Advertisement

Need a scanner? The Google Drive app has one built in — here's how to use it

 Closeup of Google Drive icon on iPhone.
Closeup of Google Drive icon on iPhone.

Back in days gone by, a scanner was an incredibly important part of any office setup. After all, in those days there was no other way to digitize paper documents and still be able to read them when you’re done. That’s no longer the case; now, you can do more or less the same thing with the best camera phones.

Not only do apps like Google Drive have the ability to capture paper documents in no time at all, they can also instantly back up those documents to the cloud. That way you can access those documents across all your devices with little to no extra effort. Plus there’s access to all the modern editing tools you’d expect, to make those documents crystal clear.

Here’s how to scan documents using the Google Drive app, and ditch your chunky desktop scanner for good.

How to scan documents using the Google Drive app

  1. Open the Google Drive app 

  2. Tap the Camera icon 

  3. Line-up the document in frame 

  4. Use auto-capture or press the camera button 

  5. Edit accordingly 

  6. Rescan the image if necessary 

  7. Tap ‘Done’

1. Open the Google Drive app

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

The first thing you’ll need to do is install the Google Drive app. This is preinstalled on all Android phones, and can be downloaded on iPhone from the App Store. The process is the same on both platforms, however.

2. Tap the Camera icon

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

Once Google Drive is open you’ll need to tap the camera icon in the button right, just above the Plus sign icon.

3. Line-up the document in frame

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

From there you'll need to line up the document within the on-screen camera frame. Be sure to get the whole thing in frame, and that the text on the page is clear and well-lit so the camera can pick everything up. You’ll know it’s working when a blue box appears around your document.

4. Use auto-capture or press the camera button

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

If you have Auto-capture toggled on, wait a couple of seconds and let Google Drive capture the document by itself. If you have Manual mode switched on, you’ll need to press the shutter button in the lower middle part of the screen.

Whichever method you choose, the document should be automatically cropped by Google Drive during the scanning process.

5. Edit accordingly

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

Once scanned, Google Drive gives you the option to edit your document before it’s uploaded to the cloud. This includes altering the crop, clearing up areas of the image and adding filters.

5a. Rescan the document if necessary

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

If you’re not happy with the results, you can hit the Retake button to start over.

6. Tap ‘Done’

how to use document scanner in the google drive app
how to use document scanner in the google drive app

(Image: © Future)

Once you’re happy tap the Done button in the top right corner, at which point Google Drive will upload the scanned document to your cloud storage — ready to be accessed when you need it.


If you're looking for more guides on how to unlock secret features on your phone, be sure to check out some of our other tutorials. Like how to turn your iPhone into a 3D capture device, how to make iOS 17-style stickers in WhatsApp, how you can automatically track subjects when you record video on a Samsung Galaxy, and how to use the iPhone's hidden AI magnifier.