How to Scan a Picture on an All-in-One Printer

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

Scanning your pictures with an all-in-one printer is one of the first steps you can take into the world of modern photography. As imaging technology improves, the smelly darkroom is becoming a thing of the past. If you have a stack of photographs, you can scan them onto your computer and go digital in no time. Follow these steps to scan a picture on an all-in-one printer:

Blow the dust from your scanner and printing area with canned air. Clean the scanner bed and the underside of the document lid with a damp, lint-free cloth before scanning.

Get your computer and all-in-one printer turned on and talking to each other. Open the scanning software on your computer if needed. If not, you can use the controls on your printer to run the show.

Lay the picture to be scanned face-down on the glass. Square up the photo using the guides that are usually located along the edges of the scanning bed.

Close the lid.

Go for a higher dpi (dots per inch) count if you plan on displaying the scanned image at larger-than-life size. Otherwise, you can select a lower resolution.

Click the scan button on your computer's scanning software window. Some all-in-one printers need you to press the scan button on the printer itself; check the manual before using.

Get a preview of the scanned image up on your computer monitor. This might happen automatically depending on your software settings; if not, you will have to prompt your computer to display one.

Correct small defects such as red-eye in the image. Save extensive changes for later with dedicated photo-editing software.

Accept the scan and save to your hard drive. Remember to put your picture away.


Clean the photo before scanning and remove any dust, hair or fingerprints from the surface of the picture. Exercise caution when cleaning old photographs as the paper stock may be sensitive to touch or moisture.

JPEG files can compress the image to a smaller size for ease of storage, but the higher you set the compression factor, the more the picture quality will suffer. TIFF files do not significantly compress the information and preserve quality, but their file size can be 10 or more times bigger than JPEGs.

Use the scanner bed even if your all-in-one printer has a document feeder. The feed process can do horrible things to photo stock.


Do not over-soak your cleaning cloth. Excess moisture can get under the scanner bed's glass and damage the electronics of your printer. If the rag drips, it is too wet; wring it out before using.

Items you will need

  • Computer

  • All-in-one printer