9 Best Free Scanner Apps for iPhone

Back in the day, you had to carry your documents to a Xerox or similarly branded scanner to save your documents in digital form. Now, thanks to new advancements in technology, you can just pull out your iPhone, open a scanner app, and photograph the document. It’s that simple.

scanner app

Even so, knowing which photo scanner app to pick is not easy. To help you decide which is for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best iPhone scanner apps and explained why they shine over so many similar choices.

1. Microsoft Lens PDF Scanner

  • Price: Free

Microsoft Office is the go-to document and word processing software suite. As such, it should come as no surprise that they offer a great scanner app. Microsoft Lens PDF Scanner lets you scan just about anything you want with written text, but it works exceptionally well on whiteboards, blackboards, and printed papers.

The app is free, so there’s no need to worry about an initial purchase. Even so, it has a robust feature set that makes it feel like a premium paid app.

If there is one con, it is that curved surfaces often throw off OCR (optical character recognition). In such cases, it may read the words wrong.


  • Scan whiteboards, blackboards, paper documents, business cards, and more.
  • Easily convert your scanned images to Word documents, Powerpoint Projects, or PDFs.
  • Text (both typed and handwritten) will be recognized and can be searched within the app.

2. Evernote Scannable

  • Price: Free

If any company can rival Microsoft and their office suite in the professional space it’s Evernote.

Their Scannable app for iPhone, Evernote Scannable allows you to quickly scan documents, contracts, business cards, and more. It is one of the faster scanning apps, as it will auto-scan for you once you have the entire document in a frame.

Evernote Scannable also has some deeper features, such as auto business card contact adding. That will allow you to scan a business card and instantly add the information as a contact in your phone. This app saves your documents as either JPG or PDF, giving you extra versatility.


  • Open the app and point it at a document. It will automatically scan it for you.
  • Saves as JPG or PDF for universal compatibility.
  • Business card scanning allows you to pull information from the card and add to your phone contacts.

3. SwiftScan

  • Price: Freemium

SwiftScan has long been considered one of the best scanner apps on the App Store. It works extremely well with the iPhone, as the high-quality camera lends itself perfectly to scanning documents.

This app is capable of scanning documents and saving them in high quality. Once you have them saved, you can send them to your phone through traditional means like text, email, and fax.

SwiftScan gets extra marks for its auto-optimization feature. While you can go in and tweak the settings to enhance the look, the automatic setting gets it close to perfect every time.

Overall, this is one of the most robust scanner apps on the App Store and is extremely good at what it does.


  • High-quality scanning above 200 dpi.
  • Ability to send scanned documents via fax right from your phone.
  • You can enhance the scans by editing colors, or let auto optimization handle it for you.

4. Notes

  • Price: Free

If you’re reading this, you probably didn’t know the default Notes app on your iPhone has the ability to scan documents.

All you need to do is open a new note, click the + icon, and select “Scan Documents.” You will then be able to take a picture of your document and save it as an image right on your phone.

You can also edit your scanned document after it has been taken. If you have too much outside around the document, you can crop it in, change the filter (color, grayscale, black and white, picture), and rotate it to get it perfectly straight. This is a good choice for those that don’t need any of the top-end features offered by other apps.


  • Built right into your iPhone, so no need to download anything.
  • Simple to use, but still good quality.
  • Ability to edit your documents to ensure they look as best as possible.

5. Genius Scan

  • Price: Freemium

There is almost a cult following for Genius Scan due to its amazing ability to scan documents without a hitch. It is one of the most accurate scanner apps we have ever seen, and it has a wealth of amazing features.

Their “Smart Scanning” technology makes scanning your documents a breeze. All you need to do is line up your camera with the document and let the app do its magic.

It will remove the background and clean everything up, giving you the best-looking image possible. It exports to PDF, which is another big bonus.


  • Smart scanning technology removes background, clears distortion, and applies filters.
  • Allows you to import and export as PDF, as well as create multi-page PDF files.
  • Text recognition allows you to easily search through documents.

6. CamScanner

  • Price: Freemium

CamScanner is a well-respected app because of its exceptional scanning quality.

While it has a solid feature set, the final product is the true draw here. Once you scan the document and auto enhance, you’ll get a crisp, digital version of your document every single time.

Another great feature of CamScanner is it gives you the ability to e-sign your documents right in the app. That saves you a lot of time in the long run. Sharing documents here is a breeze as well.


  • Smart cropping and auto-enhancing make your document look great.
  • Can use e-signature to sign documents right in the app.
  • Can share documents easily in multiple ways (email, text, save to cloud, etc.)

7. Adobe Scan

  • Price: Free

Who better to make a document-scanning app than Adobe? This app not only has great features, it comes from one of the most trusted brands in the business. If you’re a fan of Adobe’s products, Adobe Scan is for you.

You can easily scan a document with this app and save it as either a photo or a PDF. Where Adobe Scan excels is in the enhancements and clean-ups. Much like Adobe’s other software (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc), you have a lot of tools to clean up and enhance your scans. The final results all look fantastic.


  • Create either a photo or PDF scan of your documents.
  • Enhance your scans to make them look as readable as possible.
  • Clean up any unwanted marks or handwriting.

8. Memories

  • Price: Freemium

If you’re looking for an app that easily lets you scan your photos onto social media, Memories is the way to go. This guides you through the process beautifully and even gives you tips as you take the scans to give you the best results.

The ease of use and instructions on the screen are the big selling point here, but there are a ton of other features as well. Let’s start with the auto-correction. It takes the photo and gives it the best possible color tones and vibrance.

Memories auto edge detection is its weakest point. It can often struggle to find the edges of a photograph unless there is a good amount of contrast between the picture and the background it’s sitting on. While you can manually adjust it, that just adds time to the process.

The last part that we can’t overlook is the overall quality loss when viewing the images in a large format. This shows that the resolution is not high enough to keep the details at large sizes. This makes Memories a bad option if you plan on printing these photos in the future.

What We Like:

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Auto correction works well
  • Nifty photo effects

What We Don’t Like:

  • Photo quality is not good for printing
  • Glare can cause some issues

9. Pic Scanner

  • Price: $3.99 (I know, it’s not free, but it’s so cheap!)

Much like Photomyne, Pic Scanners main selling feature is the ability to take scan up to four photographs at a time.

The ability to scan multiple images at once can save you a ton of time if you have boxes or albums full of old pictures. The image quality will be a fraction of what you’d get with larger images, but it’s still good enough to create a decent-looking digital copy.

Creating albums in Pic Scanner is a breeze. The app quickly organizes your photos, which comes in handy if you plan on scanning a lot of pictures. There’s nothing wrong with being organized.

The free version will allow you just enough functionality to give it a try, but you definitely want to upgrade to the full version if you like this app. It’s affordable, which means it won’t cost an arm and a leg, and once you buy it, you’ll unlock unlimited use.

The last thing we should mention is the ease of use. Pic Scanner is quite sleek in its design, giving everyone the ability to quickly scan their photos. Some apps can get a bit confusing, but there’s no need to worry about that here.

What We Like:

  • Takes up to four images at a time
  • Easy to use
  • Cheap to buy full version

What We Don’t Like:

  • Glares are quite apparent
  • Straightening images can be finicky

Final Words

The above options are not the only available scanner apps for your iPhone, but they are the most effective. Each one comes highly recommended and has excellent features similar programs can’t match.

As they are all so good, the one you end up going with comes down to your own personal preference. Simply choose the one you like and get scanning today.

Do you still use a physical scanner or is it all by phone? Let us know in the comments below!

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