Even in this day and age, when practically everything is online and virtual, you will undoubtedly get some physical papers. The easiest approach to keep these papers safe is to scan them and store them to your hard drive, cloud storage, or NAS.
A multifunction or all-in-one printer is required for this. These gadgets, however, may be difficult to set up and operate. Even if you have additional models from the same manufacturer, they often need separate applications and drivers.
Fortunately, both Windows and Mac make it simple. This is how.
Scanning on Windows
If you use Windows, your computer will recognize your device once it is connected in through the USB port. Whether your printer is wireless or network-attached, Windows will recognize it immediately if it is linked to your network or the computer’s Bluetooth connection.
If your computer does not identify it, you will have to manually configure the machine.
Manually Adding a Printer
Before beginning this method, make sure your printer has electricity, is switched on, and is linked to your computer. If you have a network or wireless printer, make sure it’s linked to the same network as your computer.
After you’ve double-checked everything, try restarting your printer and seeing whether your computer now recognizes it. If it still doesn’t work, let’s try manually adding your printer.
First, choose the Start button, then select Settings. Navigate to Devices > Printers & scanners in the Settings pane. Select the Add a printer or scanner button from the Add printers & scanners section. Wait for the computer to discover nearby devices, both directly linked to your computer and through the network.
When your computer has detected all nearby devices, choose the one you wish to use and click Add device. It will then add your machine automatically, and you may choose it later from your scanning choices.
If it doesn’t work, click the link The printer I want isn’t listed. Windows will then launch a wizard to help you add your printer. Simply follow the on-screen directions to install your device.
After you’ve connected the gear, use the applications to begin your scan. Windows provides two methods for scanning documents: the classic Windows Fax and Scan software and the modern Windows Scan app. Both will be discussed more below.
Windows Fax and Scan
To open the software, click Start, then Windows Accessories > Windows Fax and Scan. Select New Scan in the Windows Fax and Scan box. After that, a New Scan window will display. Check that you’ve selected the right device under Scanner. Otherwise, click Change… to choose the correct one.
After selecting your device and configuring your scan settings, click Preview to begin scanning and see how your document will look. When you’re satisfied with the results, click Scan to scan and save the picture.
The stored picture will then display in the Windows Fax and Scan app’s main window. The file is normally kept in your Documents > Scanned Documents folder if you need to access it.
This application is not often pre-installed in Windows. You must first go to the Microsoft Store and search for Windows Scan before downloading and installing it. After you’ve configured it, open it from your Start Menu by clicking Scan.
A new Scan window will be shown. If you have several scanners, choose the relevant device, choose the File type to store your scan, and then click Preview. Your scan will then appear in the main window. You may also change the shape of your file’s edges by dragging and dropping the white circles at the corners.
After you’ve finished your settings, press the Scan button. After scanning your file, the software will display a pop-up at the top of the window informing you of the scan’s file name and location. Click View to open the file in a picture app, or Close when finished. The saved file may be found in your Pictures > Scans folder.
Related: The Best Ways to Scan and Digitize Old Photos
Scanning on a Mac
If you have an Apple computer, you may use your device to scan from any multifunction printer. To begin, go to PC Preferences > Printers & Scanners to see whether your multifunction printer is already installed on your system. It should be listed in the left column; if not, you must add it.
Adding Your Printer
Click on the Plus symbol to do so. A popup titled Add Printer will then open. If you have a USB printer, it should be listed immediately in this window. If you’re using a network printer, however, you should click on the IP symbol and configure it using its network address.
If your device is still not shown in the Add Printer box, you must go to the website of your printer manufacturer and download the necessary drivers.
Starting Your Scan
Return to Printers & Scanners after your device has been installed on your Mac. Select the device to be used, then select the Scan tab. You should see your device’s name in the main window, then click the Open Scanner… button underneath it.
A Scanner window will appear. Select the folder where you wish to store your scanned file in the bottom bar, then select the page size of your document and push Scan. The printer will initially do a preliminary scan to establish which documents it is dealing with. It will then scan and store each document it finds as a separate file.
Go to the folder you choose in the previous paragraph to locate the file you recently scanned.
Related: How to Print on a Mac
Digitizing Your Life
Keeping digital duplicates of your most critical physical data is an excellent idea. These documents may include your birth certificate, property titles, and contracts. That way, even if you misplace the original, you’ll still have access to their duplicates for future reference.
However, wherever you store these copies, make sure it’s in a secure location. Make sure it’s encrypted if you’re storing data on your computer or a cloud storage provider. And, if you’re storing information on an offline server, keep those disks secure in a locked safe. As a result, your most valuable possessions, such as your identity, are less vulnerable to theft.
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