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Free yourself from clutter with the best document scanners in 2024

The 6 best photo and document scanners in 2024

Now that we live in the digital age, paper files and photos can be a thing of the past. Using one of the best document or photo scanners, it's easy and quick to create digital versions of important papers or photos and keep them stored securely in your computer or the cloud. And once your files have been digitized, it's easy to locate them by a search term, date, file name or other criteria.

So, if you're looking to free up some space in your home, cut down on clutter and better organize your important files, consider investing in a document or photo scanner.

While this roundup focuses on dedicated document and photo scanners, all of the latest all-in-one printers, including those featured in our roundup of the five best all-in-one printers for 2024, also offer scanning capabilities. Our top pick in that category is the Canon Maxify GX6021.

Our picks for the best document and photo scanners

Our in-house team of tech experts have curated this list of the best document and photo scanners, as well as scanners that can handle both tasks. When you choose the right scanner, the content you scan will wind up being easily accessible and readable in digital form. You can also choose what file format to store them in. For paper documents, a scanner can create PDF files, while for photos, most people prefer the JPG file format.

The best scanners are loaded with useful features, making it easy to name and organize your precious files into custom folders. And searching for them is easy, too, via date or keywords. So your 2024 tax return paperwork won't get mixed up with your work contracts, legal documents, personal medical records or travel receipts.

Best document scanner overall: Canon ImageFormula RS40

Canon imageFORMULA RS40 Photo and Document Scanner

This dedicated desktop scanner is so versatile, that it can scan documents in almost any size, from a business card or ID, up to 8.5 x 14 inches. This means it can quickly scan receipts, letter or legal size pages at up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. We also like this scanner because it does a great job capturing photos.

The integrated auto document feeder handles a stack of up 60 pages and can scan up to 40 items per minute. Documents can be edited and saved using the supplied CaptureOnTouch software. File formats supported include PDF, JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG and PPTX.

The system automatically saves scanned documents or photos locally on your computer, or you can them to the cloud. OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox and SharePoint are supported. This scanner connects to a PC or Mac using a supplied USB cable and offers an intuitive user interface.

Best photo scanner overall: Epson FastFoto FF-680W

Epson FastFoto FF-680W

For amateur, semi-pro and professional photographers alike, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is a high-end, dedicated photo scanner that can process prints at up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi. The built-in document feeder can hold up to 36 prints and then scan one image per second at 300 dpi. When set at a higher resolution, the scanner functions a bit slower.

Use the FF-680W to scan prints of almost any size, like Polaroid photos, panoramas, postcard-size images or anything up to 8 x 10 inches. The scanner comes with the free Perfect Picture Imaging software. It allows you to quickly edit and enhance scanned images and handle tasks like restoring color to old photos or fixing red-eye.

Use the Epson ScanSmart software (also included), to scan and store traditional documents, too. Documents can be up to 8.5 x 24 inches and the software's OCR feature can transform scanned text into editable documents. 

Photos or documents scanned by the FF-680W can be stored locally or automatically uploaded to the cloud. The scanner supports Dropbox and Google Drive. Use a USB cable or a wireless connection between the scanner and your computer.

Best portable document scanner: Brother DSmobile DS-940DW

Brother DS-940DW Duplex and Wireless Compact Mobile Document Scanner

For people on the go, or anyone who only needs to do occasional scanning, the Brother DSmobile DS-940DW is a portable and lightweight scanner that measures just 12.6 x 2.5 x 1.8 inches and weighs a mere 1.5 pounds. It's also battery-powered.

Once connected (wirelessly or using a USB cable) to your PC or Mac, the DS-940DW can capture documents as small as a business card or up to 8.5 x 71.97 inches. It supports a maximum resolution of 300 x 300 dpi. This makes it great for quickly scanning receipts, financial documents, tax documents or other important papers -- one sheet at a time.

We like this portable scanner because it can handle single or double-sided documents, in black and white or full color, in a single pass. One additional feature we found particularly useful: When you insert an optional microSD memory card into the scanner, you can process documents and store them on the card without needing to connect a computer or mobile device. A storage and travel case ($19) is sold separately.

Best batch document scanner: Ricoh FI-800R

RICOH fi-800R Ultra-Compact, Color Duplex Document Scanner

For a household that needs to get rid of a lot of paper clutter, the Ricoh FI-800R dedicated scanner is up to the job. This scanner can accommodate documents as small as 2 x 2 inches, business cards, IDs, envelopes, passports, letter or legal size pages. The scanner's maximum resolution is 600 x 600 dpi.

While it lacks wireless connectivity, the scanner uses an included USB cable to connect to a PC or Mac computer. It comes with PaperStream ClickScan software that makes it easy to scan, enhance, organize and store scanned documents.

When documents are fed into the scanner using the ADF, scan speed is up to 40ppm. Single, manually-fed sheets scan be scanned in as little as 3.5 seconds. One useful feature is that when you load a document into the input tray, after being scanned, it will return that document to the same tray. The scanner itself measures just 11.7 x 4.1 x 3.3 inches, so it takes up very little desk space.

Best document scanner for receipts: Epson RapidReceipt RR-70W

Epson RapidReceipt RR-70W Wireless Mobile Receipt and Color Document Scanner

Epson's version of a portable and battery-powered scanner is ideal for scanning receipts and then importing expense data into a spreadsheet or your favorite expense reporting software. It works with black and white or full-color documents up to 8.5 x 72 inches. 

While individual sheets can be fed into the scanner one at a time, there's a 15-sheet capacity ADF built-in. Scanning resolution is up to 300 x 300 dpi. Receipt management software is included, but scanned document data can easily be exported into QuickBooks, Quicken, TurboTax or Excel.

The supplied software will transform scanned documents into editable and searchable PDFs automatically. Documents can then be stored locally on your computer or uploaded directly to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive or OneDrive. Scanning speed is up to 15ppm. 

This scanner does not support double-sided scanning, but it measures 10.7 x 1.8 x 1.3 inches and weighs a mere 11 ounces. The rechargeable battery is included. A carrying and storage case is sold separately ($20).

Best combo document and photo scanner:ScanSnap iX1600

ScanSnap iX1600

While some scanners specialize in paper documents and others are better suited for photos, the ScanSnap iX1600 scans both -- and does it well.

This scanner features a large, full-color touchscreen that makes it super easy to use. The built in ADF allows you to insert small stacks of documents to get scanned at up to 600 x 600 dpi resolution. The scanner connects wirelessly or USB cable with a PC, Mac or mobile device. It can handle documents or prints as small as 2 x 2 inches or as large as 11 x 17 inches.

This is a versatile scanner that measures 11.5 x 6.3 x 6 inches and weighs 7.5 pounds. It can handle single or double-sided scanning at up to 40ppm. Documents can be stored on your computer or mobile device or uploaded to a supported cloud-based service. It comes with the ScanSnap Home software, which makes it easy to scan, manage, edit, organize and share documents or photos.

How to pick the best document or photo scanner

First, consider the types of documents you'll be scanning the most frequently; are they individual sheets or multi-page documents that would require an auto document feeder? Next, determine if you want a portable scanner or one that fits nicely on a desktop.

Features to consider include the scanner's resolution, which is measured in dots-per-inch (dpi). The higher the dpi, the more detailed the scans. For basic text documents, 300 x 300 dpi is more than adequate, but for full-color documents, 600 x 600 dpi is typically better to ensure clarity of images and legibility of text. If you'll be scanning photos, we recommend a scanner that offers at least 1,200 x 1,200 dpi resolution.

You also want to consider the scanner's speed. Again faster is better. As for connectivity, a wireless connection with your computer or mobile device is often more convenient. The alternative is using a standard USB cable. Based on how you'll be using the scanner, make sure it can accommodate all of the sizes necessary. 

We also suggest paying attention to additional features, such as the ability to handle two-sided scanning with a single pass, to transfer scanned content to the cloud, or to store a file on a microSD memory card.

Finally, make sure you'll be able to export the scanned content into file formats you can access. If you'll be creating PDF files, you want the option to have those files be editable and searchable, so you can easily export the data to other applications.

And be sure to learn whether your scanner can export data from scanned pages into applications you already use for tasks like tax preparation or expense reporting.

The best scanners handle a wide range of scanning tasks and make it easy to edit, manage, view, organize, store and share. You also want to make sure the scanner works with your laptop or desktop computer, or your tablet. And if you plan to store your important scanned documents locally, we highly recommend a reliable and secure backup via external SSD or cloud service.

To learn all about the latest consumer tech, read in-depth product reviews, discover informative buyer's guides for popular products and find the best deals, be sure to check out our constantly updated tech coverage.

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