How to scan a photo: Although you still don’t have a very good relationship with the computer, you have been entrusted with the task of digitizing some photographs. This means that for one of the very first times in your life you have to use one scanner and you have to do it without making mistakes. An impossible mission? But no, far from it!
Scanning a photograph is very easy, much simpler than what you imagine. All you have to do is check the status of the scanner (or printer, if you have a multifunction printer with integrated scanner), insert the photo to be scanned into the device and press a button. Generally you do not need to install any programs, just use the tools included “standard” in Windows and macOS.
Just think: if you want, you can even avoid using the PC. If you have a smartphone equipped with a good quality camera, you can use apps that transform the smartphone into a scanner and intelligently optimize the photos framed with the phone by correcting their perspective, colors and other properties. If you want to know more and want to learn how to scan a photo with your PC or mobile phone, keep reading: you will find everything explained below!
How to scan a photo from your PC
In the following lines you will find explained how to scan a photo from your PCbe it a Windows computer or a Mac, using a multifunction printer or a scanner.
How to scan a photo with a printer
Let’s start with the more “traditional” procedure, the one that involves the connection of one multifunction printer (but the following steps also apply if you are using one scanner) and the use of the tools included “standard” in Windows and macOS.
If you want to learn to scan a photo, you must first make sure that your printer is properly connected and installed on your PC. Then check that the device is connected to the computer via USB cable or through WIFI network (in this case there should be a warning light on the front of the multifunction printer or scanner, with the icon next to it Wifi) and verify that the device is installed correctly.
To verify the correct installation of the scanner or multifunction printer on your computer, click on the button Start Windows, search for the term “Printers” and select the item Devices and printers from the search results. If in the screen that opens there is the name of your scanner and / or your printer, there should not be the problem: the device is already configured and the PC should recognize it without problems.
To carry out the same check on a Macyou open System Preferences (the icon ofgear located in the bar Dock and / or in Launchpad) and select the item Printers and Scanners from the window that opens. If in the next screen there is the name of the multifunction printer or the scanner name you intend to use, no problem, you can move on to the next step of the guide. Otherwise you need to install the device drivers.
If the scanner and / or printer is not installed, download the appropriate ones driver, install them on your computer and, when prompted, connect the device to your PC via USB cable. The procedure to follow should be quite simple, in any case you can help you with the instructions contained in my tutorial on how to connect a printer to your computer.
If you are using a Mac, you should be able to install the printer or scanner by simply connecting it to your computer via USB cable and waiting for macOS to download the software necessary for its recognition.
After the preliminary operations that I have just described, you can proceed in the following ways, according to the operating system in use.
Scan photos on Windows
Now you are really ready to scan a photo with your PC. Then click on the button Start Windows (the flag icon), search for the term “scanner” in the menu that opens and select the item Windows Fax and Scan from the search results.
In the window that opens, click on the button New digitization (top left), select the scanner you want to use (this step is only necessary if multiple scanners are installed on your system) and adjust all settings for your scan.
So make sure that in the drop-down menu Profile the option is selected Photo (default)set the type of photo you want to scan from the drop-down menu Color format (Color for color photos or Greyscale for an artistic or antique photo in black and white) and adjust the format and quality of the image you want to obtain using, respectively, the fields File type (eg. JPG, BMP, PNG, etc.) e PPE (300 is the optimal average value, the higher the DPI the bigger and heavier the image obtained will be).
Once you have adjusted all the scan settings, click on the button Preview to preview the scanned photo, and if you like the result, click Digitize to complete the scan. The image is automatically saved in the folder Documents> Scanned documents.
Scan photos on Mac
Use a Mac? No problem. You can scan photos and documents using Image capture: a free application included “standard” in all versions of macOS. You can find it easily by opening the Launchpad and clicking on the folder Otherlooking for it in the folder Applications or by doing a search Spotlight.
Once the Image Capture utility has started, to start a scan with your Mac, all you have to do is select the name of the multifunction printer or the scanner name from the left sidebar (under the heading Devices or Shared), adjust the output file settings via the menus and options that appear after clicking the button More details and start digitizing your photos by clicking the button Scan located at the bottom right.
By default, photos scanned with the macOS Image Capture utility are saved in the folder Images Mac as JPG format files (unless you change the location and format of the output file via the menus Save scan to And Formatbefore proceeding with the operation).
If any of the steps are not clear to you, you can find out more details on the procedure for scanning with Mac in my tutorial dedicated to the topic.
How to scan a photo without a scanner
You asked yourself how to scan a photo without a scanner? Unfortunately, this is not feasible, at least on the computer which, for obvious reasons, needs an input device (the multifunction printer or scanner) to perform the operation.
The only thing you can do in the absence of a scanner or, at least, a multifunction printer, is to resort to the use of some mobile appas I am going to show you in the next chapters.
How to scan a photo with an Android phone
Would you scan a photo with Android mobile phone, but you don’t know how to do it? Well, there are tons of apps to scan photos with your smartphone, like the excellent one FotoScan from Googlewhich is completely free and super easy to use.
After installing it on your device Androidopen it, follow the brief initial tutorial of the application and press the button Start Scan to start digitizing your photos. The process of digitizing the photos is really simple: all you have to do is frame the photo, press on white button located at the bottom center and move the circle that appears in the center of the screen on four circles that appear in the corners of the image.
Wait, therefore, a few moments for the image to be processed, press on his thumbnail that appears at the bottom right and choose if adjust its angles pressing the appropriate button or whether to save or share it as it is in the roll by pressing first on the symbol of sharing and then selecting your preferred save / share option. More info here.
How to scan a photo with iPhone
You have a iPhone and want to scan a photo with your Apple-branded smartphone? Well, since even on Apple devices it is possible to use the excellent one FotoScan, which I told you about in the previous chapter, I suggest you use the latter to proceed. You can find it on App Store.
Since FotoScan works almost identical to that of its version for Android, I refer you to previous chapter to know how to use it.