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How To Fix If Smartphone Is Not Scanning QR Codes: iPhone And Android

You can easily access websites on iPhone and Android smartphones by scanning the QR code using the standard camera app.

However, even if you copy the QR code on the screen with the camera app, there are cases where it cannot be read normally as a QR code.

This article will explain what to do when your smartphone unable to scan QR code. The countermeasures are compatible with iPhone and Android.

Method 1: Press and hold the QR code on the camera

There may be a case where the QR code cannot be read by the camera app because the QR code of the camera is out of focus. Also, on some Android models, the QR code may not be read unless you press and hold the QR code area on the camera.

Therefore, press and hold the QR code area on the screen of the camera app to see if the QR code can be read.

If you cannot read the QR code by pressing and holding the QR code area on the camera, proceed to the next solution.

Method 2: Enable QR scan of the camera app

It is possible that the QR code cannot be read normally because the QR scan function of the camera app is disabled.

Therefore, please make sure that QR scan of the camera app is enabled. To enable QR scanning for the camera app, follow the steps below.

For iPhone:

  1. Open the “Settings” app.
  2. Tap “Camera“.
  3. Toggle the “Scan QR Code” switch to “On“.

For Android:

  1. Launch the camera app.
  2. Tap “Other” >> “Settings“.
  3. Toggle the “Google Lens Suggestions” switch to “On“.
  4. If there is no setting item, start the camera app, tap “Mode“, select “Lens“, switch to Google Lens, and then scan the QR code.

After enabling the QR scan of the camera app, copy the QR code and check if it can be read normally.

Method 3: Check the lighting and camera

There are cases where the QR code cannot be read normally due to the lighting in the place where the QR code is copied to the camera or the camera is dirty.

Therefore, pay attention to the following items and copy the QR code to the camera to check if it can be read.

  • If the room is dark, make the lights bright enough or turn on the backlight of your smartphone.
  • If the camera shows dirt, clean the camera lens.
  • Make sure the camera is not tilted at an angle to the QR code.
  • If the QR code is too small or too large, move your smartphone to the appropriate distance.

If the QR code is clearly visible on the camera screen but the QR code cannot be read, proceed to the next step.

Method 4: Restart the camera app

If you accidentally cancel the access to the URL of the QR code read by the camera, the QR code may not be read again.

Therefore, you may be able to solve the problem by quitting the camera app and then re-reading the QR code. Follow the steps below to exit the camera app.

For iPhone:

iPhone X and above: On the home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and swipe up on “Camera” to exit.

iPhone 8 and earlier: Tap the “Home Button” twice and swipe up on “Camera” to exit.

For Android:

Android 9 and above: Swipe up on the Home button and swipe up on “Camera” to exit.

Android 8 and earlier: Tap the “Multitask” button at the bottom of the screen and swipe up on “Camera” to exit.

After closing the camera app, restart the camera and check if the QR code can be read.

Method 5: Update the system

It is possible that the camera cannot read the QR code because the version of iOS or Android is old and does not support reading the QR code.

Therefore, please update your system to the latest version and try reading the QR again. To update your system, follow these steps:

For iPhone:

  • Launch the “Settings” app.
  • Tap “General“.
  • Tap “Software Update“.
  • When you find the update, tap “Download and install“.
  • Enter your iPhone / iPad passcode.
  • Tap “Install Now“.

For Android:

  • Open the “Settings” app.
  • Tap “System“.
  • Tap “Detailed settings“.
  • Tap “System Update“.
  • If “Update is available” is displayed, tap “Download” to execute the update.
  • Follow the displayed procedure to proceed.

After updating the system to the latest version, start the camera app and check if the QR code can be read.

Method 6: Read with Google Lens

For Android smartphones, the camera app may not support QR code reading depending on the model.

Therefore, if you cannot read the QR code with a normal camera app, start Google Lens and read the QR code.

If Google Lens is not installed, please install the app from the link below in the Google Play store.

Method 7: Use the QR code reader app

On iPhone and Android, you can also use a third-party QR scan app to scan the QR code.

Therefore, if you cannot scan the QR code with a standard camera, please install a third party QR scan app from the App Store or Play StoreMost of the QR code reader apps can be used for free.

After installing the QR code reader app, launch the app and scan the QR code. You will get a bunch of apps in App store, Here we have sorted some of the popular apps dedicated for QR Code scanning.

QR Code Reader

The recommended QR reading app for iPhone and Android is QR Code Reader.

This app is equipped only with the function of reading the QR code. Since it has only simple functions, you can understand how to use it immediately without a complicated system.

Start the app and show the QR code on the camera to use it. You can also access the URL by scanning the code.

You can also look back at the history of codes that you have read in the past, so once you read them, you can access them as many times as you like without having the code at hand.

It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and Google play store.

If not resolved

If you cannot read the QR code after trying all the solutions, there may be a problem with the QR code you are trying to read.

Therefore, please check if another QR code can be read. If you can read another QR code, you can determine that there is a problem with the QR code you were trying to read.

If you cannot use the QR code, please specify the URL directly or contact the administrator who issues the QR code.


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