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Here’s How to Use the Built-in Scanner on Your iPhone to Digitize Paperwork and Reduce Clutter

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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Most people tend to download alternative apps instead of using their native counterparts, which sometimes are more than enough for their needs. 

A great example is the Apple Notes app, which most iPhone users tend to ignore because they want the bells and whistles of a full-fledged note-taking app.

Did you know your iPhone has a scanner hidden within the Notes app? This feature is handy but often overlooked because many people don’t use the Notes app regularly.

Scanning documents is just one of the many things your iPhone can do. Check out all the things smartphones can replace these days, it’s pretty amazing.

In this article, you’ll learn where to find the document scanner in the Apple Notes app, how to use it, and give you some handy tips to get the most out of it. 

Note: The steps provided below apply to iPhones running iOS 17 and later. Some features may vary depending on the iPhone model and iOS version.

How to Scan a Document With Your iPhone

Place the document on a flat surface, such as a table or desk, in a well-lit area. 

Open the Notes app. You can find it in the App Library or swipe down on your screen and use the search bar to locate it.  

Create a new note by tapping the little pencil on the lower right corner of the screen or open an existing note. 

Create a new note with Apple Notes

Tap the Camera icon above the keyboard within the note. 

Camera icon in Apple Notes

Then, select Scan Documents from the popup menu that appears.

Scan document with Apple Notes

The camera shutter will open as a yellow frame and start looking for the document to scan. Hold the iPhone steady and make sure the document is within the frame.

If it’s in Auto mode, it will automatically capture the scan. Otherwise, hit the shutter button if you’re in Manual mode. 

Scanning document with iPhone

A small thumbnail will appear at the bottom left. Tap it to check the scan to see if it looks good.

Scan document using iPhone

Tap the crop button at the bottom left to make any adjustments.

Crop option to edit scanned document with iPhone

Drag the corners to ensure you capture only papers. When you’re happy with the scan, tap Done at the bottom right. Otherwise, tap Cancel at the bottom left to retake the scan.

Editing a scanned document with iPhone

Feel free to scan as many documents as you want, then tap Save when you’re done to save the scanned document as a PDF in your notes.

If you want to use this PDF document outside the Notes app, save it to the File app. Give it a title and assign a tag to make it easily searchable.

save PDF document to Files app

You can then share it via email, messaging apps, or any other platform by pressing the share icon.

Now that you know about Apple’s hidden scanner feature, you’re going to love these little-known iPhone hacks that will make you an iPhone guru.

Please, use the comment section below if you have any questions.

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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8 thoughts on “Here’s How to Use the Built-in Scanner on Your iPhone to Digitize Paperwork and Reduce Clutter”

    • Hey Phil, me too! I use Notes for everything – grocery lists, ideas, and scanned documents. It’s so handy! Glad this hack worked for you.

      Reply
  1. 🇹🇭After I read this content, I have suddenly removed alternative scanner Apps from my iPhone.
    Thanks for great informative !

    Reply
  2. Great hack, my scanner just died and I was getting ready to replace it. Had no idea the replacement was sitting on my desk! Thanks

    Reply
  3. This would be great if it worked. I tried to scan a document but there is no camera icon above the keyboard. I am on 17.4.1

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear you’re not seeing the camera icon, Bill. I’m also on 17.4.1 and have it in Notes. Sometimes a simple restart can help. Have you tried closing and reopening the Notes app?

      Reply

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