How to Scan in Notes on iPhone or iPad (iOS)

Use the Notes app to scan documents, receipts, and more

What to Know

  • Open an existing note or create a new one, tap the camera icon, and select Scan Documents.
  • Hit the shutter button or use auto-capture for your scan and then make any adjustments to its shape.
  • Repeat to add another scan or finish by tapping Save to place the scan in your note.

This article explains how to scan documents, receipts, and other physical papers using the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad. You don’t have to open the camera app or use a third-party tool. Just open a note and go! These instructions apply to the Notes app on iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.

How to Scan a Document With Notes on iPhone and iPad

Here are the steps to scan a document into a new note in the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad.


If you want to scan a document into an existing note, you must use a note from your iCloud account. If you use a note from a connected email account in the Notes app, such as Gmail, you will not see the camera icon or scan documents option described below.

  1. With a note open, tap the camera icon in the toolbar and select Scan Documents.

  2. Place your device above the item you’re scanning so it’s in the frame. You can then use the flash, filter, and auto-capture icons at the top if you like.

  3. If you use Auto, the camera will highlight the item in yellow and capture the scan. If you use Manual, tap the shutter button to capture the item. 

    Notes app with Scan Documents and shutter button highlighted
  4. When you see the scanned item, you can drag the corners on the image if the scan is misshapen. Tap Keep Scan to save it or Retake to redo the capture.

  5. You’ll then see the camera screen display again, letting you know its ready for another scan. Follow the same process to scan a second document or if you’re finished, tap Save.

  6. Your scan will then display inside your note. If your note doesn’t have a name, it will default to the name of the scan that the app captured.

    Notes app with scan highlighted "Drag corners to adjust," Save, and showing scan in Notes

You can then add text, create sketches, or include more items like any other note in the Notes app. Or you can simply leave your note with the scan as-is. 

Your note is automatically saved with your scanned item. And if you sync Notes from iPhone or iPad to Mac, you’ll see the scanned item in the note on your Mac too.

  • How do I scan a QR code on an iPhone?

    To scan a QR code on your iPhone, open the Camera app, frame the QR code, and then tap the notification. You can also scan QR codes in the Wallet app, making it helpful for saving and storing passes and tickets.

  • How do I scan a barcode on an iPhone?

    To scan a barcode on your iPhone, download a third-party barcode-scanning app from the App Store. (Get QR Code Reader-Barcode Maker, for example.) Give the app permission to use your iPhone's camera, position the barcode, and then see the information provided. Tap Search to view more information about the barcode's data.

  • How do I scan a QR code on an Android?

    To scan a QR code on an Android, download QR Code Reader from the Google Play Store, or get a similar third-party app. Point your camera at the QR code, press and hold the Home button, and then tap to trigger the code's action. Note that some Android phones may have QR code-reading functionality built-in.

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