Turn your phone into a scanner.

Shoebox from Ancestry.com is the best way to scan old photos and records to your family tree.


  1. Crop & auto-flatten

    We find the edges of your photos and autocorrect the perspective.

  2. Map the location

    Our mapping system lets you pinpoint exactly where the photo was taken.

  3. Date your photos

    We make it easy to date your photos so that information is recorded for future generations.

  4. Tag family members

    Our face detection will automatically find your family members so you can tag them in the photo.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Shoebox from Ancestry.com?

    Shoebox turns your iPhone or Android into a high-quality photo scanner. With Shoebox, you can quickly scan paper photos, add important historical information like dates and places, and upload directly to your Ancestry.com family tree.

  2. How does Shoebox work?

    Simply use the app to photograph an old paper photo using your phone’s camera. Our special technology automatically spots the edges of the photo and auto-corrects the perspective. The result looks just as good as a photo scanned by a traditional flat-bed scanner.

  3. How do I ensure high-quality scans?

    First, make sure all four corners are visible in frame before snapping your photo. For the best quality scans, avoid overhead lighting and shadows–lots of natural light works best.

  4. How do I know which family tree I’m uploading to?

    At the top of the upload stream, you will see the name of your selected family tree. If you have more than one family tree, you can tap the name to reveal your list of tree. Select your preferred tree and begin the scanning process.

  5. How do I add photo details during the scanning process?

    Editing dates, places, tags, and captions is easy. After you’ve cropped a photo, you will be taken to a “Edit details” page. Use the icons at the bottom to tag family members, date your photo, add a location, and write your own description.

  6. Can I edit or add photo details after I’ve uploaded a photo?

    After you’ve uploaded your photo, flip it by tapping the small grey arrow icon in the top right corner of the uploads stream. Then, click anywhere on the back of the photo to open the edit toolbar. Your changes will be made on Ancestry.com as well.

  7. Where are my photos stored?

    If you’ve enabled Shoebox in your phone’s privacy settings, each scan will be added to your camera roll. In addition, your scans will be added to the media gallery in your account on Ancestry.com (accessible with the same username and password you used for Shoebox).

  8. What about the quality?

    The quality of camera phones has increased so much that your handy mobile phone can be as good as a scanner. The iPhone 4S+ offers a 8 megapixel camera that takes images at 2448x3264 resolution. Make sure you setup with lots of natural light and no glare for the highest quality scans.