Best Apps For Scanning Old Photos

Our smartphones are, in many ways, the modern-day equivalent of a camera. They’re portable, they can capture high-quality images and videos, and they have all of the features we need to easily share our photos with friends and family.

But often times we don’t use our phones’ cameras for their intended purpose—taking pictures—and instead use them for other things like checking email or playing games. That’s all well and good, but it means that those beautiful moments in your life may not get preserved if you don’t have a physical copy of them.

Thankfully there’s an app for that! The best apps for scanning old photos will let you transfer all those precious memories from your phone onto paper so that you can keep them forever.

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Best Apps For Scanning Old Photos

Despite the wonders of digital cameras and computers, many of us still own printed photos (and even entire photo albums full of physical prints!). These are treasured memories, but photos will deteriorate, fade, and degrade over time. Luckily, modern technology has also provided us with great photo scanning apps, designed to save your precious photos forevermore.

Photo scanning apps let you scan your old photo prints and convert them into digital files, and this can be done using your smartphone or tablet. As a result, you can save entire albums of photos with minimum effort and time.

In this article, we have selected the 10 best photo scanning apps (for both Android and iOS devices).

The best photo scanning apps in 2021
The Best Photo Scanning Apps: Top 10 Picks

  1. Photomyne
  2. Microsoft Lens
  3. Genius Scan
  4. Google PhotoScan
  5. Adobe Scan
  6. Family Search Memories
  7. CamScanner
  8. Clear Scan
  9. Simple Scan
  10. TurboScan
  11. Photomyne
    Best for Android
    Great for photo organization
    Photomyne has a simple folder feature so you can easily organize your scanned files in the original albums.

Photomyne is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Simple scanning process
Has an automatic crop and straighten feature
Extensive folder tools
Advertising can be irritating
Our first pick is Photomyne, a free-to-use app (though there is also a premium version that unlocks additional features). Both iOS and Android users can install Photomyne, and you can check out our full Photomyne review for a comprehensive breakdown.

The app functionality is outstanding; the scanning is easy to do, and once the process is complete, Photomyne will automatically crop and straighten the photo. It also improves the basic quality and brightness of the photo, though it will not remove reflections or glare.

Photomyne main menu and folders
The main screen is also intuitive. You can easily create entire photo albums and add details to your scanned photos, such as a title and description. Photomyne can also be used to scan film negatives and photo slides. The only downside is the intrusiveness of the advertising and notifications, which can get annoying on the main screen after a while.

  1. Microsoft Lens
    Microsoft Lens
    Microsoft Lens
    Great for Microsoft Office users
    Microsoft Lens allows you to easily share scans via OneDrive and other Microsoft software.

Microsoft Lens is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Easy-to-use interface
Can export to platforms like OneDrive
Great editing features
Not the best file management
Next, we have Microsoft Lens. This is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, but it is free to use and is a brilliant app for Android or iOS users.

On opening Microsoft Lens, you are immediately presented with the scan feature, and you can also see your recently made scans. Like other scanning apps, it shows an outline of the image boundaries that it will crop before scanning. The scanner is accurate and will automatically straighten photos so that they have the correct orientation.

Microsoft Lens filters screen
The app will not remove any reflections, but the scan quality is acceptable. One of the best features of this photo scanning app, however, is the editing tools.


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Compared to some other of the best photo scanning apps, Microsoft Lens has far more editing power. For example, you can add a range of artistic filters to your photos. You can also add ink and text, plus you can rotate the image. We also like that you can easily share photos to other Microsoft programs via your Microsoft account including OneDrive and OneNote.

  1. Genius Scan
    Genius Scan
    Genius Scan
    Great for automatic cropping
    Genius Scan has a decent automatic crop feature that will detect the boundaries of your photos before scanning.

Genius Scan is available for:
ios logoApple iOS
Edge detection for precise scans
Simple scanning process
Can rename photos
Only has basic editing features
Genius Scan is primarily used to scan documents like receipts and paperwork, but it also makes a fantastic photo scanner. You can download a free version of this app on iOS and Android, and you can also upgrade to a pro version for a one-off, reasonable cost of $4.39.

Genius Scan edit screen
Under the right lighting conditions, the scanning function will automatically detect the borders of the photo and scan accordingly. Once it has made a scan, you can edit basic parameters, including the crop and orientation of the photo. Genius Scan also has several presets to choose from, including a specific photo preset which (marginally) improves the image brightness.

Although this app doesn’t have any reflection removal, the scans are high quality, and you can rename them and even export them via email.

  1. Google PhotoScan
    Google PhotoScan
    Google PhotoScan
    Great for quick scanning
    Google PhotoScan offers a quick, no-fuss solution for batch photo scanning.

Google PhotoScan is available for:
ios logoApple iOS
Automatically removes glare
Simple and quick process
Free to use
Doesn’t have many editing features
Of course, Google has a photo scanning app; they have an app or program for virtually everything! Joking aside, Google PhotoScan is a quality app that offers excellent functionality. It is also one of the best photo scanning apps that removes glare and reflections from your photos.

This app is free and is available for iOS and Android users. Upon opening the app, you’re immediately presented with the scanning function. Then, during the process, you are given instructions to scan the photo from four different points (this is to remove any reflections and glare).

Google PhotoScan scan tool
Once you’ve completed the scan, simply click on the circular photo icon in the right-hand corner, which shows all your scanned photos. From here, you can perform simple edits including adjusting the corners and rotating the image. There is also a sharing function, so you can easily share scanned images via social media.

  1. Adobe Scan
    Best for iOS
    Adobe Scan
    Adobe Scan
    Great for retouching old photos
    The cleanup function and filters of Adobe Scan allow you to quickly boost the quality of old images.

Adobe Scan is available for:
ios logoApple iOS
Has a great set of filters
Cleanup function helps improve image quality
Simple scanning process
Some scans may initially have poor lighting
Adobe Scan is primarily used for PDFs, but it’s a versatile app and more than capable of handling basic scanning. The app is also free to use for iOS and Android, but you must have either an Apple ID, a Google ID, or an Adobe ID to use it.

Adobe Scan
Once you have signed in, you can access the various functions. The scan feature has a list of different options including document, ID card, form, and business card (Document is the format that should be used to scan photos).

The scanning quality is okay, though I recommend scanning under even lighting conditions, as some of the photos we tested scanned with harsh bright lights. If this does happen, you can use the auto color filter, which will automatically adjust the photo and reduce any problematic lighting conditions.


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Adobe Scan also has a range of other tools including Crop, Rotate, and Cleanup. The Cleanup tool allows you to manually draw over any problem areas, which can be useful for removing any blemishes or artifacts from the original scan.

  1. Family Search Memories
    FamilySearch Memories
    FamilySearch Memories
    Great for genealogy research
    Family Search Memories is an app geared toward family history but includes photo scanning features.

FamilySearch Memories is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Great for building a family tree
The scan process is simple
Can easily download or share photos
Not a dedicated photo scanning app
Family Search Memories is an excellent photo scanning app for those who want to research their family history and learn about their genealogy. It includes a host of features; the photo scanning function is just a small part of what it has to offer.

Please note that to use this app, you must create a full account first – this includes entering your mobile number, email address, and date of birth.

Family Search Memories menu
The scanning function is relatively simple – you effectively just take a photo of your photo. Once the photo is taken, you can then manually adjust the crop. There are no automated correction features, so make sure that you capture the photo in favorable lighting conditions.

From here, you can download the image, share it with other people, or associate it with a memory. (For example, you might choose to add a photo of a family member to your family tree.)

  1. CamScanner
    Best for converting to Word
    CamScanner has a range of utilities to scan photos and create different file types.

CamScanner is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Easy to use
Can convert photos to Word
Decent file management options
Doesn’t automatically remove glare
Next, we have CamScanner, which is available for both Android and iOS and can be used to scan various documents, including photos.

CamScanner offers plenty of capabilities, including scanning tools for specific types of documents. For example, you can scan images directly to word documents, and even scan photo IDs. You can also use the scanning function to scan old photos.

We like the intelligence of the scanner, as it will automatically crop your photo; it will also remove distortion and straighten the image, regardless of the angle. As far as we can see, however, it does not have a feature to remove any glare.

Cam Scanner edit screen
The app is easy to use and you can efficiently rename photos, create new folders for storage, and even batch-process scans.

  1. Clear Scan
    Clear Scan
    Clear Scan
    Great for on-phone storage
    Clear Scan is great if you simply want to scan and store photos on your smartphone.

Clear Scan is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Can adjust the scan points manually
Has both a color and B&W option
Easy to use
Limited functionality
Clear Scan is a simple app for Android users, which can be used to scan various documents and has a reliable photo scanning feature.

Don’t worry if the original scan looks poor quality. By default, it is set to the “Clean” setting. Simply click the “Photo” setting instead, which should retain the original look and colors of the image.

Clear Scan image selection
Aside from the scanning feature, this app is limited. You can only adjust the crop and rotation of the photos – there are no advanced editing tools. However, you can share your photos either to your smartphone gallery or to an external storage location.

  1. Simple Scan
    Simple Scan
    Simple Scan
    Great for large scan collections
    Simple Scan has the ability to add tags for search utility.

Simple Scan is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Decent folder management
Can add tags to photos
Simple scan process
The quality can sometimes be inconsistent
As the name suggests, Simple Scan is easy to use and is great for those who don’t have much technical experience. It has a simple scanning feature and is available for Android users from the Google Play Store, plus it’s completely free.

Simple Scanner filters menu
We like that the scanning tool will automatically crop your image. Also, this program has a range of presets to choose from, including black and white, color, and photo. I recommend the photo option, which gives the most realistic effect.

Related Post: Best Printers for Black and White Photos

After scanning a photo, you can rename it. The app also has a decent folder management system, and you can easily create a folder hierarchy for your different albums. Also, you can add tags to your photos so they can easily be searched. This is one of the best photo scanning apps in that regard and is great for large scan collections.

  1. TurboScan
    Great for quick scans
    TurboScan is ideal if you simply want to scan photos for editing in a different post-processing program.

TurboScan is available for:
ios logoAndroid
Easy-to-use scanning
Has a 3x scan feature for improved quality
Can rotate and crop the photos
Not the best in darker lighting conditions
Our last pick for the best photo scanning apps is TurboScan. This app has both free and premium versions, and the paid version is just a one-off app purchase of $3.00. Also, this app is readily available from both the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.

This scanning app can be used for various purposes, including scanning business receipts, though it also works as a photo scanner. When using the simple scanning function, make sure to work under the best possible lighting conditions. As you can see from the screenshot below, the app will not remove your camera flash, which leaves a noticeable glare on the photo.

TurboScan preview menu
However, the scanning process is quick and easy. Once you have scanned the image, you can then edit basic details such as the document size and the file name, though the app does not offer any advanced editing features.

There is also a handy 3x feature, which takes three scans of a photo and combines them for the best end result.

Which Photo Scanning App Is Right for You?
Any of these 10 best photo scanning apps can breathe new life into your photo prints. These photo scanning apps will transform your prints into digital files that will last an eternity without fear of degradation!

If you are looking for a simple scanner to store large volumes of photos, something like Google PhotoScan is a great, easy-to-use option. Alternatively, if you perhaps want additional functionality and features, well-developed apps like Photomyne and Genius Scan offer top-notch results.

About The Author

Paul Skidmore
Paul loves traveling and photography. He is also a Lightroom and Photoshop expert and likes to test new photo software, apps, and gear. Paul frequently shares his travel photography tips on his travel blog and writes for known photography publications. Connect with Paul on Twitter.
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best free photo scanner app for android

Do you have a few old photos you want to share online but don’t own a scanner? Don’t worry. These days, all you need is a smartphone to digitize your printed memories.

We’ve compiled a list of the best photo scanner apps you can choose from to scan multiple photos.

Phone app scanning a photo

Best Photo Scanner Apps to Use
Let’s dive into our picks for the best photo scanner apps for your phone.

  1. SwiftScan
    If you want a simple photo scanner app, Swiftscan is the perfect choice for you. But when we say simple, we don’t mean it’s basic. Because quite frankly, it’s loaded with tons of features that make it stand out from the rest of the pack.


You use Swiftscan to scan pictures and documents. Apart from that, it has an edge-detect technology that lets it automatically crop your files. It also enables you to save your scans in either JPEG or PDF formats.

Swift Scan

But what makes SwiftScan stand out is its security features. It allows you to encrypt sensitive files so people can’t steal them. Apart from that, it also includes Passport protection with Touch/Face ID support. Now that’s a perfect add-on if you have files that you only want yourself to have access to.

  1. Clear Scanner
    So what makes Clear Scanner one of the best photo scanner apps? It’s primarily because of its fuss-free user interface. Also, unlike most of the other options on this list, you don’t have to pay to use all its features. That’s why we think it’s the best choice if you’re a student who needs a reliable scanner.

Clear Scanner Logo

Clear Scanner allows you to scan both images and documents. Even though it’s free, it has an advanced feature that detects a photo’s edges automatically. You can then convert the files into either PDF or JPEG files.

Clean Scanner

This app allows you to share your files via many platforms, including Dropbox and Google Drive. And if you have an iPhone, you can even print your file through Cloud Print! Now that’s a valuable add-on, especially if you need to make copies of your scanned images.

  1. Photomyne
    What makes Photomyne one of the best photoscanner apps is that it can scan multiple photos using AI. And that’s a unique feature no other options on this list have.

Photo Myne Logo

So how does Photomyne’s AI work? Opening a photo album automatically recognizes all the images and saves them as individual files. It’s a great app to use, especially if you have hundreds of prints to digitize.

Photo Myne

Photomyne’s AI scanning process is so meticulous that it accurately finds the image borders. You don’t even have to crop the photos because it does it for you as well. Apart from its ability to scan pictures, Photomyne also lets you apply effects to your images. It can even colourize old black and white photos!

  1. Filmbox by Photomyne
    Photomyne has some of the best photo scanner apps for both Android and iOS. That’s the reason why we have two of their products on this list.

Film Box Logo

Apart from Photomyne’s all-in-one scanner, they also have Filmbox. This app is specifically designed to scan colour and black and white film negatives. It automatically converts film strips into positive prints you can view on your phone.

Film Box

What makes Filmbox even more impressive is that it can also scan regular images and slides. It also has all the features you need to edit and colour correct your scanned photos. That way, you can ensure your digitized files appear as accurate as your physical pictures.

  1. Pic Scanner Gold
    Launched in 2013, Pic Scanner was one of the first photo scanner apps to scan multiple photos at once.

Like other photo scanning apps, Pic Scanner boasts various editing features to retouch your old photos. In addition, it lets you remove red-eye and even clean up the blemishes.

Pic Scanner Logo

But what makes Pic Scanner indeed of the best photo scanner apps is the Recolor tool. It’s a neat feature that restores the colour in faded images.

Once you finish scanning, Pic Scanner allows you to create instant albums you can quickly share with family members. It also lets you create personalized cards and even slide shows!

Photo Scanner Gold

Pic Scanner Gold costs 7.99USD. That’s quite a bargain, especially considering that it’s a one-time purchase and not a subscription. It also has all the features you’ll need for a photo scanner app. Once you have this on your phone, you won’t need to get another one.

  1. Adobe Scan
    Scan is Adobe’s answer to Microsoft’s Office Lens. It’s mainly used for scanning documents and converting them into PDFs. But of course, creating PDF files isn’t the only feature of Adobe Scan. You can also use it to scan photos and save them as JPEG files.

Adobe Scanner Logo

Adobe Scan uses an AI element called Adobe Sensei. It automatically corrects the perspective of your scanned document and sharpens the image. But the best part about this app is that it also removes glare and shadows. Now that’s useful, especially if you’re working with glossy prints.

Adobe Scan

We admit that all the Adobe Scan features we mentioned also exist in other options. But what makes this app different is that it allows you to scan and fill out forms digitally. So if you have a document, you need to sign, open the app and add your signature using your phone screen!

  1. Microsoft Lens
    This all-in-one photo scanner app has all the features you’d expect from a regular desktop scanner. It doesn’t just save images in JPEG files. You also have the option to convert your pictures to other formats such as PDF, Excel, Powerpoint, and even Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Office Lens Logo

Since Microsoft Office Lens can convert images into files, it performs well as a document scanner app. As a result, you can use it in various situations, from classrooms to offices. It even has a feature that transmutes handwriting into a digitized format.

Microsoft Office Lens

But what makes Microsoft office Lens one of the best photo scanner apps is its high-quality scans. Unlike other options, the documents it produces are highly detailed. As a result, you’ll be confident to use this app in a professional setting.

  1. Google PhotoScan
    If you’ve tried scanning your photos using your phone before, then you know eliminating glare is difficult. The specks of light on glossy prints are particularly challenging. They don’t go away until you shoot from a lower angle, which unfortunately gives you results that look skewed.

Google Photo Scan Logo

Enter Google Photo Scan. What makes it different from other photo scanning apps is that it offers glare reduction. The Google Photos App does it by taking four separate scans of a single image. It then combines all these images into one file that’s sharp and glare-free.

Google Photo Scan

You’d think that Google Photos App is only available on Android. But you can also download it on iOS for free. That’s great news considering that it’s one of the best options you have when it comes to smartphone photo scanning.

So there you have it, the best photo scanner apps for both iOS and Android! Most of the options on our list are all-in-one scanners that do everything you’ll ever need. So it’s genuinely a matter of choosing which one you find the easiest to use. A good portion of the apps on our list are free. But even the apps you need to purchase have a trial version. That will give you the confidence to try them out before buying them.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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