How to Scan Documents With iPhone or iPad


With the rollout of iOS 13 in late 2019, Apple finally added the ability to scan documents directly into your your device natively, without having to use a third-party app like Microsoft’s Office Lens. Apple now lets you scan documents directly into your iPhone or iPad in the Notes app. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

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Steps to Scan Documents with iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the “Notes” app on your iPhone or iPad. Tap to either open a new Notes file, or tap to open the existing note you want to scan a document into.
  2. Tap anywhere in the note file to bring up the keyboard on the lower part of the screen. You’ll see a row of icons located directly above the keyboard. Tap the “Camera” icon in the row of icons. A menu flies up from the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap “Scan Documents” in the menu. The Camera app opens with a message prompting you to position the document on the screen.
  4. Position your iPhone or iPad camera over the document. You’ll see a yellow box appear over your document. The iPhone or iPad camera will be set to automatically capture scans of your document, which will be displayed as thumbnails in the lower left corner of the screen as they are captured. Alternatively, you can tap “Auto” in the upper right corner of the screen to change it to Manual, which means you’ll need to press the white button at the bottom of the screen to scan your documents in. As you scan documents in, you’ll see a count of your scanned documents in the lower right corner of the screen.
  5. Tap “Save” in the lower right corner to automatically add your scanned documents to your iPhone or iPad Notes file as a PDF.

To share your scanned document, simply tap your scanned file to focus on it, and then tap the “Send To” icon in the upper right corner of the screen. This will bring up a menu at the bottom of the screen where you can choose to send your scanned file to someone else using the Messages app or email, among other options. You can also choose to save it to connected third-party cloud storage services, such as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. Additionally, you’ll also see options where you can markup your scanned file or send it to a connected printer.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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