How to Scan Documents on Android Easily [Updated for 2024]

Digitizing paper documents does not require a scanner or a complicated multifunction printer in this day and age. The frustration of figuring out how to scan your paper can be easily replaced with the easiness of scanning a document on your Android device; you only need a smartphone and decent scanner software.

How to Scan Documents on Android Using Google Drive

The easiest and most convenient way to scan documents on Android is by using the Google Drive app. This tool is typically already installed on your Android device, but if not, you can get it from the Google Play Store.

Here’s how to use your phone as a scanner after you’ve installed the app:

  1. Open Google Drive and click the plus sign.
    Scan Documents on Android Using Google Drive by clicking plus sign
  2. Go to the Create New menu and click “Scan” under the New button.
    Click at Scan
  3. Align the phone’s camera with the document, and press the shutter button to take the picture.
  4. After the scan, you can do one of three things: Use the plus sign to insert an extra page into your document. Choose the circular arrow in the center to redo a scan. To send the file to Google Drive, click the checkbox.
  5. You can also make basic edits to your scans in real-time. Scan colors can be adjusted to better suit the type of document you’re scanning by tapping the painter’s palette in the upper right corner, for instance. The scanner will always go with its own opinion of the best option.
  6. When you’re done scanning, select a filename and give your new PDF a name. The next step is to click the “Save” button.
    Click at Save

How to Scan Documents on Android Using Microsoft Lens

Microsoft Lens Interface

Microsoft Lens is another excellent choice when scanning documents on an Android device. It’s a straightforward document scanner for Android that eliminates the primary drawback of Google Drive by allowing you to store scanned documents locally.

Install Microsoft Lens, then launch the application to get started once it’s done. With the quick introduction, you’ll get some background on the app and be prompted to allow access to your camera and images. When this is complete, Lens will be ready for you to begin scanning.

Lens, unlike Google Drive, has specialized scanning modes for various file formats. Choose between the Whiteboard, Document, Actions, Business Card, and Picture tabs down the bottom. Except for Actions, which contains several tools, each is self-explanatory.

  1. The Microsoft Lens app has several options that can be accessed by opening the app and using a bottom swipe to navigate. The “Document” scanner is what you need for this.
    Scan Documents on Android Using Microsoft Lens
  2. To scan a document with your phone’s camera, you’ll first need to choose the appropriate mode, then position your document within the viewfinder and hold still until the app recognizes it.
  3. Once the document is in the right place, you can snap a picture by pressing the shutter button.
  4. After scanning a document, you can either edit the scanned version or scan additional pages to add to the existing document. To incorporate extra pages into the digital copy, select the Add button, and when you’re finished making edits, select the Done button.
  5. On the following page, you can change the file’s name before choosing from various export formats. The digitized file can be kept in Gallery or exported to PDF format. Choose the option you prefer, and you’re set to go.
Choose the option you prefer

Scan documents with Third-Party apps

Apart from Google Drive and Microsoft Lens scanning apps, there is no shortage of third-party apps that can help you scan, sign, and share documents on Android, though they all have unique focus and extra capabilities. Most of these are free apps, so you can download them for nothing, though some may have paid add-ons that you’ll need to pay separately.

1. Scanner Pro

Scanner Pro Interface

When it comes to scanning apps for Android, Scanner Pro is among the very best. It scans PDFs and any other document on your Android swiftly and easily. It uses your Android device’s camera to create a digital copy of the paper, which can then be uploaded to cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and OneDrive, or saved locally on your Android device.

Get it on Google Play

2. Dropbox

Dropbox Interface

Although Dropbox primarily uses cloud storage and syncing, the app also features a robust document scanner. Scanned documents are automatically converted to PDFs and sent to your cloud storage locker, where they can be easily accessed and shared.

Get it on Google Play

3. Adobe Scan

Adobe Scan Interface

The Adobe Scan software allows users to quickly digitize paper documents, snap photos, or create digital duplicates of existing images. The Scan software can export photographs as PDFs, which can then be stored in Adobe’s cloud. The program uses optical character recognition (OCR) to transform text from images into actual text instantly.

Get it on Google Play

4. CamScanner

CamScanner Interface

CamScanner transforms your mobile smartphone into a powerful, portable scanner with automated text recognition (OCR), allowing you to save time and effort in both your professional and personal life. This free tool lets you scan documents into PDF, JPG, Word, or TXT formats immediately after scanning. Whether you’re an accountant, real estate agent, manager, or lawyer, this free scanner software will become indispensable.

Get it on Google Play

5. Genius Scan

Genius Scan Interface

Genius Scan is an Android scanning app that works with JPG and PDF files. In addition, it allows for simultaneous scanning. It also accommodates many paper sizes, including legal documents, business cards, and A5. Perspective correction, clever page identification, and other enhancements to high-quality scans are also included. It also can save and recover scan data. This works with iOS, Android, and Windows.

Get it on Google Play

Mobile device scanning tips

Mobile document scanning is convenient and fast, but the quality isn’t necessarily as good as it would be with a desktop scanner. A better mobile scanning experience can be achieved by following these guidelines:

  • Make sure you have good, direct light shining on your paper. Certain parts of the scanned document could be unreadable due to shadows or indirect lighting.
  • Avoid trying to distort the scan by not holding the device at an angle above the document. Below is an example of the software asking us to reposition the phone because it is not immediately above the document we wish to scan.

Final Thoughts

Scanning documents on Android has become a simple task with the availability of various apps. Google Drive and Microsoft Lens are free and simple options installed on most Android devices. Additionally, several third-party apps such as Scanner Pro, Dropbox, Adobe Scan, CamScanner, and Genius Scan offer unique features to help scan, sign, and share documents. These apps allow users to easily convert paper documents into secure digital formats without using bulky scanners or multifunction printers.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.