Scanning a photo with a phone.
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There was a time when many people owned scanners, but that time has passed. Nowadays, all you really need is a phone with a camera. We’ll show you how to do it with any Android device.

To start scanning everything from receipts to recipes, you only need an Android phone with a decent camera and the Google Drive app. That’s all there is to it. Let’s get scanning.

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First, open Google Drive on your Android device and make sure you’re signed in with your Google account. Tap the floating “+” button in the bottom right corner.

Tap the plus button.

You’ll see a menu with some options. Select “Scan.”

Select "Scan."

The camera will immediately open—you may need to grant the app permission to use your camera first. Position the document so that it’s entirely in the frame, then snap the photo.

Take a photo of the document.

The next screen will ask you to confirm that you want to use the photo. Tap “OK” to proceed.

Tap "OK."

Google Drive will attempt to automatically crop and adjust the lighting. If it needs some help, you can manually adjust it with the crop and color buttons. To add another page to the document, tap the Add Page button.

Tools to adjust the scan.

Once all the pages are looking good, tap “Save” to finish.

Tap "Save" to finish.

Now you can give the file a name and choose which folder to save it to. The document will be saved as a PDF in the desired folder.

Save the document.


There are a slew of other apps in the Play Store that can do this, but Google Drive is the easiest, and many people already use it. Scanners are just another thing that smartphones have replaced. If only they could replace printers, too.

RELATED:How to Fax a Document From Your Smartphone

Profile Photo for Joe FedewaJoe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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