How to scan a QR code with your iPhone or Android phone (no apps needed)


Your smartphone is full of surprises. There is an app if you want to use your phone as a magnifying glass or scanner. Tap or click here for hidden apps on your smartphone and how to find them.

Third-party programs take up space on your phone and many are unnecessary thanks to your phone’s built-in capabilities. Tap or click here for common apps you can uninstall now.

Quick Response codes, more commonly known as QR codes, are those pixelated squares you see in restaurants, advertisements, retail stores, food packaging, business cards, airline tickets – you name it. Some developers would lead you to believe that you need to download their app to scan them. Spoiler: Your phone can do that with built-in features.

Follow the maze

QR codes were originally created to track car parts, but are now used for much more.

Readers can scan this QR code to make a donation to the American Red Cross and join FOX Corporation’s efforts to provide relief after Hurricane Ian.
(FOX company)

How many calories are in those fries? Where can you buy the outfit you see in an ad? How many kilometers can this car drive on a liter of petrol? A quick QR code scan can solve all these questions and more. Think of this technology as a smart barcode.

QR codes have been around long before smartphones and your device can scan them right out of the box. Here’s how to use this handy feature without any third-party software.

Use your phone’s native capabilities to avoid malware

Third-party scanning apps are popular, making them excellent delivery systems for malware. Hackers hide dangerous code in these handy apps that can steal your money, hijack your personal data or even take over your device.

RELATED: QR Code App Caught Hiding Malware – Check Your Phone!

How to scan a QR code with your iPhone’s Camera app

Your iPhone’s built-in Camera app can scan QR codes and it’s as easy as taking a photo. Here’s how:

Open the Camera app and hold your iPhone so the QR code appears in the viewfinder. Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

How to scan a QR code with your Android phone

Your Android phone’s camera can probably scan QR codes without the use of a third-party app. Here’s how:

Open the Camera app and hold your Android phone so the QR code appears in the viewfinder. Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code. until Settings and enable scan QR code.

In this photo illustration, an Android logo is displayed on a smartphone.
(Photo illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Use your Samsung’s Camera app

Samsung’s camera app comes with native QR code scanning support. Here’s how:

Open the Camera app and hold your Samsung phone so that the QR code appears in the viewfinder. Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification. Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code. If you don’t get a notification, go to Settings and enable scan QR code.

Using Google Lens

Google Lens started out as a feature in Pixel phones, but it quickly became standard in many Android phones. The tool is part of your camera app and can do many things from identifying a dog breed to translating text. Here’s how to use it:

open you Camera app and tap More > Google Lens.You now have a Lens icon that you can use when you open your camera, and it can scan QR codes. You can also use Google Assistant to activate Google Lens. Say “Okay Google,” then tap Google Lens bottom right.

Tap or click here to get even more out of Google Lens.

Using Bixby

Samsung’s virtual assistant can help you learn more about anything with a QR code. Here’s how:

Launch your camera app and tap Bixby Vision.Then tap Allow to enable permissions. Enable all pop-up permissions. Scan and tap To go to navigate to view the contents of the QR code.

While convenient and entertaining, scanning a QR code can expose you to malware and scams. Tap or click here for tips on what to look for.

A guest holds the new iPhone 14 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, US September 7, 2022.
(REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

Keep your technical knowledge going

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