How to Scan Documents on iPhone

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How to Scan Documents on iPhone – Overview

Sometimes, you need to digitalize a vital document, whether it’s for including a registration, receipt, or another form of proof in online forms. It’s safer, more convenient, and easier to store important documents in digital format on cloud servers, making them accessible from anywhere, anytime. The most common format for digital documents is PDF (Portable Document Format) files.

Previously, iPhone users had to rely on special devices or third-party apps to take a picture of a document and convert it into a PDF file. Fortunately, Apple has integrated a useful document scanner into its Files and Notes apps, adept at capturing and converting most paper documents into PDFs.

Yet, not every iPhone user is aware of this remarkable feature. This article explains how to scan documents on an iPhone and save them as PDFs.

Scan Documents and Save with Files or Notes Apps on iPhone

There are two methods to achieve this: scanning a document into the Notes app and saving it as a PDF file or scanning a document and saving it directly in PDF format in the Files app.

Follow these steps to scan documents on an iPhone:

How to Scan Documents on iPhone

Steps to scan documents on iPhone

1 – Create a New Note and Add a Scan

To create a new Note and scan it into a PDF:

1. Open the Notes App, and select “New Note” or open an existing note where you wish to add the scan.

2. Tap the Camera icon and choose the ‘Scan Documents’ option.

3. Position the iPhone directly over the document until it is automatically highlighted.

4. Adjust the corners if necessary, select ‘Keep Scan,’ then press ‘Save’.

2 – Move the Document from Notes to Files as a PDF

1. Open the Notes App and navigate to the note with the scanned document.

2. Select the scanned document, then tap the ‘Share’ button in the upper right corner.

3. Choose the ‘Save to Files’ option.

4. Select a folder in Files to save the PDF file, and rename the file if desired.

3 – Scan the Document Directly into the Files App

Alternatively, you can scan documents directly into the Files app, saving them as PDFs. This method is simpler for sharing scans through cloud services.

Here’s how to directly scan into Files:

1. Open the Files App.

2. Navigate to the location where you want to save the scan.

3. Tap the (…) more button in the upper right corner and select ‘Scan Documents’.

4. Align the document and tap the shutter button, holding still until the document is automatically captured.

5. Add additional scans if necessary, then tap ‘Save’ to confirm.

6. The scan will be saved in the selected location as a PDF, usually titled ‘Scanned Document’, and can be renamed as needed.

7. You can then select the scan and send it to the cloud using the share button.


These are the simplest ways to scan documents on an iPhone, saving them in the widely used PDF format for easy storage and sharing. Knowing these features can help you maximize the utility of your iPhone.


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