How to scan documents with your Android phone

Besides taking photos, your Android phone’s camera can be used to scan documents in PDF format. This can be really handy in situations where you don’t have access to a document scanner or just don’t want to use a scanner, since your Android phone can also scan documents.

Scan documents with an Android phone

Paired with the Google Drive app, your Android phone is quite capable of doubling as an impressive document scanner.

Scanning a document with an Android phone is as easy as taking a snapshot with your phone’s rear camera. After the document is scanned, you can crop, rotate, edit, and enhance it before saving it to Google Drive.

The scanned document is saved as a PDF file on Google Drive from where you can print, share or send the scan to anyone using Gmail, WhatsApp, Skype and other sharing apps available on your phone.

Steps to scan documents with Android phone

As mentioned above, you need the Google Drive app to turn your Android phone into a document scanner. You should already have this app on your Android phone, if not make sure to download and install the Google Drive app from it shortcut.

1. open that Google Drive App on your Android phone.

2. Next, tap the big one plus button located in the lower right corner of your screen (see image below).

Big Blue Plus button on Google Drive

3. On the next screen, tap folder Option to create a new folder on Google Drive to store your scanned documents.

Create a new folder on Google Drive

4. Next you will see a popup asking you to create a Surname Name the folder “Scanned Documents” or whatever name best suits your purpose.

Rename the new folder to Google Drive

5. Next, tap the Scanned documents folder you just created.

Scanned documents folder on Google Drive

6. Once inside the Scanned Documents folder, tap on the big blue plus button (See image below).

Big Blue Plus Button on Google Drive on Android Phone

7. On the next screen, tap scan Option (this will activate or open your Android phone’s camera).

Scan option to Google Drive

8th. Place the document to be scanned on a flat surface (table) and simply take a picture of the document by tapping on the large one blue circle located at the bottom of your screen (see image below).

Scan documents with the camera on an Android phone

9. Once you’ve taken a picture of the document, you’ll see a preview. If the preview looks OK, you can save the scan as a PDF document by tapping checkmark Icon (see image below)

Crop, edit, rescan and other options on Google Drive

Tap the plus button, in the bottom menu you can scan the next page of the document (see image above).

If you are not satisfied with the scan, you can do that rescan the document by tapping Repeat icon. in the bottom menu or you can use the editing and document enhancement options in the top menu as explained below.

1. Harvest: Tap the crop option (#1 in the image above) you can crop the image you just took with your camera.

2. color palette: Tap the color palette icon (#2 in the image above) you can change the default “black and white” scan to color. (See image below).

Color options for scanned documents on Google Drive

3. 3-dot menu icon: Tap the 3-dot menu icon (#3) allows you to delete, rename, rotate the scanned document and also provides access to other settings. (See image below)

Delete, rename, rotate and settings options for scanned documents on Google Drive

In the settings menu you can select paper size, image quality, document orientation and automatic image enhancement.

Print, share or send scanned documents

After you scan the document, it will be saved to Google Drive in the Scanned Documents folder or any other folder you scanned to.

The best thing about saving scanned documents to Google Drive is that you can always search the document by its name, print it, share it, or send it to anyone.

1. Just open the Google Drive App on your Android phone.

2. Once you are in Google Drive, Open the scanned document that you want to print or send to someone.

3. Once the document is open, tap 3 point menu icon located in the top right corner of your screen.

3-dot menu on Google Drive

4. From the menu that appears, tap To press if you want to print the PDF file or tap on send file, in case you want to send the scan to someone. (See image below)

Share scanned document, send, print and other options on Google Drive

5. Once you tap Send, you will see a drop-down menu that offers you Gmail, WhatsApp, Outlook, and various other options to send the file (see image below).

Sending options for scanned documents to Google Drive

Tip: Instead of taking photos of receipts, flyers, notes and others, you can save a lot of storage space on your Android device by scanning such items and saving them as PDF files on Google Drive.


  1. How to upload files and folders to Google Drive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.