Fujitsu Finally Makes Their Windows ScanSnap Scanners Work on Macs

Scansnap driver mac and windows

As a follow up to my recent post on the World’s Most Awesome Automated Filing System, I intended to write a post on how to get your Windows-only ScanSnap Scanner working on your Mac. This would have been important to those of you who switched from Windows to Mac, and wanted to use your old scanners. Until recently, Fujitsu, the maker of the ScanSnap, created an artificial distinction between their Mac and Windows scanners. The hardware was identical, which should have meant that as long as you had the correct driver for your system, either scanner should have worked on your machine. Unfortunately, Fujitsu built a check into their drivers, so that a Mac would see that you had the Windows-branded version of the ScanSnap, and not be able to use the scanner. This was an incompatibly cooked up out of thin air by Fujitsu. As much as I’m a huge fan of the ScanSnap line, this had the stench of an attempt to create more sales. Fortunately, those days appear to be over.

To get my Windows-branded ScanSnap working on my Mac, I’m using a workaround posted by the Tech Envy blog. It involved hacking the Mac drivers to remove the part that checks to see if you’re running the Mac or Windows version of the hardware. Commenters to that same post, starting in late April, are reporting that this hack is no longer necessary, and that the new drivers no longer create this artificial distinction. In other words, the Windows-branded version of the scanner now works on a Mac, using Fujitisu’s Mac driver.

I’m a coward, and not willing to mess with my perfectly working setup to see if the stock drivers work. If you have a Windows-branded ScanSnap sitting around, though, and hadn’t hooked it up to your Mac because it wouldn’t work, you might want to download the new drivers and give it a try. Since the Tech Envy blog contains only two comments verifying that the new drivers work, I’d love to hear from some of you if you have similar luck. If you do try it out, report back in the comments and let us know how it works.

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. Too little, too late for Fujitsu.

  2. Due to its preferable color, I bought a Windows ScanSnap S1500 approx a year to use with my iMac and have had no issues whatsoever. I believe I just downloaded the necessary driver and know I did nothing else special beyond that. Only thing I lost out on was the Carderis software for cataloging business cards.

  3. I am usually not a fan of these Karl van Hoet-style comments, but I just have to point out that the ScanSnap line has been cross-platform since 2009 when the S1500 and S1500M were released. As Joe mentions, the only difference is the bundled software and the colors. The scanners themselves work on either platform out of the box.

    It is only the pre-2009 models that have this (admittedly goofy) distinction.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Brooks. I must have purchased mine just before the policy was changed. Interesting, the site linked to above still seems to get a ton of traffic from people looking for a workaround, so there are many users of the older hardware out there.

  4. What are the differences in software bundled with the S1500 and the S1500M. I’m interested in purchasing the S1500 for my iMac (as it’s £100 cheaper on Amazon UK than the S1500M – £342.96 vs. £454.10)

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that even with a S1500, Fujitsu will let you download the Mac version of ABBYY FineReader — is this correct? (or would I be stuck with a PC version of the software?)

  5. We’ve gone ahead and made a pre-packaged version for download that works with Mac OS X 10.5.x (other releases not tested). This article is missing the fix for the bundles which stops you from being able to Scan2Folder, or print or Scan2Mail in English.

  6. Worked great with and S300 (win version) and Mavericks using the “non-denominational” Fujitsu software. The OCR worked as well. Thanks for the headsup

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