Epson Scan 2 — Will It Work With My Scanner?
Epson quietly released a new version of their popular scanning software, “Epson Scan,” that comes bundled with their document and flatbed photo scanners. But there's already been confusion about which scanners and operating systems it supports. Could it be possible that “Epson Scan 2” won't even run on the latest versions of Microsoft Windows?
Epson Scan 2 is an incredibly welcoming upgrade to those of us who have been using their original Epson Scan software all these years with what seems like no significant updates along the way. While other popular applications we all use routinely have received incremental upgrades through the years, as design aesthetics and technologies have changed, Epson has held the original Epson Scan back by ensuring the software looked and worked the same way for over a decade.
But, I have to say since I discovered the new update in late 2019, I've been quite impressed overall with what Epson has achieved with the almost complete overhaul. In my opinion, even though noticeable features weren't added in this upgrade, Epson Scan 2 is still quite an improvement over the original Epson Scan scanning software.
As you can see in the comparison screenshot below, Epson Scan 2 is cleaner looking, more compact, and with often-used settings and buttons reorganized so they are more logically located and easier to find. This translates to a scanning experience that's less confusing and, therefore, a lot more fun.
For me, if you're about to scan a bunch of your family photos, the question isn't whether or not you should update your installation of Epson Scan to the new version — because you most definitely should.
The real question to ask is, do you even have the option to install it on your computer?
Epson Scan 2 Compatibility
Surprisingly, this latest version of Epson Scan isn't compatible with as many scanners or operating systems as you would like to believe.
I started using Epson Scan 2 in the fall of 2019 on my Mac desktop computer connected to Epson's “Perfection” line of flatbed photo scanners. As time passed, I realized very little information was published about the new version — even on Epson's website.
I wondered how many other people were even using this new version. Maybe there were a lot of Epson flatbed scanner owners who haven't even heard about this major upgrade yet.
As I dug deeper into the compatibility of Epson Scan 2 with the most popular and latest models of their Perfection scanners, I was actually quite shocked to learn that there appeared to be a huge missing segment of users that — at least currently — aren't even capable of installing Epson Scan 2.
It seemed to me as if Epson hadn't made it possible for their Perfection line of flatbed scanners to work for anyone with a Windows computer — even if they had the latest update from Microsoft.
This just couldn't be. Could it?
So I immediately contacted the customer support team at Epson America, Inc and spoke to someone specifically about their release of Epson Scan 2 and who it was intended for.
Epson Scan 2 With Windows 10
When asking specifically about Epson Scan 2 running on Windows, Epson's support responded with the following details:
Epson Scan 2 for Windows was developed for retail/business document scanners; see exceptions below.
Scanner Models that use Epson Scan 2 in Windows:
DS-1630Epson (America) Support
DS-30000 / DS-32000
DS-320 / WF ES-200 / WF ES-300W / WF ES-300WR
DS-530 /WF ES-400 /WF ES-500W /WF ES-500WR
DS-575W /DS-770 /DS-780N
DS-870 /970 /ES-865
(WF = WorkForce)
(The FF series are photo scanners designed for fast photo batch scanning. They use Epson Scan 2.)
After reading the information they sent to me several times, my takeaway was that Epson never looked at the development of “Epson Scan 2” as a piece of software that was badly needed to be a replacement to their aging scanner software across their entire line of scanners and on both operating systems.
Because of this, on Windows computers, I believe they were strategically choosing to update the scanning software on only a couple of subsets of their scanner models. Therefore, it's hard for me not to believe their main focus was just to improve the user experience for their business users, who primarily use their Epson scanners to scan office documents. Which, to be fair, is likely a much larger division that brings in a lot more revenue.
Update: See below for the latest information on Epson Scan 2 with Windows
Epson Scan 2 With Mac
Because I have been using Epson Scan 2 on my Mac for some time now, I already knew that Epson Scan 2 was compatible with their Perfection line of flatbed photo scanners. And because I'm pretty versed with the intricacies of every macOS update before it comes out (I'm a nerd like that!), I was quite confident I already knew why Epson Scan 2 was chosen to run with more Mac scanners than on Windows. But still, I was certainly very curious to find out how willing Epson's support was going to be to truthfully explain and hopefully even defend this unusual discrepancy.
Here's what Epson had to say about why Epson Scan 2 works with macOS:
Apple's macOS 10.15 “Catalina” operating system requires 64-bit drivers. [The original] Epson Scan is 32-bit. So, on select models, we updated the driver to Epson Scan 2, which is 64-bit.Epson (America) Support
If this overly “techie” explanation went completely over your head and crashed in the next room, let me break it down for you in “normal person” talk.
When Apple released the latest version of their Mac operating system for desktop computers in the fall of 2019 — called version 10.15 “Catalina” — they stated that applications would run faster and better and it, therefore, would be a win-win for all of us. But, for this to happen, all current applications running on our Macs had to be rewritten in a new way by the companies that developed them with programming code so that they would work in this new “faster” and “better” operating system. The old “slower” code is technically referred to as “32-bit,” and the new and improved code is called “64-bit.”
So, what I assumed to be true — and what I believe Epson's support “admitted” in their single sentence to me — was that the only reason Epson made it possible for Mac users to use Epson Scan 2 with their Epson Perfection flatbed scanners is that they literally had to. Their hands were basically tied.
See, if Epson didn't make Epson Scan 2 work on Macs, every single Mac user who upgraded their operating system from an older version to macOS 10.15 “Catalina”, or anyone who bought a brand new Mac which already had “Catalina” pre-installed on it, would find out their Epson scanner would no longer work with Epson's own scanning software — the original Epson Scan.
Can you imagine what kind of a public relations nightmare that would have been for Epson!?
So, it seems like Epson had two choices. Either upgrade the old programming code in the original Epson Scan scanning software so that it would work for “Catalina” users or make changes to their more recent scanning software (“Epson Scan 2”) written for their FastFoto “sheet-fed” scanners and retail/business document scanners so that it would also work for macOS “Catalina” users with their flatbed scanners.
We certainly know which choice they ended up choosing. And in this particular case, we have the “higher-ups” at Apple to thank for always pushing the limits of what Apple devices can do and what they require to make these advances possible.
Cool “Mojave” Tip:
I think it's also important to mention here that even though the original 32-bit version of Epson Scan doesn't run on macOS 10.15 “Catalina,” the new Epson Scan 2 version will run in the earlier macOS 10.14 “Mojave” for some of the Epson models. So, if, for one of many reasons, your Mac is still running a version of “Mojave,” you can technically have both the original Epson Scan and Epson Scan 2 installed simultaneously, and they will both run. However, if you're wondering, no, you can't have them both running at the same time.
Which Epson Photo Scanners Are Currently Supported
I've compiled a nice organized chart for you that will show you which of the latest popular models of the Epson photo scanners are currently compatible with the Epson Scan 2 scanning software.
Epson Scan 2 Supported "Photo" Scanners
|Windows 10+||macOS 10.15+|
|Windows 10 (32/64-bit)||Mac 10.15.x +|
|Epson Perfection V370 Photo|
|Epson Perfection V550 Photo|
|Epson Perfection V600 Photo|
|Epson Perfection V700 Photo|
|Epson Perfection V800 Photo|
|Epson Perfection V750 Pro|
|Epson Perfection V850 Pro|
|Epson FastFoto FF-640W|
|Epson FastFoto FF-680W|
Will “Epson Scan 2” Ever Work With Epson Perfection Scanners in Windows 10?
For many, it will be disheartening to learn that this new and improved version of Epson Scan won't work with your Perfection scanner model in Microsoft Windows.
Nope, not even with their top-of-the-line V800 series flatbed models! It's almost hard to believe.
Epson support specifically stated in their correspondence with me:
For now, all photo scanners for Windows will continue to use [the original] Epson Scan, except for the FastFoto series.Epson Support
The keywords really worth highlighting here are “for now.” The eternal optimist in me believes that someday, the Perfection line of Epson scanners will also support Epson Scan 2 in Microsoft Windows.
There was a glimmer of hope for Windows users in July when a Scan Your Entire Life member posted in the Community forum that the official Epson support site in Australia (where he lives) had posted Windows 10 download links for Epson Scan 2 with support for their current line of Epson Perfection scanners.
I checked it out, and he was right! The Australia Epson support site was, in fact, allowing you to download a version of Epson Scan 2 that worked with Windows.
Additionally, two weeks later, I received an email from someone living in the UK, and they stated their Epson support website allowed them to download a version of Epson Scan 2 for their Windows 7 system.
With these two confirmed sightings, I started to believe Windows support was finally being released in different countries (internationally) and maybe will eventually end up in the United States at some point soon.
However, the good news soon ended when the first member updated his forum post to report he was having “colour output issues with his scans” on his newly downloaded Windows version of Epson Scan 2. And not long after, he heard back directly from Epson support in Australia that, for the record, Epson Scan 2 is officially not supported on Windows — which likely explains why he was having some color issues.
Epson's response was:
For Windows Operating System
Please use Epson Scan for Windows (i.e. not Epson Scan 2). This is the correct driver that should be used for your scanner and our website has now been updated as it was previously showing both.
For Mac Operating SystemEpson Australia (Support)
For Mac version, Epson Scan 2 is the only driver that can work with macOS Catalina or later OS. This is already on our website and as advised by our software engineers is the correct driver that should used.
Epson has since updated its support pages that were incorrectly showing the Windows download links.
My Latest Thoughts
As disappointed as I am that what happened in July all turned out to be a mistake and not the beginnings of an official Windows Epson Scan 2 launch, I'm still not convinced this response and action from Epson implies Epson Scan 2 will never be released for Windows.
Before this temporary availability of a Windows 10 driver download for Windows 10, I originally thought that Epson's reasoning for not releasing a Windows version was purely financial. Likely they were performing a “triage system” of services where they are choosing to only spend the money to re-write their applications and drivers for the scanner models and operating systems that require the updates first.
Maybe the Windows version is now very close to being released, and they are just finishing up some final testing before they officially release it. And maybe to all countries at the same time. We'll see.
But, I certainly understand this defense (or at least an explanation) is likely going to be of little comfort in the short term for all the Microsoft Windows users out there — especially those who own one of their top-of-the-line V800 series flatbed scanners — who are left feeling unappreciated because they aren't able to run the “latest and greatest” version of Epson's own scanning software.