Changing your Photo Scanner Settings

Modifying scanner settings is an easy enough task. As there are lots of types of scanners and various ways of accessing the settings so I will stick to the most generic approach.

Mind you…. you could always use a search engine to find the exact scanner settings tutorial or manual. Just type in your “make and model” and keywords “change scanner settings”


The approach below is for Windows PCs:


  1. Choose Start→Control Panel. Type scanners in the Control Panel search field and press Enter.

The Control Panel window appears.

  1. Click View Scanners and Cameras.

You see a list of installed scanners in the Scanners and Cameras ..etc

scanner dialog box

  1. Click on your scanner in the Scanners and Cameras area and then click the Scan Profiles button.

The Profiles dialog box appears.

  1. Click Edit.

The Edit Default Profile dialog box appears.

scanner settings

  1. Review the settings.

These settings may include (depending on your scanner model) colour management for fine-tuning the way colours are scanned and resolution settings that control how detailed a scan is performed. (The higher the resolution, the crisper and cleaner your photo will be, but the more time it may take to scan.)

  1. Click Save Profile to return to the Properties dialog box and then click the Close button twice.

The Profiles & Scanners and Cameras windows will close.

  1. When you’re ready to run a scan, place the item to be scanned in your scanner.

Depending on your model, the item may be placed on a flat “bed” with a hinged cover or fed through a tray. Check your scanner’s manual for the specific procedure to initiate a scan (for example, pressing a Scan or Start button). After you begin the scan, your computer automatically detects it and displays a dialog box showing you the scan progress and allowing you to view and save the scanned item.


Read about ‘Changing your scanners DPI / Resolution Settings

Scanners – DPI & Resolutions

Scanning photos is relatively easy, however if you’re not sure how to set the appropriate Resolution / DPI (dots per inch) and the advantages of that read on:

Go into your scanner settings and look for “DPI” or “Resolution” and review your scanners current settings.

Setting your scanners DPI / Resolution correctly can increase your photo size dramatically.


scanner settings

  • With 300 DPI you can digitise your 4×6 photo into the same size: 4×6 digital photo. This is because in photo labs they use 300 dpi or dots per inch to print your photos.
  • Setting your scanner to 600 DPI you can double the size of your photograph without losing any quality
  • Setting your scanner at a higher and higher setting you can increase your photo size
  • Even at 1200 DPI, can turn a small 2×3 photo into a 16×24 digital photo — without losing any quality.


However, remember the file size of your photo will increase and you may have difficulty emailing our uploading it if you set the DPI too high.


How to take a picture of an old Photo

Photo of PhotoThe best way to digitize old photos is to scan the images with a scanner.

If you do not have access to a scanner, you could photograph them.

Heres how:

Set up your photograph in a place with lots of daylight/ambient light removing any dust and debris from the photo.


*Avoid direct overhead lighting or other light sources that create a glare on the photo.

*Turn off the camera’s flash.

  • Set up your camera in a position that the camera is parallel with the photograph so that the camera is facing directly at the photo.
  • When you look through the camera’s viewfinder the entire photo is contained and leave a little of extra space around the edge of the photo to avoid accidentally missing part of subject matter.
  • Set the camera’s settings to the highest possible resolution to ensure the highest quality photo. If your photo is small and the camera is positioned close to it, set the camera to macro mode, if available.
  • Take the picture. (Take a photo with the timer so it eliminates motion blur when pressing the button)
  • To ensure the best results, take several pictures of the photo and then select the best one later.

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Dave has been reproducing antique and interesting photographs including old maps for over 10 years.

His studio is based in Las Vegas, Nevada and ships to all regions on plant earth.

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