Windows 10 how to scan documents and photos

It may not seem like it, but scanning your documents is a very important backup. Learn from these tips.

This guide shows you how to scan documents in Windows 10 without installing third party tools. A great way to preserve confidential documents like photos, contracts and wills in life is to store them digitally

You can usually scan a document using the software provided by the manufacturers. Printers and scanners are usually provided with an optical disc containing the necessary drivers and tools. Manufacturers also make their drivers and tools available online for scanning documents if your PC does not have an optical drive.

For example, this guide uses the HP Deskjet 1510 Series All-in-One printer as an example. In addition to the drivers, the software package installs some separate tools for printing CD labels, scanning, updating software, and more. Since manufacturers do not provide identical software suites for all printers and scanners, this guide uses two “native” Windows-based tools: Microsoft Scan and Windows Fax and Scan.

Of course, always use the manufacturer's software for a personalized experience for your specific scanner. If you don't want third-party tools to be installed on your PC, however, Microsoft's two solutions should solve the problem.

Read more:
How to Eliminate Disk Error in Windows;
How to install Windows 11;
How to Install Windows 11 on Unsupported PCs;
How to use Windows in Split Screen;
Learn how to use Windows on a Mac;

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How to scan document
How to scan document in Windows 10

Is your scanner compatible with Windows 10?

Before we move on, we need to make a few comments. First, your scanner manufacturer may provide drivers for Windows 10, but the device itself may not offer platform-specific support.

For example, you may be using a multifunction printer with a built-in scanner and the “recommended” drivers are very old. That said, the scanner portion of that AIO printer may not appear in native Windows tools, but it will work correctly - using a wireless connection, probably - through the software.

If you experience similar problems, you may have an older printer or scanner that is not fully compatible with Windows 10. The device may also require a direct USB-based connection if used outside the manufacturer's third-party tools. For AIO printers, it may be necessary to adjust the network settings so that the Windows 10 PC recognizes the scanner component, in addition to the general printer unit, to be able to perform its functions, such as scanning a document.

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How to scan document in Microsoft Scan

This tool is a visual update of the previous Microsoft Fax and Scan tool. It provides most of the same features, depending on the printer, but removes the fax and e-mail components.

Go to list of applications do Windows Scan at the Microsoft Store (free) and click on the blue “Get” button. After installing on your PC, click the "Start" button in the Windows 10 pop-up notification. You can also access the new application - simply labeled "Scan" - from the Start menu.

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With the application open, your scanner should appear listed on the left. As discussed earlier, this guide uses the HP Deskjet 1510 Series all-in-one printer as an example. You will also see an option for "File type" along with a "Show more" link. Click this link to see the full menu of the scanning application.

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To begin, you can see a category “Origin”. As our sample printer has a flatbed scanner and an automatic document feeder, both options are available for scanning a document. In this case, the default setting is set to “Auto Configured”.

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This "Auto Configured" setting limits what you can do, blocking it in the "File type" and "Save file in" options. If you select the “Table” option as your font, or if it is the only font available, you will see two additional options appear in the list: “Color Mode” and “Resolution (DPI).”

With “Color Mode”, you can scan documents in full color, grayscale or black and white. Meanwhile, the “Resolution (DPI)” setting allows you to switch from 100 to 300 DPI.

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If you select “Feeder” as your scan source, two additional options are displayed. You can choose the paper size (A4, Legal or Letter) and enable / disable the option to scan both sides of the document.

With all three sources, the “File type” setting offers four options: JPEG, PNG, TIFF and Bitmap. In summary, JPEG and TIFF formats generally offer high quality results, although TIFF files also support transparent backgrounds. PNG files are ideal for posting online and BMP files are raw, uncompressed images.

Finally, you will see the option “Save file to”. It is defined as “Scans” by default and places your scanned documents in a “Scans” folder located inside your “Images” folder. The appropriate path is:

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C: \ Users \ your account \ Images \ Scans

Click on the “Scans” link and the File Explorer will appear. Here you can create a new folder or select a current location and click on the “Select folder” button.

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When you're ready to scan, insert the document into the feeder or lift the scanner cover. Finally, place the document face down on the glass and close the lid.

With the “Table” option set as your source, you can click on “Preview” to test the scan and make adjustments, if necessary, before finalizing with the “Scan” button. If you are using the “Feeder” source, the “Preview” option will not appear.

Also check out: How to Change My IP: 4 Easy Ways on Android, IOS, PC or Mac

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Windows Fax and Scan

This program first appeared in Windows Vista. Unlike the latest Microsoft Scan application, this version provides additional settings, such as an integrated tool to send your scan by email, so that you do not search for the file through the Mail application, browser, or third-party email client. .

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You can find the Fax and Scanner program located in the “Windows Accessories” folder on the Start Menu.

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Once opened, click on the "New Scan" option on the toolbar.

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In the “New Scan” pop-up window, make sure that the program is configured with the default scanner. Otherwise, click on the "Change" button.

Then, select a scan profile: “Photo”, “Documents” or “Last used configuration”. Optionally, click on the “Add Profile” selection in the list to create a custom profile to use repeatedly.

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Select your scanner's font. This option can be simply “Table”. If you have an AIO printer that includes a feeder, however, you may see two additional options: "Feeder (Scan one side)" and "Feeder (scan both sides)".

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Then select the color format (color, grayscale or black and white) followed by the file type (BMP, JPG, PNG or TIF) and resolution.

For resolution, the default setting is 300, but you can manually increase or decrease the number of dots that the printer heaps per inch. Usually, the higher the number, the better the resolution. If you are scanning a low quality document, however, increasing the resolution will not help.

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Finally, adjust the brightness and contrast accordingly.

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When finished, click on the “View” button to see the results. If the pre-scan is optimal, click on the “Scan” button. Otherwise, adjust your settings and click the "View" button again for another test. Click the "Scan" button when you are satisfied with the settings.

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Knowing how to scan a document is very important, because whenever you need it, you will be able to create a kind of backup for the photos, files, certificates, processes, etc., without having to go to a photocopy and copy machine.

Over time, your scans will come out better, just learn to position the sheet correctly in your machine, configure it correctly as explained above and make your images clearer and clearer on your computer screen, whether to send them, save them in folders or on cloud (most recommended).

saving the document

After all pages are scanned, a screen appears showing the scanned pages. Make sure all pages are displayed on the screen. Otherwise, you will need to rescan the document.
If you are using the Windows Fax and Scan program, at the top center of the screen, click Save As or click File and Save as.

In the pop-up window, choose the Save in location and enter the desired file name. Then change Save As Type to .jpg, .bmp, .gif, .tiff, or .png, depending on your preference. We recommend saving all photos as .jpg and any documents as .tiff. Saving documents as a .tiff reduces their size, making it easier to send them via email and similar programs.

After making your selections, click on To save.

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Bonus Tips: How to Scan Documents with Mobile

As home offices are the new norm for many, there will certainly be times when you will need to email someone a paper document. But how can you take a piece of physical paper and turn it into a digital image without a scanner?

Yes, you can just take a picture and upload it. But it's possible to get results that look like using a scanner instead of sending a dimly lit and distorted image.

There are several ways to do this, including a digital scanner app on your smartphone. You may even find that your phone's camera app already has a 'Text' or 'Document' setting for this purpose. In fact, if you have an iPhone with iOS 15, you can even use the new 'Live Text' feature to turn it into editable text without downloading anything extra – and use the Notes app to scan documents.

Tips for taking better photos of documents

Before accessing the apps themselves, here are some tips for getting the best quality: You don't want distorted text or shadows that make reading difficult, do you?

  • Use natural light. Place your document on a table near (but not too close to) a window.
  • Hold the phone straight to the document, not at an angle.
  • Try different lenses if your phone has them. The normal shot tends to be the best option and avoid ultra-wide angles that distort everything.

Scan documents with Google Drive

You may not know it, but Google Drive has a built-in scanner feature that you can use to scan documents, old photos, and other printed materials. To use it, open the app on your phone and do the following:

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Tap the + (plus) symbol in the lower right corner of the screen. This opens a menu panel with various options. Select Scan and the camera will launch, allowing you to capture an image of the item in question.

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Scan documents with Google Drive

How to Scan Documents on Your Phone: Android

Once you have the image, you can crop it to the size you want and save it as a PDF. The newly scanned image will be saved in the Google Drive folder, allowing you to share it via email or another messaging application.

Scan documents on iPhone with Notes app

As with Google Drive, Apple's Notes app also has a free built-in scanner that can scan your documents. To use it, open the app and tap the icon in the lower right corner to “create a new note”. Select the Camera option and choose Scan Documents.

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Scan documents with Apple Notes

This opens the camera, which will begin scanning sections of the image. Tap the camera's shutter button to take the picture, then you can adjust which parts of the image you want to keep by positioning the circles that appear on each edge. When you have things the way you want them, tap the Keep Scan option and it will be saved on your device.

Scan documents with other applications

If the above methods don't work well for you, perhaps because you need a specific feature they don't offer, there are many alternatives. If you have a Microsoft 365 account, Microsoft Office Lens – PDF Scanner is a great option, plus you should also try SwiftScan, Genius Scan, Simple Scan, as well as many others available from Google Play Store and Apple App Store .

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One that is completely free, unlimited and ad-free is FP Scanner-PDF & Image to Text. It's iOS only unfortunately, but it has several modes that allow you to 'scan' multiple pages of a book or document and share it as a PDF, as well as the ability to convert characters into editable text. However, as mentioned at the beginning, this is somewhat redundant if you have iOS 15.

Quick FAQ

How do I activate my Windows 10 product key?

Activate a refurbished device running Windows 10
Select the Start button and then select Settings > Update & security > Activation.
Select Change Product Key.
Enter the product key found on the COA and follow the instructions. Change the product key in Settings.

How can I activate Windows 10 for free?

To activate Windows 10, you need a digital license or a product key. If you are ready to activate, select Open Activation in Settings. Click Change Product Key to enter a Windows 10 product key. If Windows 10 was previously activated on your device, your copy of Windows 10 should be activated automatically.

How do I find my Windows key?

Generally, if you've purchased a physical copy of Windows, the product key should be on a sticker or card inside the box that Windows came in. If Windows came preinstalled on your PC, your product key should appear on a sticker on your device.

How do I find my Windows 10 license key?

Find your Windows 10 product key on a new computer
Press the Windows key + X.
Click Command Prompt (Admin)
At the command prompt, type:
wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey.
This will reveal the product key. Product key activation with volume license.

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What happens if you don't activate Windows?

There will be a 'Windows is not activated, activate Windows now' notification in Settings. You will not be able to change the wallpaper, accent colors, themes, lock screen and so on. Anything related to Personalization will be grayed out or inaccessible. Some apps and features will no longer work.

How long can you use Windows 10 without activation?

Users can use an unactivated Windows 10 without any restrictions for one month after installation. However, this only means that user restrictions take effect after one month. After that, users will see some “Activate Windows Now” notifications.

How to get the watermark and activation message from Windows?

The easiest way to get the message Activate Windows 10 it is simply purchasing a new Windows activation key.

Is the Windows 10 license for life?

Windows 10 Home is currently available with a lifetime license for one PC, so it can be transferred when a PC is replaced.

Do you have any questions about how to scan a document in Windows 10? Did you take advantage of our tips on scanning documents with your phone? Need some more tips? Leave us in the comments and we'll try to help you! Enjoy and read more about the Microsoft Windows on our website.

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Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.