How to Scan Old Photographs Using Only Your Android Smartphone

Ever wanted to digitise your old photograph collection for yourself or friends and family? We’ve researched 3 of the best ways to scan your photographs and save and share them online using free apps and in built features available on your Android smartphone.

1. Take a photo

The first option is a simple one. All you need to do is take a photo of your photograph using the camera on your phone. Depending on the quality of your camera and the lighting, it may take a few tries to get a perfect snap of your picture in sharp focus without any glare or reflections. But once you’ve mastered it, you’ll have the image saved to your gallery for you to edit and share as you would with any photo taken on your phone!

  1. Open Your Camera
  2. Place the photo on a flat surface in bright, evenly lit room
  3. Hold your phone directly over the image, taking care to hold it parallel with the photo
  4. Take the photo and edit where needed

2. Use the PhotoScan app by Google

Available on both the Google Play and Apple Stores, this advanced scanning app that digitally scans your image just like a printer would, giving you an exact enhanced copy of your original photo. It works similarly to the ‘Scan Documents’ feature on Google drive and the Notes app on iPhone but it’s specifically designed for photos and works perfectly every time. With this app, you can also crop and edit your images to make them even better than the original, altering the colour, adding filters and text and even sharing them instantly on social media or messaging apps. Best of all, it’s completely free!

  1. Download and open the Photo Scan app on the Google Play Store
  2. Place your photo on a flat surface in a bright, evenly lit room
  3. Hold your phone directly over the image, parallel to the surface and press the white button
  4. Trace the 4 white circles to scan the photo and, once complete, view the final scan to check for imperfections
  5. Crop and edit as needed

3. Scan Documents in Google Drive

Though built to scan documents, you can use this feature to replicate your photos with one tap. Though this feature does seem to take on the faults of scanning your photos with your camera or a document scanner, it can take a few tries to get right depending on the angle or lighting. I’ve tried this a few times, each attempt with different results. But with a few tweaks to the settings, I managed to get a decent scan of the image that I could screenshot and save just as I would with the Notes app on an iPhone. Of course, as you’re already in google drive you can save the image straight to your online storage, reducing the risk of losing the copy on your phone over time and letting you label images and organise them into folders for the perfect digital library.

  1. Download the Google Drive app and open
  2. Select the Scan feature and allow drive to take pictures
  3. Place your photo on a flat surface in a bright, evenly lit room
  4. Hold your phone directly over the image, parallel to the surface and press the capture button
  5. Title the image and save it to your Drive in your preferred folder
  6. Edit the image in your gallery and share using google email, social media or messaging apps of your choosing

These apps work across all up to date handsets connected to the internet so you can scan and share wherever you are either to your phone or to Google Drive.

Check out the video below to see how these features work and if you’re looking for more quality smartphone accessory news, reviews and handy tips, head on over to our YouTube channel for daily content!

Chloe DeaconChloe Deacon

Chloe is the Video Production Executive at Mobile Fun, creating all video content for the Mobile Fun YouTube channel. Outside of work she can be found playing video games, crocheting, reading books and watching a lot of movies.