Skip to main content

How to scan QR codes on your iPhone or iPad

It's really easy to scan QR codes on iOS devices

QR code

It's easy to scan QR codes on your iPhone, iPad, or other iOS device, if you know what you're doing. If not – you've come to the right place.

While QR codes didn't turn out to be as popular as most people thought they were going to be, quite a few shops, websites and locations use them as a way to communicate or store information. Ticket websites, coupon codes, website links, and contact information is all often stored through QR codes.

 It's really easy to scan QR codes on your iPhone or iPad, because Apple built a QR code reader right into its camera up, so it's quite a simple process if you need to scan something.

But as with all tech software, it can sometimes be fiddly working out what to do, or getting your iOS device to recognize what it's looking at. That's why we've come up with this simple guide on how to scan a QR code with an iPhone.

This works with iOS 13, the most recent Apple operating system, as well as on older versions of Apple's OS.

How to scan QR code on iPhone: quick summary

  1. Open up the camera app on your iPhone or iPad
  2. Hold the camera so the QR code is clearly visible
  3. Your device will recognize the code, and show you a notification
  4. Tap the notification to be taken to the destination of your QR code

How to scan a QR code on iPhone and iPad

First, open up the camera app on your iPhone or iPad. This can usually be found on the home page, in the bottom right corner of the device, although on iPads it's on the first page and if you've moved it around it'll be somewhere else.

Now, hold the device's camera up to the QR code. No need to hit the shutter button, your iOS device will automatically recognize the QR code and provide you with an on-screen notification. (Make sure you have mobile signal or you're connected to Wi-Fi, otherwise this won't work.)

Tap the notification to be taken to the destination of the QR code. This could be a website, app, or feature of your phone.

There – in those few steps, you've easily scanned a QR code on your iPhone or iPad!

Wallet app can scan QR codes on iPhone and iPad

There's also a built-in QR reader in the Wallet app on iPhone and iPod. To access the scanner, open the app, click on the plus button at the top of the "Passes" section, then tap on Scan Code to Add a Pass. 

From here, you can scan QR codes for coupons, boarding passes, tickets, and loyalty cards, but only for the specific things that Wallet considers "passes." 

If you try to scan any other QR code, you'll get an error message.

If you don't fancy either of the above two methods, you can also head to the App Store where you'll find a wide selection of free QR code reading applications.

Check out our iPhone X review video below.