In iOS 13 (maybe 12?) you can scan documents using the files app. It uses the camera, manually or automatically crops, allows multiple pages, and produces a PDF. A very large PDF.

My single A4 page is 10MB. A drivers license 4MB. It’s too big for uploading to some sites.

Is there a way to reduce the file size, either while scanning or after the fact? Specifically without using a 3rd party app (there’s lots and my expectation was to avoid the need for these with a built in feature).

  • I’m on ios 12, so I don’t know, is it possible that you can make pdf using photos already in the library ? Then you can try downsizing the photos by sending them to yourself on app like telegram or WhatsApp
    – anki
    Nov 24, 2019 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


This is fixed in iOS 15 - the scan sizes are adequate now:

  • color ~1MB
  • gray scale ~350KB
  • 1
    Seems there is a regression, I just scanned a two-pager and the PDF with an iPhone SE 2nd generation and the PDF has 18MB. Jan 20, 2023 at 16:54
  • @MirkoFriedenhagen I can't see that. For me it is still working.
    – berlin104
    Mar 13, 2023 at 13:05

As a workaround you can scan in black & white and not in colour. Then you have much more acceptable file size (~500 kB for single page).

You can also try to compress the file after scanning. (See this answer)

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