How to scan documents and QR codes directly on your iPhone

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderYou can scan documents and QR codes on your iPhone in a few seconds.
  • iPhone users can scan documents and QR codes on their device using the built-in Notes and Camera apps.
  • To scan a document in the iPhone’s Notes app, open a new or existing note, then tap the “+” icon in the menu bar to access the “Scan Documents” tool.
  • You can also edit and add to the scanned documents using the Camera app before saving or sharing the files through the Notes app.
  • To scan a QR code on your iPhone, open the Camera app, point the lens at the code, and wait for the camera to automatically detect it.
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We’ve come a long way since fax machines and scanners were the primary means of scanning and sending documents.

Today, you don’t even need additional equipment to scan and send your documents — you can do it directly from your iPhone.

Want to try it out for yourself? Follow the steps below to scan a document or QR code on your iPhone.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Apple)

How to scan a document on an iPhone’s Notes app

1. Locate and open your Notes app — it looks like a notepad. If you can’t find it, simply swipe right on your home screen and search “Notes.”

1Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderLaunch the Notes app.

2. Now open an existing note or start a new one by pressing the pencil and pad icon in the bottom right corner.

2Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderOpen or create a note.

3. At the bottom of your screen, or above your keypad if you’re typing, you will see a “+” symbol inside a circle. Click this icon.

4Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderClick the plus sign to open a new menu.

4. Click “Scan Documents” to activate your camera and start the scanning process.

5Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderTap ‘Scan Documents.’

5. At this point the two icons at the top of the screen allow you to set your flash setting (on, off, or auto), and your colour setting (colour, grayscale, black & white, or photo). Your iPhone will automatically detect the document, place a yellow box around it and immediately scan it.

  • Note: If this isn’t working for you, you can click “Auto” in the top right corner and change to “Manual” mode. Now position the camera over the document and press the capture button at the bottom when you’re ready, it’s the same button you use to take a photo.
6Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderPrepare the document you want to scan and put it in place.

6. Your image will now pop up ready for you to reposition the box around the document you want to scan. Press “Keep Scan” to continue or “Retake” to delete the file and start again.

7Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderPress ‘Keep Scan’ to finish scanning your document.

7. The camera will activate again, allowing you to scan another document. Once you’ve finished scanning all of the pages you need, press “Save” in the bottom right corner to finish.

8. Your scanned document will now appear in your Note.

8Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderYou can tap on the scanned document to see it in a bigger resolution.

How to edit and share a scanned document on an iPhone

If you click on the scanned document, you’ll be able to crop the image, change colour settings, and rotate the image. You can also press the “+” in the bottom left corner to add another image to the scanned document or click the trash can in the bottom right to delete the document from your iPhone.

This is also where you’ll go to share the document (after all the real reason you scanned the file in the first place is to send it to someone or save it for later!). Click on the share button in the top right corner (it’s a symbol of a box with an upwards pointing arrow). This will give you the choice to share your file via email, a messaging app, or AirDrop. You can also save it to the Cloud, an iPhone-based storage drive, or convert it to PDF.

10Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderThere are a number of options for sharing the document.

How to scan a QR code on an iPhone

But documents aren’t the only item you can scan with your iPhone. Another of the iOS 11 updates was the addition of a QR Code scanner, which Apple integrated seamlessly into the camera app.

QR Codes are square matrix barcodes made up of smaller white and black squares. They were first used in Japan’s automotive industry in the mid-1990s but are now used worldwide by companies who want to save you the hassle of having to type out a specific web address.

It’s now super quick and easy to access the web address linked to the QR Code via your iPhone. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Open your camera and position it so that the entire QR code image is visible. The iPhone will detect the barcode and put a yellow box around it.

11Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderPoint your camera at the QR code.

2. Once it’s been scanned, a notification bubble will appear at the top of the screen. Click this bubble to be taken to the website associated with the QR Code.

12Christine Kopaczewski/Business InsiderYour phone should scan the QR code automatically.
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