QR codes are heaven-sent pixelated squares that people scan to access a website, download an app, get some information, or communicate, among other functions. As their name suggests (QR means quick response), scanning QR codes on Android is fast and enables users to perform tasks in a few steps.
Unlike before, when QR codes were read using scanners, you can now scan the code using other devices, including your Android phone or tablet. Although the exact methods of scanning the QR code may vary based on your Android phone or tablet, the process is generally easy and fast. Dive in as we decode several ways through which you can scan QR codes on your Android device.
Method 1: Scanning QR Code Using Your Camera App
If your device runs on Android 8 and above, you can scan QR codes using the built-in camera app. Use these steps to understand how to go about it.
Step 1: Open the Camera App
Scroll through your device app list, and tap the camera icon. Alternatively, tap “camera” in the search bar.
Step 2: Scan the code
Position the QR code within the camera frame, ensuring that all the edges of the QR code are visible in the viewfinder. After scanning the QR code for a few seconds, a pop-up banner should appear. If the code represents a link to a website, the URL will open below the QR code frame with the option to either copy, open, or share the link.
If your camera doesn’t scan the QR code, try closing and reopening the app to see if it works. You can also try adjusting the camera settings to allow the camera to scan QR codes. Alternatively, if the pop-up banner does not appear, you will need to use Google Lens.
Method 2: Scanning QR Codes on Android Using Google Lens
Google Lens is a feature that allows you to search the web with your phone camera. The app is built into your camera app, but you can also download it from Play Store. You might see the lens icon on your screen or by tapping modes (or more) in the camera app and selecting Lens.
If you can’t see the Lens option, you can access Google Lens through the Google search app. Using Google Lens is better than the camera since it gives you more options for the code you scan. Here are several ways in which you can access Google Lens.
Method 2.1 Through the Google Search App
Step 1: Open Your Google Search App
In the search bar, type “Google” and hit the search icon. Then tap to open it.
Step 2: Start Google Lens
Tap the camera icon to the right of the search bar to open Google Lens.
Step 3: Give Google Lens access to your camera
Tap the “search with your camera” option below the camera icon on the Google lens page. This will give Googe Lens access to your camera.
Step 4: Scan the code
Point your camera toward the QR code you want to scan and ensure that the code is within the frame. Your phone will scan the code and open whatever is coded in it.
Enabling Google Lens
If Google Lens isn’t working with your camera, you may need to enable the Google Lens suggestions option. Here is how to do this:
Step 1: Open Camera Settings
Go to the camera app and click the gear icon to open the settings.
Step 2: Turn on Google Lens Suggestions
Under camera settings, navigate to the Google Lens suggestions option and toggle on the toggle button next to it. Try scanning using Google Lens and see if this option works.
Method 2.2 Through Google Assistant
Step 1: Open Google Assistant
Long press the home button on your Android device until you’ve opened Google Assistant.
Step 2: Open Google Lens
Tap on the Google Lens icon shown by a camera icon in a broken box. You can also open Google Lens by tapping the microphone icon and saying, “open Google lens.”
Step 3: Scan the code
With Google Lens now open, you can point your camera to the code to read and unveil the contents of the code.
Method 2.3: Through Google Photos
The Google Photos app also has the Google Lens feature that you can use to scan a QR code. To access it, take a photo or a screenshot of the code you intend to scan. Open the image in Google Photos, then tap the Google Lens icon below it.
Method 3: Scanning QR Codes Using Third-Party Apps
Although Google Lens is one of the most reliable ways to scan a QR code using Android, your device may lack the option (if its version is below Android 8). In this case, you must use third-party apps to scan QR codes.
These apps are available through the Google Play Store. Here are the steps for scanning QR codes using the third-party QR Code Reader app.
Step 1: Download the App
Open the Play Store app on your Android device. Search QR code reader, and click install to download it.
Step 2: Allow the App to Take Pictures and Videos
After the app has been downloaded and installed, you get a prompt asking you to allow the QR Scanner to take pictures and record videos. Click Allow to give this permission.
Step 3: Scan the QR code
Point your camera at the QR code to scan it using the app. The app will scan the code and open the website link or any other information held within the code.
QR codes are an upgrade to barcodes that have made life easier. For instance, when in a restaurant, you can scan the QR code to get the menu. You can also save yourself the struggle of cramming a complicated URL. To enjoy such perks, you need to know how to scan the URL on your Android phone. Use the tips above to scan QR codes and enjoy the benefits of owning a smartphone.
To see an overview of the steps in this post just check out the video below which walks you through each of the different methods.
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