Scan documents on your iPhone in just a few taps

If you need to scan a document, your smartphone is often the most convenient option – after all, most of us have our phone close at hand most of the time. Taking a usable snapshot of a document with your camera can be tricky, so you may think you need to install a special scanning app on your iPhone. But we’ll show you otherwise!
Since factors like lighting, other objects nearby, and getting the right angle make it hard to take a usable photo of a document, you may have thought about looking for a free scanner app for your iPhone. What many people don’t realize that since iOS 11, the preinstalled Notes app in their iPhone has included a document scanner. And for those of you who use the Mail App for iOS – which of course we highly recommend! – you can use it to scan documents and immediately send them as email attachments, store them in your Cloud, or save them to your device’s hard drive.

How to scan a document with an iPhone:

  1. Scan with the Mail App
  2. Scan with Notes
Woman holds iPhone above pad of paper
The Mail App for iOS includes a convenient document scanning function 

Scan document on iPhone with the app for iOS

With the Mail App on your iPhone, you have the tool you need to scan documents in a few taps and save them right in your Cloud – where they won’t take up space on your phone and are automatically available on any device where you access your account. Just follow these easy steps:
  1. In the Mail App, tap the Cloud tab
  2. Tap the + symbol in the upper right corner
  3. Select Scan documents
  4. Position the document you want to scan in the viewfinder
  5. The app will automatically detect the document and define the area to scan
  6. Press the button in the bottom center of the screen to take the scan, or wait a moment for the scan to start automatically
  7. If you would like to scan another page, repeat steps 4 - 6
  8. Once you have scanned all your pages, tap Save
  9. Enter a name for your document and press OK
  10. Your scanned document is now saved to your Cloud
To view your scan, simply tap the saved document in the Cloud. Once you have tapped the document to open it, you will also see options to send it as an email attachment, delete it, move it to a folder, or create a link to share it with a trusted contact.
Screenshot of scan document function in Mail App Cloud
Scan your document in our Mail App for convenient online storage and sharing

If you don’t have the Mail App installed on your iPhone yet, follow this link to get started with our iOS email and cloud app.
Pro tip: If you’d like to scan a document to send as an email attachment, in our Mail App you can create a scan directly from your email. Once you are composing the email, just tap the paperclip attachment symbol and select the Scan document option. Then follow steps 4 to 8 above. After you tap Save, your scan will automatically appear as a PDF attachment to your email.
Screenshot of scan document function in Mail App compose email
Create a scanned attachment directly in your email

How to scan using iPhone with Notes app

If you want to scan a document with your iPhone, there is no need to look for a separate free scanner app. Although the iPhone scanner function is hidden in the Apple Notes app, it has been a standard feature for several years now. Here’s how it works:
  1. Open the preinstalled Notes app on your iPhone
  2. Create a new note by tapping the note icon in the lower right corner
  3. A menu will appear above a screen keyboard. Tap the camera icon on this menu
  4. Select Scan Documents
  5. Position the document you want to scan in the phone’s viewfinder
  6. The app should detect the document and capture the scan automatically. However, if it is in manual mode, you may have to press the button to activate the scan. You can toggle between Auto and Manual mode in the upper right corner of the screen.
  7. You can drag the corners of the page to adjust the scan if necessary
  8. If you are not happy with the scan, tap Retake. If you would like to scan additional pages, repeat steps 5-7.
  9. When you have scanned all your pages and are satisfied with your scan, tap Save
  10. Tap Done and your scan will be saved in the Note app, where you will be able to locate it later
  11. Tap the share icon to send the scan to someone else, print it, or save it to your files on your phone
Now you have two methods at your fingertips to scan documents with your iPhone at any time! We recommend using the Mail App to scan documents, since it offers the added convenience of storing your scans automatically in the secure Cloud. Here they are always available on any device where you log in to your account, and it’s a snap to send them by email attachment or share link!

We hope you found this article helpful. Before you get busy scanning, please give us some feedback below!

Images: 1&1/Pexels

271 people found this article helpful.

Related articles

How to sync your email address book with your iPhone contacts

How to turn off autocorrect on your phone

How do I set up email on an iPhone?