Quick Response or QR code is a kind of barcode that you can scan to finish a task. Though originally invented for identifying automobile parts, nowadays it is widely used for accessing web addresses, coupons, payments, personal identification, etc. You can use your smartphone or desktop to scan a QR code without the need of any additional devices. When it comes to iPhone, there are different ways to scan QR code depending upon the purposes. In this article, I will show 4 different ways to scan QR code in iPhone.
Understand the Purpose of QR Code
QR code is an image downloaded to your iPhone or displayed on a physical banner or shown digitally on other devices. Since the purpose varies widely, first make sure to understand what type of code you are trying to scan. For example, you should use a correct app to scan the code when trying to send or receive money. Simply scanning the code with your camera will not work in this case and you will see an error message. So, depending upon the purpose, choose one of the following methods.
1. Scan QR Code with Camera App
This is the most common way of scanning QR code in iPhone to open website addresses and apps. As mentioned, this will not work for payment codes. You can scan the code outside of iPhone or from an image available in your Photos app.
- Open Camera app and simply show the device in front of your QR code.
- iPhone will automatically scan the code and show the intended action. For example, the website URL embedded in the code.
- Tap on the site address showing to open it in Safari browser.
- Alternatively, tap on the QR code icon to reveal additional menu items for sharing, coping the link, adding to reading list and opening the page in Safari.
Follow the below steps if the code is available as an image in your Photos app:
- Open Camera app and tap on the picture preview showing at the bottom left corner.
- This will open Photos app and find the picture which contains your QR code.
- Tap on the Live Text icon shows at the bottom right corner of the image.
- iPhone will automatically scan the QR code from your image and show the website URL.
- Tap on the URL to open it in Safari browser.
2. Scan QR Code Using Photos App
Instead of using Camera, you can directly scan the QR code using Photos app when you have the code as a picture. For example, you can take a screenshot of a QR code received in your email and scan using Photos app as explained below.
- Open Photos app and find the picture that has QR code.
- Tap on the Live Text icon showing at the bottom right corner of the image.
- iPhone will show the intended action from QR code like website URL.
- Tap on it to open the site in your browser.
3. Scan QR Code with Code Scanner
iPhone’s Control Center has a Code Scanner option which you can use to scan most type of codes. By default, Code Scanner is part of Control Center. However, you can manually add the icon if it is not showing on your iPhone.
- Tap on “Settings” app and go to “Control Center” section.
- Go to “More Controls” section and tap on the green + icon in front of “Code Scanner” item.
- This will add Code Scanner under “Included Controls” section.
- Close the “Settings” app and swipe from top right corner of the screen to open Control Center.
- Find Code Scanner app and tap on it.
- Show your iPhone in front of a QR code and the app will automatically scan the code and open the associated site address. When you are in dark area, tap on the flashlight to view the code clearly.
- You can read the content, share or open with Safari app. Once finished, close the browsing window and swipe the window up from the bottom edge to close Code Scanner app.
The advantage is that the page from QR code automatically opens within Code Scanner app. However, you can only scan from an external image and can’t scan the code from an image available in your iPhone.
4. Scan QR Code with Google Lens
Unlike all the above options, Google Lens allows you to search and open related content from the QR code. You can also use Lens to open associated website link from QR codes. For this, you need to download and install Google or Google Chrome app. Here, I will show how to scan QR code with Chrome and you can do the same with Google app also.
- Open Chrome and tap on the Google Lens icon showing in the search box.
- You will be prompted to provide permission for Chrome accessing your Camera and tap on “OK”.
- Next screen will show that Google Lens will use the camera only when the app is open and tap on “Continue” button.
- Show your iPhone in front of any QR code and Google Lens will show the associated link. Tap on the link to open in Chrome.
- If there are no links associated with the QR code, tap on the shutter button to show search results for the code.
All the above options are generally used to scan QR code in iPhone for opening associated link. As mentioned, you can use Google Lens for searching products and items. However, you should use the associated apps instead of the above options for scanning QR codes related to payment and personal identification. For example, you should use WhatsApp (not Camera or Photos app) to scan a friend’s QR code to add in your chat list.