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How to Set Up a Scanner on a Mac and Scan Documents

  • Before you can scan documents on a Mac, you need to properly configure your computer, which means you need to make sure you have the latest scanning software on your Mac.
  • After that, you can start scanning documents on your Mac with the following steps.
  • Be aware that the method you use will depend on the type of scanner you have.
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If you need to scan documents on your Mac computer, you’re in luck: if you have a scanner or a printer with a scanner, you might not need to install any software to make it work with it. your Mac.

Of course, you’ll need to set up your computer and scanner properly, but it’s an easy task and won’t take more than a few minutes. Then you can start scanning documents on your Mac.

Here we go over everything you need to know to go from setup to scanning on a Mac, depending on the type of scanner you’re using.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

MacBook Pro (from $1,299 at Apple)

How to Set Up Your Scanner on a Mac

Before setting everything up, make sure your Mac has the latest version of Image Capture, the default scanning software preinstalled on your computer. You can skip this step if you are using an AirPrint multifunction printer and scanner.

1. Following the instructions on your scanner or printer, connect the scanner to your Mac, plug it in, and turn it on. However, do not install any software that came with your scanner; your macOS computer will download it automatically.

2. Go to the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and click on “System Preferences”.


Open your System Preferences.

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3. Select “Printers and scanners”.


Go to your Print & Scan menu.

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4. Select your scanner.

5. If you don’t see your scanner listed, you must first click the plus sign in the lower left corner of the screen. Click “Add”.


Click the plus button to add your scanner if it is not already listed.

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How to scan a document on a Mac

Now that your scanner is set up correctly, here’s how to start using it with your Mac. The methods differ depending on whether you are using a document feeder or flatbed scanner.

In either case, however, the first step remains the same: you need to open your scanner. Here’s how:

1. Connect your scanner to your Mac, plug it in, and turn it on.

2. Click the Apple icon in the upper left corner, then select “System Preferences” followed by “Printers & Scanners”.

3. Select the scanner from the list on the left side of the window.

Then follow the instructions that correspond to the type of scanner you have:

Scan with a document feeder scanner

1. Place your pages in the scanner’s document feeder.

2. Select “Use Document Feeder”.

3. Set your scan options (such as color, two-sided pages, document size, and save location).

4. Click “Scan”.

Keep in mind that if you want to use different settings (like color for some pages and black and white for the rest), you’ll need to scan them as separate groups.

Scan with a flatbed scanner

1. Place your items on the scanner bed.

2. If necessary, deselect “Use Document Feeder”.

3. Choose the save location.

4. Choose the document size.

5. Click “Scan”.

If you want to scan multiple images at once and save them as separate files, make sure there is empty space between each item on the scanner bed.

Be aware that documents with a lot of white space can also be automatically saved as multiple files.

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