How to Scan on iPhone

June 29, 2022 • Devin Partida


We live in a highly digitized world. It’s understandably convenient to pull up a digital copy of your rental agreement, employment contract or another important document at any time. Otherwise, there’s a fairly high chance of those physical documents getting lost or damaged. Fortunately, if you have an iPhone, there’s no need to purchase a separate scanner. Here’s how to scan on iPhone with simple steps. 

How to Scan on iPhone Using the Notes App

The easiest way to scan stuff on the iPhone is to use the Notes app that comes on the device. Start by launching the Notes app and creating a new note or tapping an existing one. Then, tap the Camera button and choose Scan Documents. 

If you have the Auto mode activated, the iPhone automatically takes the scan once the document is clear and lined up in the frame. Be sure to hold the iPhone steady to get the best results during this step. 

When Manual mode is turned on, you’ll need to tap the shutter or one of the volume buttons to take the picture. You’ll then see the document framed on screen, and you can drag the corners so the scan only captures the information you want. 

You can instantly review how a scan looks after the iPhone takes it. Select Keep Scan if you like the results or Retake Scan to make another attempt. 

After that, you’ll see on-screen options that let you save the scan. If you’re not done, follow the same process to take more scans. Your iPhone will save all those documents together in a single file. 

How to Scan on iPhone With the Files App

Another option is to use the iPhone’s Files app to handle your document-scanning needs. Start by going into the Files app and tapping the three dots in the upper right corner. Then, choose the Scan Documents option. 

You can then position your document in the frame and will see options along the top of the screen that let you turn the flash on or off or apply a filter. You can also activate the Auto setting so there’s no need to tap the shutter button when taking the scan.

After taking a picture of the document, you can crop the image if needed. Otherwise, tap the Save button. Files works the same way as the Notes app in that it allows you to take several scans in a row and save them all as one file. 

Should You Use a Third-Party iPhone Scanning App?

The above methods teach you how to scan on iPhone without downloading any extra apps. However, some of them offer features you might need or want, such as password protection and the ability to annotate scanned documents. 

You might also use a third-party app to scan on your iPhone if you like the reliability that comes with using products from certain brands. Adobe and Microsoft are among the well-known companies that have scanning apps for iPhone users.

Another possibility is that your workplace may require you to use a particular app when scanning documents on an iPhone. That’s because many options have encryption, multifactor authentication and other security features that are wise to use when working with potentially sensitive material. 

Consider trying the other methods to scan with your iPhone first, especially due to the built-in functionality that lets you get started right away. Then, check out third-party iPhone scanning apps if you’d like more features. Many are free or they at least let you try the apps before committing to purchase something. 

iPhone Scanning Is a Smart Solution

The possibilities are endless regarding the ways you might apply your new knowledge of how to scan on iPhone. Maybe you want to capture a scan of the permission form your child took to school before an upcoming field trip. You could also scan the identification page of your passport, making it easier to keep that travel document in a safe place. 

Using your iPhone as a scanner is also an environmentally friendly solution when you need to distribute documents to several people. Instead of printing numerous physical copies to pass out, you can scan one document and send that digital file to all intended recipients. That’s a quick method that doesn’t waste paper. Now that you know some straightforward ways to scan with the iPhone, how will you use these tips?