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How to Scan with an iPhone: A Comprehensive Guide


In today’s digital age, the ability to quickly scan documents and images using your smartphone is invaluable. Apple’s iPhone, with its advanced camera technology and intuitive iOS features, makes document scanning seamless and accessible. This guide will walk you through how to scan with an iPhone, outlining each step in detail to ensure your scans come out perfect every time.

Why Use Your iPhone for Scanning?

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, let's discuss why you might want to use your iPhone for scanning documents:

  1. Convenience: No need for a bulky scanner. Your iPhone is always with you.
  2. Quality: With Apple's advanced camera technology, your scans will be high-resolution.
  3. Ease of Use: iOS offers built-in tools that make scanning straightforward and fast.
  4. Portability: Easily share your scanned documents via email, cloud storage, or other apps.


To follow this guide, ensure that your iPhone is running on iOS 11 or later. This version introduced the iPhone’s built-in 'Notes' app scanning feature, which we'll rely on heavily.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Scan with an iPhone

Step 1: Open the Notes App

  1. Find and open the Notes app on your iPhone.
  2. Create a new note by tapping the New Note icon at the bottom-right corner.

Step 2: Access the Scan Feature

  1. Inside the new note, tap the Camera icon located above the keyboard.
  2. Select "Scan Documents" from the options that appear.

Step 3: Align the Document

  1. Place your document on a flat, well-lit surface.
  2. Position your iPhone camera over the document. The app will automatically detect the document's edges.
  3. If the app doesn't automatically capture the scan, press the Shutter button.

Step 4: Adjust and Save the Scan

  1. Once the scan is captured, you can adjust the corners to ensure the document fits perfectly.
  2. Tap "Keep Scan" to save the scanned document.
  3. Continue to scan additional pages if needed by following the same steps.
  4. Tap "Save" to add the scanned document(s) to your new note.

Step 5: Exporting and Sharing

  1. To export or share your scanned document, tap the Share icon at the top-right corner of your note.
  2. Choose your preferred method: Mail, Messages, AirDrop, Save to Files, etc.

Tips for Great Scans

  1. Ensure Good Lighting: Natural light is the best, but a lamp can also work. Avoid shadows.
  2. Stable Hands: Hold your iPhone steady or use a tripod to prevent blurry scans.
  3. Clean Lens: Make sure your iPhone camera lens is clean for the best quality.
  4. Contrast Background: Place your document on a contrasting background to ensure automatic detection works efficiently.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  1. Blurred Scans: Ensure stable hands and adequate lighting. Clean the camera lens.
  2. Edges Not Captured: Manually adjust the corner guides during the capture step.
  3. Saving Issues: Ensure your iPhone has adequate storage space. Restart the Notes app if needed.

Advanced Options

For more advanced scanning needs, consider using third-party apps available on the App Store, such as:

  • Adobe Scan: Offers OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities.
  • CamScanner: Provides multiple export options and cloud integration.
  • Genius Scan: Features advanced image processing to enhance scan quality.


Learning how to scan with an iPhone is a valuable skill, streamlining the process of digitizing documents for personal or professional use. The built-in scanning feature in the iOS Notes app makes this task quick and easy, providing high-quality results that are ready to be shared or stored digitally.

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