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Here’s How to Use the Built-in Scanner on the Google Drive App to Minimize Paper Clutter

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Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

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Surprisingly, when people want to scan a document, they think about bulky scanners, forgetting they might already have a free scanning tool in their pockets. 

We’re talking about Google Drive, a free cloud storage service from Google. 

You have probably been using it for years, not knowing that it can quickly scan documents with just one tap and save them to your files. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use Google Drive to scan documents and save them as PDFs. Let’s get started.

How to Scan Documents Using Google Drive 

The steps may vary slightly depending on whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android phone, but the process is the same.

The instructions below specifically demonstrate using an iPhone.

Step 1. Open the Google Drive App

Open the Google Drive app. It comes pre-installed on all Android phones. If you’re using an iPhone, you can download it for free from the App Store.

Step 2. Tap the Camera Icon

Tap the “camera icon” at the lower right corner, just above the + sign. 

Scan icon in Google Drive app

Step 3. Place the document in Frame. 

Place the document on a flat surface in a well-lit area. Make sure you capture all the paper. A blue frame will appear around your document when everything is perfectly lined up. 

Position doc in frame to capture scan

Step 4. Use Auto or Manual Mode to Scan the Document 

The app will typically switch to Auto capture mode, where it will promptly outline your document in blue and proceed to scan it.

Auto mode scan in Drive app

If you prefer, you can manually scan by choosing “Manual” on the scan page. Once ready, tap the shutter button.

Manual mode scan in Drive app

Step 5. Edit Accordingly 

Once you’ve scanned your document, you have two options:

  • Save: Tap “Save” in the lower right corner to directly save the scan to your drive.
  • Review & Edit: Tap the thumbnail in the lower left corner. Here, you can review, crop, rotate, apply filters, retake, or delete the scan.
Edit scanned document using Google Drive

Step 6. Save the PDF Document 

Saving the PDF file will take you to the “Save to Drive” page. The app will suggest a file name based on the content, but you can create your own.

Save scanned document to Google Drive

You can also change the saving location and account. When ready, tap “Save” at the top right.

See also: What to do if Google Drive is stuck in uploading

Wrap Up

Scanning documents with the Google Drive app is a simple process. 

While the Apple Notes app offers a similar feature, I prefer using the scan feature on Google Drive due to the generous 15 GB of free storage space across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos.

In comparison, iCloud only offers a limited 5 GB of free storage, which might not be enough for most users.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

Writer, Smart Home

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. When not at work, you can usually catch him drawing with a pencil. He is a writer at Gotechtor covering streaming media, TVs, and everything smart-home related. 

Gardy Philogene

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