How to scan a barcode on iPhone

Roughly speaking, the QR code is pure machine language. If you take the same barcode, then using the numbers under it you can at least identify the country of manufacture without resorting to auxiliary devices (of course if you know the numerical value of at least a few countries). It will not work with a classical QR code, so it is time to install a special application.

There are a lot of applications for scanning QR codes in the App Store. But most of them have advertising, outdated interface (developers who have relaxed until now have not redesigned the application since the release of iOS 6, but such applications will not be in the App Store for a long time) or excessive functionality.

The choice of the application is a matter of everyone’s taste. The author of this material prefers to use a product of Kaspersky Lab. QR Scanner: a free QR code scanner for several reasons:

  • free;
  • high speed of operation;
  • there is a version for iPad;
  • compatible with all software versions since iOS 7;
  • a modern and pleasant interface;
  • almost no ads (by pulling the tiny tongue the program will offer to install a banner blocker, but it does not strain, in contrast to the active advertising in other applications);
  • Russian localization;
  • blocks the transition to dangerous sites.

A few more free options will be in the next chapter.

New from Apple

Starting from the 11th version of iOS operating system, the mechanism of QR code processing is “built in” to the camera of smartphones, tablets of the Apple company and that’s why it works automatically, if the settings are correct:

  • The first step is to look in the “Settings” section.
  • Scroll through the menu, find the item “Camera”. An alternative variant is to use the search located in the top part of the menu, enter the query “Camera” into the text field.
  • Move the slider “Scan QR-code” to the active position, save the changes, exit the menu with the settings.
  • Activate the “Camera” from the shortcut on the desktop or the shortcut menu on the lock screen. Find any barcode you like and “aim” without pressing any buttons. The result will appear right on your screen as a small text notification with the immediate contents of the QR code: phone numbers, links, text messages.

A quick tap on a notification displays the content in Safari as a search query.

If you “swipe” your finger down, a preview of the QR-code encrypted site will open.

How to scan a QR code on your iPhone through settings and apps

QR code (Quick Response Code). a matrix barcode hiding behind a collection of black squares on a special field with a white background, various information: links, geographic coordinates, text messages and other curious findings that can’t fit anywhere in the standard format.

Working with QR-code is easy. just arm yourself with a suitable tool and point the camera of iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to the barcode. And then magic will happen. you will see decoded message instead of notorious squares and fields. There is one last question to decide. what instrument to choose for decoding. And about everything. in order.

How to scan Messenger codes

You may have noticed that your profile picture in Messenger is surrounded by dots and dashes.

This is a Messenger code, and it’s a bit like a QR code in that it contains data that you can unlock with the iPhone app.

  • To add a new contact to Messenger using their code, open Messenger.
  • Tap on people.
  • Click on a scan code.
  • Hold the Messenger camera over the code so it fits in the circle. It will scan it and add them as a contact.

To see someone’s Messenger code, ask them to tap the icon in the top left corner of Messenger or tap People Scan Code My Code.

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How to scan a QR?

We’ve put together options for you, both using standard iOS tools and third-party apps, because not all versions of the operating system will have the necessary options. Choose the option that works best for you.

Via iPhone camera

With the advent of iOS 11 firmware, the iPhone now features QR code scanning without third-party programs or various resources. “Apple” devices have learned to recognize this combination and display a link to a resource, an application page, contacts, images and more in a banner. It is enough to activate the option in the settings, bring the device to the code. and the QR is scanned.

If for some reason your smartphone is updated to iOS version 11 or higher, but still does not recognize the code. it means that you simply have not activated this function in the settings (by default it is active). To do this, follow the instructions:

If the option is active, make the iPhone read the matrix combination. For this:

  • Open the “Camera” application in any convenient way: through the control panel, on the desktop or in the application menu;
  • Point the back camera in the center of the QR code, focus the device on the picture;
  • In the notification center at the top, click on the banner that appears. By default, the codes open in the Safari browser (or the application to which the QR-code is tied: e.g., mail, contacts, notes,).

Via “Control Panel.”

With the release of iOS 12 this feature is even faster. just swipe up (on devices below the iPhone X) or pull the curtain down from the right corner (on iPhone X, 11, XR and other frameless) and click on the appropriate icon (with an image of a QR code).

But first, it needs to be added to the controls. This section in the iPhone allows you to get quick access to the necessary services, frequently used functions (for example, controlling the console Apple TV, adjusting the brightness of the screen and sound, managing voice memos, recording what is happening on the display, timer, voice recorder, wallet, and many others). After setting up the widget the function will work the same way as the usual reading by camera (the previous method). However, scanning through the control panel reads the combination almost instantly.

Note: if your device is not updated or does not support iOS 12, you will not be able to add and use the widget.

Follow these steps to organize a control point:

  • Go to “Settings” on your iPhone;
  • Find “Management Item” in the menu that appears;

The “Wallet” application

“Wallet” is a great reader (reader) of QR codes. Here you can store plane tickets, movie tickets, coupons, discount cards, ID cards, and more. And then easily show the matrix combination at the checkout to quickly read the information. Some programs (e.g., cinema apps) immediately offer to add the QR-code to “Wallet”. Not everything can be added: to find out, it is worth trying, for example, to scan the barcode from the ticket and see if “Wallet” will consider it a pass.

To add cards, tickets, and coupons manually, go to the Wallet app (if you don’t have it on your iPhone, find it in the App Store, but usually this utility is pre-installed and cannot be removed), click on the “” sign in the upper right corner, and select “Manually enter data”.

Scanning with 3D Touch

Recall that some models do not have this feature. newer models have the software Haptic Touch. The 6S and newer (up to and including the iPhone X and XS) have 3D Touch, so this is relevant for certain smartphone models. This option is not available if you have a new device. If you have a newer iPhone, when you hold the camera, the device will offer to record video, take selfies, take portrait photos. no more functions will be available.

To enable matrix code scanning via 3D Touch, simply open the control center (by pulling the curtain) and hold down the camera icon. After the menu appears, select “Scan QR code” among other options. The camera will automatically open, ready for code recognition.

Via Google Chrome

Quite a useful feature for Google Chrome browser owners. Notably, Safari still doesn’t have this option. The recognition option appeared in version 56.0.2924.79, so make sure that all actual updates are installed on the smartphone.

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For smartphones with 3D Touch and Haptic Touch, recognition is identical, as long as you have iOS 13 or newer firmware. It’s the new version that has all the features implemented at the same level as the original 3D Touch. If your smartphone is not updated to version 13 and does not have 3D Touch (for example, iPhone 5S or SE), then skip this instruction and go straight to the next.

For those who have 3D Touch or have a Haptic Touch with iOS 13 pre-installed, then enough:

  • Download Google Chrome browser from the App Store, if you have not already done so;
  • Find the app icon on the screen’s main menu;
  • Perform a finger-holding gesture on the icon. A menu will appear where you need to select “Scan QR code” (Scan QR code).

For those who have Haptic Touch with outdated firmware (iOS 12 and below):

  • Open the Spotlight search engine (to do this, swipe to the right on the home screen or drag down the middle).
  • Enter “QR Code” in the search engine. In the results list that appears, find the Google Chrome browser and tap on it.

The rest of the instructions are the same for both methods: when you open the camera, you’ll see a white outline frame. It is necessary to place a matrix combination exactly in the middle of the contour. After your smartphone recognizes the link, the content will open in Google Chrome. If the code does contain an encrypted link to the site, the Safari browser may open on some versions.

Important note: This function works only on the iPhone and is not available on an iPod or iPad.

What to do if your iOS is below version 11

Unfortunately, not all users can bind the QR-code scanning feature so easily. The only way out of this situation is to download third-party software from the App Store. In fact, the tethering essentially performs the same function as the out-of-the-box tools on later versions of the firmware.

Minus. it is necessary to allocate some space (several megabytes) for the application. Plus. additional functions that iOS does not have: for example, reading barcodes (barcode), generating your own QR-codes to increase security, viewing the log of scanned codes.

For all the programs listed below the principle of actions is the same: find the most suitable and the one you like in the App Store, download it and wait until the download is completed and then just give access to the use of the regular application “Camera. To scan something, bring your camera to the QR code or open the program and find the scanning function. Here are some examples of tested applications, which are highly rated and have few negative reviews.

QR Code Reader QR Scanner

This app used to be a paid app and cost almost 5. The developer has changed the distribution rules and offers users to download QR Code Reader QR Scanner absolutely free. And there are no internal purchases, as well as advertisements.

  • Scanning codes of all types;
  • After you have read the QR code, you can go to the site and know more about the product than it is written on the package;
  • Lightning-fast recognition;
  • You don’t need Internet to scan something;
  • Flashlight support: reading codes is available with backlight in the dark;
  • Viewing the history of scanned codes.

Kaspersky QR Scanner

The name suggests that this application comes straight from the developer of a well known antivirus. Accordingly, Kaspersky QR Scanner utility is expected to warn about potentially dangerous sites, which are hidden in the matrix code. Which, in principle, is true: the program will really try to dissuade the user from following this or that fraudulent link that could steal your personal data.

  • To check texts and links encrypted in the code before opening;
  • Fraudulent resources will be immediately recognized and the app will warn the user not to visit this site;
  • Scanning and saving contacts, business cards and other personal data in a secure registry;
  • Review the history of scanned codes: It is possible to open previously read QR-codes if you wish.
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QR Code Reader

Developed by TapMedia Ltd. There’s a built-in purchase, but you don’t need to buy anything for basic functions. features than any other program of this kind. The application itself is free. QR Code Reader is one of the applications where you can create your own virtual QR codes. At the same time, there is customization. you can change the color of the future matrix combination, background, shape and much more.

  • PDF file recognition;
  • Scan checks and documents, adjust to the right size and alignment.
  • Reading Sudoku puzzles;
  • Scan QR-codes of contacts and add them to “Contacts”;
  • NFC scanner (relevant to devices that have this feature).
scan, barcode, iphone

QR code scanning icon

QR Code Scanner is disabled by default.

You can enable the function in Settings → Camera → Scan QR Code. Your device will then automatically scan the code when you point your camera at it.

Clicking on the notification that appears will open the link linked to the code. Some people may find this function inconvenient, so it does not need to be enabled.

To avoid turning it on in Settings every time you want to scan a QR code, you can use the new icon in iOS 12 Control Panel.

The best thing about the new feature is that it works even if code scanning is disabled in the Camera settings.

on how the feature works below.

How to scan QR codes in iOS 12?

In order to scan a QR code in iOS 12, you must first add a new widget in the. You can do it in the settings. Go to Settings → Control Panel, and then click Customize Controls.

Scroll down and tap the “” icon next to “Scan QR Code”, then exit the Settings app.

In order to scan, find some interesting QR code. Then swipe up on the lock screen to open “Control Point” (or down in the upper right corner of the screen in iPhone X and iPad running iOS 12).

Tap the widget, and the camera app opens, ready to scan. At the first launch, you will see the following screen:

scan, barcode, iphone

Then just point the camera to the QR code and it will automatically focus. At the top of the screen you will see a banner with a scanned code. Usually it is a URL, but in theory you can put any text in the QR code.

What QR codes the iPhone camera can read: 10 use cases

Starting with iOS 11, iPhones and iPads have gained support for the QR code scanner in the Camera app. It is possible that some people may find this functionality not very important, however, it can be used in many useful ways.

Note: If QR code scanning doesn’t work with iPhone camera, check if QR code scanning switch is activated in Camera section of Settings app.


The Cocologics developers are new to the genre, but the attention of the community is immediate. And the main reason for that is the unconventional symbiosis of possibilities.

Barcode works with QR and matrix codes on the iPhone. It recognizes barcodes and knows which information to keep (for example, a recognized phone number, address or position on the global map), which information to punch in the available database, and which to pass immediately to friends via SMS or social networks and messengers.

It is easier to work with Barcode than it seems at first sight. Once you open the application, give you access to the camera, and the magic begins. Useful information is found automatically, while the rest is sifted out and out of sight.

How To Scan A QR Code On iPhone

Additional advantages of the assistant are minimal advertising (even banners have no place for them), an intuitive interface that eliminates the long and awkward navigation, a whole series of additional add-ons. Developers even help you get the camera right for extra accuracy and an increased chance of unlocking the secrets of the code.

scan, barcode, iphone