Here are answers to some common questions about using your computer to scan documents or pictures.

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How long does it take to scan a document or picture?

It depends on the speed of your scanner. It can also depend on the settings that you select for each scan and how many pages or pictures you're scanning at a time. If the default settings for your scanner or the settings that you select include a high dots per inch (DPI) setting, the scan might take longer to complete. However, a higher DPI setting can improve the resolution of the scanned image, or how it appears on the screen or in print. For example, if you scan a picture at a higher resolution, you can make a larger print copy of the scanned picture without reducing visual quality. It can also make the scanned picture appear sharper when you view it on the screen.

Can I scan more than one document or picture at a time?

It depends on the program and type of scanner that you're using.

  • If you use Windows Fax and Scan, some (but not all) flatbed scanners enable you to scan multiple images that you place on the scanner to separate files. To see if you can obtain a driver that allows your flatbed scanner to provide this option when you use Windows Fax and Scan, contact the scanner manufacturer. For more information, see the tips for using Windows Fax and Scan in Scan a document or file.

  • If you're using a scanner with a document feeder and Windows Fax and Scan, you can scan multiple pages to a single file by scanning to the TIFF (.tif) file format. For more information, see the tips for using Windows Fax and Scan in Scan a document or file.

  • If you use a different program, such as a program that came with your scanner, see the Help for the program.

Where are scanned documents or pictures stored on my computer?

It depends on the program that you use.

  • If you scan a document or picture using Windows Fax and Scan, the files are stored in your Scanned Documents folder, which is located in the Documents folder on your computer.

  • If you scan using Windows Photo Gallery, the files are stored in the Pictures folder on your computer.

  • If you scan using a different scanning program, the program will typically allow you to choose a location or folder in which to store your scanned files. For more information, see the Help for the program.

Can I change where scanned documents and pictures are stored on my computer?

Yes, although depending on the scanning program that you use, you might need to manually locate and then copy or move them to another location.

What is the best way to view scanned documents and pictures?

It depends on the program that you use.

  • If you scan using Windows Fax and Scan, we recommend that you view scanned documents and pictures by opening Windows Fax and Scan to the Scan view, and then clicking the ones that you want to view.

  • If you scan using Windows Photo Gallery, we recommend that you view scanned documents and pictures by opening Windows Photo Gallery, and then double-clicking the ones that you want to view.

  • If you scan using a different program, see the Help for that program.

Can I make changes to a document or picture after I scan it?

It depends on the program that you use.

  • If you scan using Windows Fax and Scan, you can make changes to a scanned document or picture by double-clicking it. The document or picture opens in Windows Photo Gallery, where you can use tools for changing the exposure, colors, and composition of the image. When you're finished, close Windows Photo Gallery and your changes will be automatically saved in Scan view in Windows Fax and Scan. For more information about using Windows Photo Gallery, see Tips for editing pictures.

  • If you scan using a different program, see the Help for that program.

Which Windows programs can I use to scan documents and pictures?

In this version of Windows, you can use Windows Fax and Scan or Windows Photo Gallery. To use these programs, however, you must first connect a scanner or multifunction printer with scanning capabilities to your computer. For more information, see Add or remove a scanner.

  • Windows Fax and Scan is a program that enables you to send and receive faxes and to scan documents or pictures by using your computer. You can also use it to fax or e-mail scanned documents and pictures to other people. For more information, see Scan a document or file.

  • Windows Photo Gallery is designed to display the pictures and videos stored in the Pictures folder on your computer. When you scan using Windows Photo Gallery, scanned documents and pictures are automatically saved in the Pictures folder on your computer, but you can view and edit them using Windows Photo Gallery. For more information about scanning using Windows Photo Gallery, see Scan a picture. For more information about making changes to scanned documents and pictures using Windows Photo Gallery, see Tips for editing pictures.

Can I use the scanning program that came with my scanner or multifunction printer?

Yes. Many scanners and multifunction printers with scanning capabilities come with their own scanning programs. The programs are typically installed at the same time that you connect the device to your computer. To use Windows Fax and Scan or Windows Photo Gallery instead, start the scan using the options provided in these programs. For more information about scanning using Windows Fax and Scan, see Scan a document or file. For more information scanning using Windows Photo Gallery, see Scan a picture.

Can I see a preview of how a scanned document or picture will look before I scan it?

It depends on the program and the scanner that you're using. Some scanners, such as a scanner with a document feeder that can scan multiple pages at one time, might not support a preview option. Some programs or scanners automatically scan a document or picture, and then enable you to edit the scanned file later. Other programs, such as Windows Fax and Scan, enable you to preview what the scanned file will look like and then adjust the scan settings before you continue, but only if the scanner supports a preview option. For more information about previewing documents and pictures using Windows Fax and Scan, see Scan a document or file.