While you might have gotten used to creating scanned PDF files on your computer using something like the Windows Fax and Scan tool, you can now create a scanned file with your mobile devices, such as the iPhone 13.
Your iPhone’s Notes applicaton, which is one of the default apps included on every iPhone, has some scanning options built into it that utilize the camera on the iPhone to create a save file in the PDF document type.
Rather than needing to mess around with whether or not you need to place your document face down or face up, then trying to remember your selected save location or navigate to the scanned documents folder, you simply need to use your phone to take a picture.
Once the document is finished scanning, you just need to open the note that the scan created and you can look at the document, mark it up, share it with others, and more.
Our tutorial below will walk you through the iPhone scanning process and answer some of the other questions that you might have about the app.
How to Scan Documents on iPhone 13
- Tap and hold on the Notes app.
- Select the Scan a Document option.
- Position the document in the viewfinder.
- Scan additional pages.
- Tap the Save button.
Our guide continues below with additional information on using the scan app on the iPhone 13, including pictures of these steps.
How to Use the iPhone Document Scanner (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed on an iPhone 13 in the iOS 15.4.1 operating system.
Step 1: Find the Notes app, then tap and hold on it.
Step 2: Choose the Scan a Document option.
Step 3: Position the first page of the document inside the scan window.
Note that the iPhone scanner is set to “Auto” by default, so you won’t need to click Scan or tap the shutter button. Be sure to move the page out of the window and place the new one quickly, however, or the scanner app might take multiple copies of the page.
Step 4: Continue scanning the rest of the pages of the document.
Step 5: Tap the Save button at the bottom-right corner of the screen when you have finished with all of the document pages.
This is going to open the document scan inside of the Notes app where you will be able to see all of the scanned document pages.
You will also be able to tap the three dots at the top-right corner of the screen and see all of the different options for the scanned document.
More Information on How to Use Your iPhone 13 to Scan Documents
While you can find scanner for iPhone apps from third parties that enable you to scan documents, it’s likely that the default tool that is available as part of the Notes app will be sufficient.
The scanner tool does a good job of trying to turn your physical document into something that looks like it was scanned on a flatbed or feed-type scanner, but our how to “scanning documents” solution for the iPhone might not create the perfect document scan that you might expect from a tool that was specifically designed for that purpose.
Once the scan is complete, your iPhone might automatically give the scanned document a filename based on the content that it read from the scanned pages.
If you are having trouble getting the scanner to launch by tapping and holding on the Notes app icon, then you can also open the Notes app and create a new note, then tap the Camera icon in the toolbar and tap Scan Documents instead.
As we mentioned above, the iPhone Notes scanner is meant to be a way to quickly scan all the pages of your document. As part of this efficiency, it is configured to automatically scan documents as soon as text documents appear in the new scan window. If it seems like your mobile device is is processing these images to quickly and is starting to add multiple pages of the same page to the document, then you may want to tap the “Auto” button at the top right corner of the scanner app screen and switch to Manual mode.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Scan on iPhone 13
While you can download or purchase a scanner app from the App Store, you can simply tap and hold on the Notes app, choose to scan a document, then point the camera at the document and save it.
The iPhone does have a scanner tool, and it’s part of the Notes app. It uses the camera to scan physical documents and saves them as notes, which can then be shared with other people.
Once you have completed the steps above to capture and save the scanned document, it is going to open in the Notes app.
Once you have the scanned document note you can touch the button with three dots at the upper right corner of the screen and choose the option to “send a Copy.”
There you will see a lot of different options, including options to save to your iCloud files, upload to Google Drive or Dropbox, and more, depending on the apps that you have installed on your iPhone.
Tap and hold on the Notes app, then choose the Scan Document option. Point your camera at the document and scan it. Tap save when you’re done. Touch the three dots at the top-right of the screen, then choose Send a Copy and select Mail.
As we have mentioned above, this isn’t the “best” way to scan a document, but it’s probably the easiest. Most people are comfortable with their phones, and sharing things like pictures from them.
Therefore, the easiest way to scan a document is with your iPhone, using the steps that we discuss above. open the scanner tool in the Notes app, use your camera to scan the document, then save it.
When you use the steps in this article to scan documents, they are going to be saved to the “On My iPhone” folder inside of the Notes app.
When you use the iPhone document scanner, the resulting file that you create is going to be a PDF. This means that when you upload the file to cloud storage or share it with someone, they are going to see a PDF file. Since the PDF file type is one that can be opened by a lot of different apps this should prove to be a good option for the important documents you scan.
The file size for an iPhone document scan is going to vary a lot depending on the number of pages in the document, and the type of content that is on the scanned pages.
For example, I scanned a three page document in my steps above, and the resulting PDF file was about 1 MB in size. That’s a perfectly acceptable file size, and can easily be emailed to almost anyone. You only start to run into file size issues when you have files that are over 5 MB in size, so something that is 15 + pages might be an issue.
Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.