out. What do you think is the problem?

    7 months ago

    rocky: Do you mean when you click the Tasks button in the toolbar, or when you right+click? Maybe try a different folder?

    Patrick Doering
    7 months ago

    Gary, I checked to make sure all requirements were met. When I select to take a photo from iPhone, I end up getting a “could not import from Pat’s iPhone – device timed out” message. What am I doing wrong?

    7 months ago

    Patrick: Try some of the suggestions in the other comments: switch bluetooth off and on again. Restart the devices. Etc.

    Adam
    7 months ago

    This is an Awesome example for this feature. I’m wowed. I will share with friends as well. Great job for showing off this feature.

    Judy Eastwood
    6 months ago

    My phone scans as you described, but I can’t seem to set up a folder to receive the scan. I don’t know where the scans are ending up. Your screen shows a “shared folder.” What am I missing?

    6 months ago

    Judy: If you are following what I am doing in the tutorial, then it should appear in the current folder, the one you are looking at in the Finder when you initiate the scan.

    Judy
    6 months ago

    Got it. What I missed was the “Save” part of your instructions. 🤪

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