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How to Scan Papers on iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide

In today's fast-paced digital world, the ability to quickly and efficiently scan documents using your smartphone can be incredibly beneficial. Whether you need to capture a receipt, scan an important document, or digitize notes, your iPhone has got you covered. In this guide, we'll explore various methods to scan papers on your iPhone, including using built-in features and third-party applications.

Why Scan Papers on iPhone?


Scanning papers directly from your iPhone means you don't need to find a physical scanner or multifunction printer. It's quick, easy, and available whenever you need it.


Your iPhone is always with you, making it possible to scan documents on the go, whether you're at home, in the office, or traveling.


Modern iPhones come equipped with advanced camera technology that can capture high-quality scans, rivaling traditional scanners.

Built-in Features for Scanning Papers

Using the Notes App

The Notes app on iPhone has a built-in document scanner that is highly efficient and easy to use. Follow these steps to scan documents using the Notes app:

  1. Open the Notes App: Launch the Notes app from your home screen.
  2. Create a New Note: Tap the create button (a square with a pencil) at the bottom-right corner to start a new note.
  3. Access the Scanner: Tap the camera icon above the keyboard, then select "Scan Documents."
  4. Position Your Document: Place your document on a flat surface and position your iPhone camera over it. The app automatically detects the edges of the document.
  5. Capture the Scan: Once the document is in focus, press the shutter button to capture the scan. You can adjust the corners of the scan if necessary.
  6. Save the Scan: Tap "Keep Scan" if you are satisfied with the result, or "Retake" to capture a new scan. When finished, tap "Save" to store the scanned document within your note.

Using the Files App

The Files app also offers a built-in document scanner that is intuitive and straightforward:

  1. Open the Files App: Find and open the Files app on your iPhone.
  2. Initiate Scan: Tap on the browse tab at the bottom-right corner, then tap on the three-dot menu icon at the top-right corner.
  3. Select "Scan Documents": From the menu, choose the "Scan Documents" option.
  4. Follow Similar Steps as Notes App: The scanning process is similar to that of the Notes app. Position your document, capture the scan, and save it.

Using Third-Party Applications

While the built-in features are convenient, third-party applications can offer enhanced functionalities such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), cloud storage integration, and more. Here are some of the top-rated scanning apps for iPhone:

  • Adobe Scan: Adobe Scan offers powerful OCR, automatic edge detection, and integration with Adobe Document Cloud.
  • CamScanner: CamScanner provides excellent scanning quality and features like OCR, cloud storage, and collaboration tools.
  • Microsoft Office Lens: Office Lens is a go-to app for Microsoft users, offering seamless integration with OneDrive, OneNote, and more.

Step-by-Step Guide Using Adobe Scan

  1. Download and Install Adobe Scan: Visit the App Store, download Adobe Scan, and install it on your iPhone.
  2. Launch the App: Open Adobe Scan from your app drawer.
  3. Sign In or Create an Account: You may need to sign in with an Adobe account or create a new one.
  4. Start a New Scan: Tap the camera icon to start a new scan.
  5. Position Your Document: Place your document on a flat surface and center it within the screen frame. The app will automatically detect the edges.
  6. Capture the Scan: Press the shutter button to capture the scan. Adobe Scan will automatically clean up the edges and enhance the quality.
  7. Review and Save: You can review the scanned document, make adjustments, crop, and enhance it as needed. Tap "Save PDF" to store your scanned document in Adobe Document Cloud or your preferred location.

Tips and Best Practices for Scanning Papers on iPhone

  1. Use Good Lighting: Ensure the document is well-lit to avoid shadows and enhance scan quality.
  2. Flat Surface: Place the document on a flat, nonslippery surface to avoid any distortions.
  3. Hold Steady: Keep your hand steady while capturing the scan to ensure clear and sharp images.
  4. Avoid Reflections: Be mindful of reflections or glare, especially when scanning glossy documents.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Blurry Scans

  • Ensure sufficient lighting and hold the iPhone steady. Clean the camera lens if necessary.

Edge Detection Issues

  • Manually adjust the corners during the scanning process if the app fails to detect the edges correctly.

Save and Share Problems

  • Confirm you have granted the necessary permissions to save and share documents within the app settings.


Scanning papers on an iPhone is a breeze with the right tools and techniques. Whether you use the built-in features of the Notes and Files apps or opt for third-party applications like Adobe Scan, you can achieve high-quality scans with ease. Follow the steps and best practices outlined in this guide to enhance your productivity and ensure your documents are always at your fingertips.

By mastering the art of scanning documents on your iPhone, you can streamline your workflow, reduce clutter, and access important information on the go. Happy scanning!

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