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Where Are Scans Saved?

Ugh! Don’t you hate that? You scan a document (or image), the scan window closes, and your computer stares at you as if nothing happened.

Hey! Where’s my scan?

If you scanned your document correctly, it’s in there — somewhere.

Unless you specify where you wish your scan to be saved (more about that in a minute), your computer will save your scan where the computer programmers decided it should be saved. Here are a few of their hiding places:

  • The “My Scans” folder in the “My Documents” Folder (Windows)
  • The “Pictures” or “Documents” folder (Mac)
  • Within the folders of the Printer/Scanner Software (Epson, HP, Kodak, etc.) that was installed on your computer when you installed your printer/scanner device.

If you locate your scan, and you are happy with where it lives, you need not change any settings.

If, however, you prefer to specify where your scan will be saved, and you wish to name the file (“Scan_001” is only so descriptive), you can!

When you next scan a document, look carefully at the choices on the scan dialogue box. Is there a “Settings” button, a “Preferences” button, or a “More Details” option? Depending on the kind of printer/scanner you have, you will have choices: Color or black and white? Document or picture? JPEG, TIFF, or PDF? And, of course, destination.

I recommend that you set the scan destination to be your computer’s “Desktop.” This way, every new scan will pop up where you can see it and act on it immediately: email it, insert it in a project, or place it in a meaningful location for later use.

Happy scanning!