How to Scan Documents with an iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Scanning documents with an iPhone is a simple process that requires no additional hardware. Using the built-in Notes app, you can quickly capture documents and save or share them as needed. Just open the app, create a new note, and tap the camera icon to start. It’s a convenient way to digitize paperwork on the go.

After you complete the scanning process, you will have a digital copy of your document that you can save, share, or print as needed. The scanned document can be edited, annotated, and organized within the Notes app or exported to other apps or cloud services for further use.


Ever found yourself in need of a scanner but all you had was your iPhone? Well, you’re in luck! iPhones come equipped with a scanning feature that can turn your device into a portable scanner. This capability is especially useful for professionals who are frequently on the move, students who need to capture notes and documents, or anyone who wants to go paperless.

With the advent of this technology, the need for bulky, standalone scanners is diminishing. Scanning documents with an iPhone isn’t just about convenience. It’s also about staying organized and efficient. Whether you’re signing contracts, saving receipts, or capturing whiteboard notes, your iPhone can handle it all. So, let’s delve into the step-by-step process of turning your iPhone into a scanning powerhouse.

Step by Step Tutorial to Scan Documents with an iPhone

Before we begin, make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed on your iPhone, as this ensures you have access to the latest features and security updates.

Step 1: Open the Notes App

Launch the Notes app on your iPhone.

The Notes app is typically found on the home screen. If you can’t find it, swipe down on the home screen and use the search feature.

Step 2: Create a New Note

Tap the icon to create a new note.

Once you’ve opened Notes, you’ll see a square icon with a pencil in the bottom right corner. Tap this to start a new note where you will save your scanned document.

Step 3: Tap the Camera Icon

Tap the camera icon within the new note and select “Scan Documents.”

You’ll find the camera icon above the keyboard. After tapping it, a menu will appear, giving you the option to take a photo or scan a document. Choose “Scan Documents.”

Step 4: Position Your Document

Place your document in view of the camera.

Your iPhone will automatically detect the document’s edges and apply a yellow box around it. Make sure the entire document is within this box, and the lighting is sufficient to capture a clear image.

Step 5: Capture the Scan

Press the shutter button to scan the document.

If your iPhone is in Auto mode, it will scan the document as soon as it’s in focus. If you’re in Manual mode, you’ll need to press the shutter button when you’re ready.

Step 6: Save and Share

Adjust the corners if necessary, then save the scan.

After the scan is captured, you can drag the corners to adjust the scan area. Once satisfied, tap “Keep Scan” to save it to the note. You can then share the scanned document via email, message, or other sharing options.


ConvenienceScanning documents with an iPhone means you can do it anywhere, anytime. No need for a separate scanner or computer.
OrganizationDigital copies are easier to organize, search, and back up. You can create folders within the Notes app or your preferred cloud service.
Editing and SharingScanned documents can be marked up, annotated, and easily shared with others through various apps and services.


Image QualityThe quality of scanned documents may not match that of a dedicated scanner, especially in poor lighting conditions.
File SizeHigh-resolution scans can result in large file sizes, which could be an issue for storage and sharing.
Limited FeaturesWhile convenient, the iPhone’s scanning capabilities may not have all the features of a dedicated scanning app or device.

Additional Information

When scanning documents with your iPhone, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure that you have good lighting to avoid shadows and glare. Natural light works best, but if you’re in a dim area, try to use a secondary light source. Secondly, you can scan multiple pages into a single document. After capturing the first page, simply tap “Add Page” to continue scanning additional pages, which will be saved together.

The Notes app allows for some basic editing of your scanned documents. You can crop, rotate, or change the scan’s color (grayscale, black & white, or original). Keep in mind that while the Notes app is a powerful tool, there are other third-party apps available that may offer more advanced scanning features if needed.


  1. Open the Notes App
  2. Create a New Note
  3. Tap the Camera Icon
  4. Position Your Document
  5. Capture the Scan
  6. Save and Share

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I scan documents with an iPhone without an internet connection?

Yes, you can scan documents using just your iPhone’s camera and the Notes app, no internet connection required.

Can I scan multiple pages at once?

Yes, after scanning the first page, tap “Add Page” to continue scanning additional pages, which will be saved as part of a single document.

Can I export scanned documents from the Notes app?

Yes, you can export scanned documents to different formats like PDF or images and share them via email, messages, or other apps.

Is it necessary to have the latest iOS version to scan documents?

While it’s not necessary, having the latest iOS version ensures you have the most updated scanning features and security.

How do I improve the quality of my scanned documents?

Ensure good lighting and use the editing tools within the Notes app to adjust the scan as needed. You can also use third-party scanning apps for more advanced features.


Scanning documents with an iPhone is a game-changer in terms of efficiency and convenience. Gone are the days of bulky, stationary scanners. With the power of your iPhone, you can digitize documents in a snap, whether for work, school, or personal organization. The process is intuitive, and the benefits of having your files in digital form are countless.

Remember, while the Notes app is a fantastic tool for scanning, there are plenty of third-party apps out there for those seeking even more functionality. So, next time you’re in a pinch and need a quick scan, just pull out your iPhone and let it work its magic. Happy scanning!