Even in these days, when almost everything is online and virtually, you still get some kind of physical documents. And the best way to save these documents is to scan them and save them to your hard drive, cloud storage or NAS.
To do this, you need an MFP or MFP. However, these devices can be confusing to set up and use. They often require different applications and drivers, even if you are using different models from the same manufacturer.
Fortunately, both Windows and Mac make this easy. Here’s how.
Scanning in Windows
If you are a Windows user, your computer will automatically detect your device when it is connected via USB. Regardless of whether your printer is a wireless or networked device, Windows will automatically detect it as long as it is connected to your network or to your computer’s Bluetooth connection.
However, if your computer does not detect it, you will have to configure the machine manually.
Manually adding a printer
Before starting this procedure, you must make sure that your printer is powered up, turned on, and connected to your computer. If you have a network or wireless printer, you should also check if it is connected to the same network as your computer.
After you’ve double checked the above, try restarting your printer and see if your computer detects it now. If this is still not the case, let’s proceed with adding your printer manually.
First click the ” Start” button , then go to ” Settings” . In the Settings window, choose Devices > Printers & Scanners . In the Add Printers and Scanners section, click the Add Printer or Scanner button . Wait while the computer tries to find nearby devices that are connected directly to your computer or over a network.
Once your computer detects all nearby devices, select the one you want to use and click Add Device . Then it will automatically add your device and you can select it later in scan options.
However, if this does not happen, click on the link “The printer I want is not listed . ” Windows will then open a wizard to add your printer. Just follow the instructions to set up your device.
After adding hardware, you can open applications to start scanning. Windows offers two ways to scan documents; the first is the legacy Windows Fax and Scan application , and the second is the newer Windows Scan application . We’ll cover both options below.
Windows Fax and Scan
Click Start, then select Windows Accessories > Windows Fax and Scan to access the application. In the Windows Fax and Scan window, select New Scan . The “New Scan” window will open. Make sure you have selected the correct device in the Scanner section . Otherwise, click ” Change …” to select the one you want.
Once you’ve selected your device and configured your scan settings, click Preview to start scanning and see how your document will look. And when you are happy with the results, click Scan to scan and save the image.
The saved image appears in the Windows Fax and Scan main window. If you want to access the file, it is usually saved in the Documents > Scanned Documents folder .
This application is usually not pre-installed on Windows. First, you need to go to the Microsoft Store , find a Windows scan, and then download and install it. Once configured, launch it from the Start menu by clicking Scan .
A new scan window will appear . If you have multiple scanners, select the correct device, select the file type you want to save the scan to, and then click Preview . After that, you will see your scan in the main window. You can also adjust the edges of the file by dragging the white circles around the corners of the file.
After you complete your settings, click on ” Scan” . After scanning the file, the application will show a pop-up window at the top of the window that will indicate the name of the scan file and the location to save it. Click View to open the file in your photo app, or click Close when done. You can access the saved file in the Pictures > Scans folder .
RELATED: Best Ways to Scan and Digitize Old Photos
If you have an Apple computer, you can also scan from any multifunction printer using your device. First, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners to check if your multifunction printer is installed on your system. You should see it in the left column; otherwise, you need to add it.
Adding your printer
To do this, click the + sign . The Add Printer window will open . If you are using a USB printer, it should automatically appear in this window. But if you are using a network printer, you should click the IP icon and configure it using its network address.
However, if your device still does not appear in the Add Printer window, you will need to visit your printer manufacturer’s website and download the appropriate drivers.
After installing the device on your Mac, return to the Printers & Scanners section . Select the device you want to use, then click the Scan tab . You should see the name of your device in the main window, then click the ” Open Scanner …” button below it .
The scanner window will open . From the bottom panel, select the folder where you want to save the scanned file, select the document paper size , then click Scan . The printer will first pre-scan to identify the documents it is working with. Then it will scan each document it finds and save it as a separate file.
To find the file you recently scanned, navigate to the folder you selected in the previous paragraph.
Related: How to Print on Mac
Digitizing your life
It’s definitely a good idea to keep digital copies of your most important physical files. This could be your birth certificate, title deeds, and contracts. This way, even if you lose the original document, you still have access to copies of it for reference.
However, wherever you store these copies, always make sure they are in a safe place. If you save it to your computer or cloud storage, make sure it is encrypted. And if you store it on a stand-alone server, keep those discs in a locked safe. This way, your most valuable possessions, such as your identity, cannot be stolen easily.