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How to Scan from a Printer to a Computer

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Many of the best all-in-one printers come with scan functions that quickly turn physical documents into virtual ones. However, even the best printer can be tricky to navigate, especially if they’re are too many buttons. Plus, many users have trouble understanding the scanning function or even how the associated scanning software application works. Furthermore, you may have issues scanning the document accurately depending on the document type. So, below, we’ll explain how to scan from a printer to a computer.


  • To scan with your all-in-one printer, go into your computer’s main menu and open its dedicated scanning software.
  • Before scanning, ensure that the correct printer driver software is downloaded.
  • Windows and Macs have designated scanning software available for download via each device’s designated app store.

While you’re at it, make sure to check out the rest of our printer-related content. We have guides on the best office printers, as well as other resources, such as how to find a printer’s IP address.

How Do I Use My All-In-One Printer to Scan to My Computer?

Scanning is an enormous help in this digital age. Being able to store and send documents virtually saves time and increases organization. But before you can scan, a few things must be understood, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to scan from a printer to an iPhone.

Insider Tip

In the Apple scanner app, you can click on the option to “Show Details.” Clicking this provides more options like resolution, rotation angle, and scan mode.

Figuring out the scanning process depends on what type of computer and printer model you have. Below, we’ll explain how to navigate the scan settings for the most common computer types. While there are other steps necessary before scanning, like how to connect a wireless printer to a network, our guide below strictly pertains to the scanning process.

Suppose you have other burning questions concerning your printer. In that case, you can parse through our trove of printer coverage. We have everything from how to make a printer not print double-sided to how to hook up a fax machine with a cable modem.

Additionally, for anyone trying to get rid of an older device, we offer tips on how to dispose of a printer.

Scanning on a Windows PC

STEP 1 Enter Printer Settings

Open the start menu and then go into the settings. Select “Devices” and then “Printers & Scanners.”

STEP 2 Add Your Printer Device

Find the option that says “Add a printer or scanner.” Press this, select your printer model when it pops up, and press “Add Device.”

STEP 3 Download Printer Drivers (If Necessary)

If your printer doesn’t pop up at this point, there will be an option to press the option “The printer that it wants isn’t listed.” Press this and follow the steps to download your printer.

STEP 4 Install the Right Apps

Go to the Microsoft Store and download either “Windows Fax & Scan” or the “Windows Scan App.”

STEP 5 Open the Scan App

Click on the start menu and then select the option to open “All apps.” Next, search for the app you downloaded and open it. Then press the option to create a “New Scan.”

STEP 6 Create a Scan

There will be a new scan window that appears. First, make sure that the right device is selected. Once all the settings are correct, press “Preview.” This selection will show you how your document will appear. Once everything looks good, select “Scan,” which will download your file.

STEP 7 Access the Saved File

To access the file, go to your documents folder and click on the “Scan Folder.” From there, you can edit and change the file format.

Scanning on a Mac

STEP 1 Access Printer Settings

Begin by opening the Apple menu and then find the icon that says “Printers & Scanners.” This selection will bring up a separate window showing you what printer devices are connected to your computer. If your printer is already connected, go ahead and select that device and then press the “Scan” tab.

STEP 2 Download Printer (If Necessary)

If the printer you want isn’t showing up, press the “Add Printer” option and follow the instructions to install the new device.

STEP 3 Open the Scanner App

After selecting the correct printer and the “Scan” tab, press the option that says “Open Scanner.”

STEP 4 Configure Settings

Click on the file drop-down menu to select what file type you want to save the new scan as. You can also set the file size.

STEP 5 Create a Scan

In the bottom right-hand corner, press “Scan.” To access your document, simply navigate to the saved file.


Users have to manually select the automatic document feeder option for it to work.

STAT: The average cost of a basic printer ranges from $400-$1,000. (source)

How to Scan from a Printer to a Computer FAQs

Can I scan a document from my iPhone?

If you open the notes app and then press the camera icon, you can scan a document directly to your iPhone.

Are you able to save a scan documents as a PDF file type?

Both Windows and Macs allow users to save scanned documents as PDFs.

Do I have to use the scanner apps that came with my computer?

A wide range of apps with different settings options is available in the app store.

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