QR Codes are transforming how we access information digitally, with 99.5 million Americans using it by 2025. They are quick, easy, and seamless, making them the best for businesses and consumers alike.
So, shouldn’t it be easy to scan them?
In this guide, we will walk you through how to scan these small, square QR Codes on your Android device without using apps. Whether it’s for accessing websites, a booking system, or contact information, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also introduce you to the top QR Code reader apps available, ensuring you have all the tools you need.
So, let’s begin
A. What is a QR Code & why should you scan it?
QR Codes stand for Quick Response codes. They are 2D barcodes that store information. It could be a weblink, text, contact details, or even multimedia. They’ve become a popular tool due to their efficiency and simplicity.
Scanning a QR Code can take you directly to the target content saving you the hassle of typing anything. It’s a shortcut to information, making your digital interactions faster and more convenient.
B. How to scan QR Code from Android devices without using apps?
You might be surprised to learn that most Android devices have a built-in QR Code scanner. This means you can start scanning QR Codes right away without downloading any additional apps.
- For Android 9 & 10
Android 9 and 10 have an inbuilt scanner with the help of Google Lens. Therefore, to scan a QR Code, you have to follow these steps:
- Open your device’s camera app
- Point the camera at the QR Code
- You can see a link at the bottom of your screen
- Tap the link to open the URL or information stored in the QR Code
- For Android 8
Scanning a QR Code on Android 8 involves a slightly different process. Here, you need the help of Google Screen Search and follow these steps:
- Open your camera app
- Point your camera at the QR Code
- Long press on the ‘Home’ button & swipe upwards to get the options
- Click on ‘What’s on my screen’
- Tap on the link you can see now and read the contents
In case, you have not activated Screen Search, here’s how to do it:
1. Go to the Google app
2. Go to app navigation
3. From the settings, permit Screen Search
- For Android 7
For those using Android 7 or older versions, you’ll need to download a QR Code scanner app. We’ll explore some of the best options in the next section.
C. The best QR Code reader apps for Android
While most recent Android versions have built-in QR Code readers, several apps are available too. Here is a list of some of the best app for scanning QR Codes:
- Kaspersky’s QR Code reader and scanner
Trusted by millions, Kaspersky’s QR Code Reader is a free tool. It lets users scan QR Codes and access the information encrypted within them. It not only scans them but also ensures they’re safe by checking the link for any potential threats.
To use Kaspersky’s QR Scanner, you have to download and install it from Google Play. Once done, it doesn’t appear in the app’s menu. That means it integrates directly into your device’s scanning capabilities.
- Mixerbox QR Code reader & QR scanner
MixerBox TurboScan is a QR Code Reader & QR Scanner designed for lightning-speed and versatile scanning. It can scan any QR Code or barcode, offering quick results. Its user-friendly design and lightning-fast scans make it a top choice for Android users.
The application can scan QR Codes from images and screenshots effortlessly. TurboScan prioritizes user safety by providing protection against suspicious links embedded in QR Codes.
Also, it allows uninterrupted scanning even in low-light conditions. Users can also track their scan history with a single tap, providing easy access to previously scanned codes. Despite its robust capabilities, the app is designed to be lightweight, minimizing its storage footprint on your device.
- QR Code reader by scan
QR Code Reader by Scan is a fast, user-friendly tool that can read both QR and barcodes. It’s easy navigation and fast scanning speed make it a popular choice.
The app works seamlessly by
- Automatically directing users to a website if the scanned code contains a URL
- Displaying text if that’s the content of the code
- Prompting users to take appropriate action for other formats, such as phone numbers or contact information
It’s capable of scanning UPC, EAN, and ISBN too. The app also offers:
- History of past scans
- The option to scan pictures of codes from the camera roll
- A switch to turn on the device’s light for scanning in a low-light environment
- QR & barcode reader by Gamma Play
The QR & Barcode Reader by Gamma Play is a versatile tool for scanning QR Codes and barcodes. It can decode and interpret a wide array of QR Codes and barcodes and provide scanning history.
Also, the application can scan codes directly from the camera or from images in your gallery.
This ensures convenience and flexibility in accessing information encoded in QR Codes and barcodes. Overall, the app is user-friendly, making it accessible to many users.
- NeoReader QR & barcode scanner
NeoReader QR & Barcode Scanner is a versatile tool for scanning QR Codes and barcodes. It’s available on iOS as well as Android devices.
The app helps you decode QR Codes and barcodes and subsequently use that information in various useful ways.
Lastly, NeoReader QR & Barcode scanner also lets you view scanning history, making it quite useful.
D. Scanning QR Codes with Samsung Galaxy smartphones (S10 series and S9)
Scanning QR Codes with Samsung Galaxy phones (S10 series and S9) is easy and straightforward.
Open the Camera app, ensure it’s in Photo mode, and enable “Scan QR Codes” in Camera Settings.
Point your camera at the QR Code to scan it.
If the QR Code has a web link, you can tap “Show Options” to visit the link.
You can even scan a QR Code that’s saved in your gallery by following a few extra steps
E. Scanning QR Codes with Vivo smartphones
Vivo smartphones provide built-in support for QR Code scanning.
This feature is conveniently accessible from the notification panel and on the Smart Launcher screen.
To scan a QR Code, pull down the notification curtain, press the scan icon, and point your camera at the code.
The device will automatically detect and process the information encoded in the QR Code.
F. Scanning QR Codes with Pixel smartphones
You don’t need an app to scan QR Codes with Pixel smartphones. All you need to do is open your camera app and scan the code. Click on the link that appears to open the website or landing page.
G. Start scanning QR Code using your Android devices without any app
The use of QR Codes has grown because they provide quick access to a wide range of information. So, most of the latest Android devices come with a built-in QR scanner, making it easy for users to decode QR Codes without additional apps.
However, if you need an app to scan QR Codes, numerous high-quality QR scanning apps are available.
QR Codes scanner is integrated into the device’s camera for those using Samsung Galaxy, Vivo, and Pixel smartphones.
Regardless of the method, it’s clear that QR Codes are a crucial tool in today’s digital age, offering a fast and efficient way to access information on the go.
Q: Does Android have a built-in QR reader?
Yes, Android has a built-in QR Code scanner that works with the default camera app on most phones. However, you may need to launch Google Lens if the standard camera app doesn’t work automatically.
Q: Is it possible to scan a QR Code without an app?
Yes, your Android phone camera should scan QR Code pictures without downloading a separate app.
Q: Can a QR Code expire?
A QR Code itself does not expire. However, the information it redirects to, such as a web page, may no longer be available, which would make the QR Code useless in that context.
Q: Is it safe to scan QR Codes?
Scanning a QR Code is generally safe, but as with anything on the internet. However, it’s always advised to exercise caution. It’s important to scan QR Codes only from trusted sources.
Q: What if the QR Code is not working on my Android device?
Sometimes, a QR Code may not work properly. Make sure to center the QR Code on your screen so the camera can pick it up. You can also clean your smartphone camera lens and use your QR Code reader in better lighting. If all else fails, use a third-party QR Code scanner.