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About QR Codes

QR Code Capacity in Number of Characters

One of the most frequently asked questions that we get is:

How much information can I store in a QR Code?

The short answer to this question is 7,089 numeric characters (without spaces) or 2,953 alphanumeric characters with spaces and punctuation.

However, it must be noted that:

  • This QR Code will have 177 rows and 177 columns (known as modules) making it a very large QR Code
  • The scannability of this QR Code will have low tolerance to damage as the error correction is low

While technically, a QR Code can store this much information, it is not advisable to create such a large QR Code unless you have sophisticated scanners that can decode these.

The amount of information a QR Code can store depends on three factors – size, error correction, and character-type.

1. Version

Depending on the size, a QR Code has 40 categories (1-40). Version 1 contains 21 rows and columns of data (called modules) and Version 40 has of 177 modules.

qr code capacity

(Image Source: Qrcode.com)

Higher the version, higher the capacity to store information.

2. Error Correction

Error correction is added to QR Codes to ensure that the code is scannable even if it gets somewhat damaged or dirty. There are four levels of Error Correction – L, M, Q, and H.

qr code capacity

(Image Source: Qrcode.com)

L is selected for dirt-free environments, M is most common, and Q & H should be used in factory environments where the QR Code label is subject to wear and tear.

When error correction of a QR Code increases, the overall capacity of the QR Code goes down as error correction takes up character space.

3. Character Type

Typically, QR Codes can have two types of characters – Numeric (without spaces) and Alphanumeric (with spaces and punctuation).

If the characters are only numeric (such as in ID cards or inventory management), then the capacity of a QR Code is higher than if the characters are alphanumeric with spaces and punctuation.

Assuming Error Correction to be M, here is the capacity (in number of characters) of each version:

VersionNumeric onlyAlphanumeric (with spaces and punctuation)
13414
26326
310142
414962
520284
6255106
7293122
8365152
9432180
10513213
11604251
12691287
13796331
14871362
15991412
161,082450
171,212504
181,346560
191,500624
201,600666
211,708711
221,872779
232,059857
242,188911
252,395997
262,5441,059
272,7011,125
282,8571,190
293,0351,264
303,2891,370
313,4861,452
323,6931,538
333,9091,628
344,1341,722
354,3431,809
364,5881,911
374,7751,989
385,0392,099
395,3132,213
405,5962,331

For capacity at error correction levels L, Q, and H, refer to the original source.


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