How to Scan Photos to Your Mac

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How to Scan Photos to Your Mac

While ScanSnaps are designed primarily to scan documents into PDFs, there are many instances where users, including myself, use it scan photos for storage or to share with family and friends. Here is a simple way to scan photos to your Mac by creating a profile specifically for scanning photos! Important note: since the ScanSnap is built for documents, delicate photos should only be put through a scanner using a carrier sheet.

The easiest way to scan photos is to create a special profile. Start by going to your ScanSnap icon, two finger or control click to bring up the menu and go to Settings.


In Settings, uncheck the QuickMenu box in the top left corner. Then go over to Profiles on the top right hand corner and drop down the menu to create a new profile. I’ve named my profile “Photo Scanning”. Starting on the left with the Application tab, select “Photos” as the application.


Next, go to the Save tab and select Pictures (or a specific folder within Pictures) as your Save location.


To get the highest resolution images (best for re-sizing), select “Excellent” as your image quality under the Scanning tab. *Note that this level, the highest dpi, will slow down your scanning speeds a little bit. You can either use “Auto color” or “Color” for your photos. I’ll keep it as “Auto color”. Select “Single-side” for the Scanning side, unless you have notes on the back of the photos that you would like to keep.



For File Option, change the File format to “JPEG”. Now hit Apply and Save. It’s that easy!



To use this profile, one finger or left click on your ScanSnap icon and select your Photo Scanning profile.



Now that we have our profile set up, let’s talk about actually scanning your photos.

First things first… What model are you using – the iX500, iX100, or SV600? Here are a couple things to think about for each of these scanners.

The iX500– Since it is a larger scanner, you can stack a few photos in at a time. I know it can handle up to 50 sheets, but for photos, (since they are thicker and more delicate) we recommend just putting a few in at a time. Your photos should be face down and upside down. I would do batches of either portrait or landscape, so all the photos are saved the same way. Be sure to carrier sheet for the more delicate photos.

The iX100– Since you can only scan one image at a time, make sure to feed them in face up and top first, so they all save the right way. The iX100 has a straight scanning path so this scanner will be gentler with your more delicate photos, though we still recommend using a carrier sheet for them. Since this is a simplex scanner, if you have notes you would like to capture on the back, make sure to flip the picture over and scan the back side.

The SV600– With the overhead scanner, you can put your large and/or very delicate photos on the black background with out worrying if they will be safe. You can also put 4 photos on the black background at once, and the software will save them as 4 separate images.

*Note for S1300i– Because of the paper path, we do not recommend using this scanner to scan photos.

Now that we’ve talked scanners, let’s talk organization. When scanning photos, it’s important to organize them before scanning them in. I recommend organizing them by size and orientation. I would also make a separate pile for those super delicate photos that need to be scanned with the carrier sheet.

Then, once the photos are in your desktop folder, you can import them from Google Photos, or another photo storage/sharing app to preserve in the cloud, and/or send to friends and family!

Now you’re a photo scanning pro!

Happy Scanning.

Allie Rumpanos
Business Development