Scanning a QR code is a fast and convenient way of accessing a webpage, and brands often use these codes on their product packaging or promotional material to help consumers access product information or special offers. If you want to scan a QR code, you’ll need to install a QR code-scanning app on your device. There are many options to choose from, but to save you some time, we’ve selected the best apps for Android and iOS.
Regardless of whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, the simplest and easiest app to use to scan QR codes is often your Camera app. This will already be on your phone, so all you have to do is open the app and point it at a QR code. On newer iPhones, you can even use the flashlight to scan QR codes in low light.
It’s that simple. Once you’ve pointed your phone’s camera at the QR code, you should see a notification asking if you want to go to the website where the QR code is pointing. Tap on it to open the link and go where the QR code wants to send you.
If the function doesn’t work on your phone, then you can read on to find some good QR code scanning apps. As simple as the Camera app is, it also doesn’t come with the bells and whistles of certain third-party apps for scanning QR codes. As such, you may want to check out some of the apps below — assuming that you want additional features, such as security checks and the ability to save codes or scan barcodes.
Free QR Scanner
This Android-only app from Simple Design is one of the most popular QR code scanner apps around right now. It’s free to use and lets you save QR codes to your phone or easily share them with friends. You can quickly toggle on your flashlight from within the app to scan codes in a dark environment, create QR codes, and view your scan history — and unlike some apps, this doesn’t ask for a bunch of permissions to install, just access to your camera. It has solid ratings of more than 4.5 out of 5 in the Google Play store.
Kaspersky QR Scanner
One of the best third-party scanning apps for iOS and Android is Kaspersky QR Scanner. Developed by the cybersecurity experts at Kaspersky, it does what you’d expect their QR scanning app to do: scan for unsafe and malicious QR codes.
It’s basically as easy to use as your smartphone’s native Camera app. It will quickly check the security of every QR code you scan with it, providing a warning whenever it encounters a dodgy link. It also brings the added benefit of a History tab, so you can quickly return to the websites associated with past QR codes.
Kaspersky QR scanner is completely free to use and has solid ratings in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store of more than 4 out of 5.
NeoReader QR & Barcode Scanner
Unlike the Camera app, NeoReader QR & Barcode Scanner comes with the ability to scan barcodes as well as QR codes. So in addition to scanning a QR code and bringing up a link, you can also use it to scan a product’s barcode and search for the product on the web. This is very handy when you find an item while shopping out in the real world that you’d prefer to order online.
NeoReader QR & Barcode Scanner is available for both Android and iOS. Once again, it’s easy to use, and it lets you go back through your history of scanned QR codes and barcodes. It’s free to download but comes with an option to pay a small fee to remove pop-up ads. It has strong customer ratings above 4 out of 5 from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
QR Code Reader ϟ/QR Reader for Android
Developed by the UK-based TapMedia, this QR scanning app can scan QR codes quickly and effortlessly. However, what sets it apart from the crowd is that it can also be used to scan other things besides QR codes. For instance, it can be used to scan Sudoku puzzles and store them on your smartphone, so you can play them on the go. It can also be used to share QR codes via email or social media.
It’s free to download but comes with paid options to switch off ads, as well as a Database Scanner subscription option that lets you save QR codes to a server. The iPhone version of this app currently has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 on the App Store. However, the Android version isn’t as highly rated, since it doesn’t have the full range of features.
QR Code Reader & QR Scanner
Developed by MixerBox, QR Code Reader & QR Scanner is available only for iPhone. However, despite its limited availability, it’s one of the best QR code scanning apps around.
It can scan a wide variety of 1D and 2D code types, including QR codes, barcodes, EAN-13 codes, and more. It scans very quickly and also saves a history of your scans, so you can go back to a QR code very quickly. One nice touch is that it supports flashlight use while the app is working, so you can scan QR codes in the dark.
QR Code Reader & QR Scanner is free to download, although you can remove the ads for $4.99. It’s currently number 47 in Utilities in the Apple App Store, where it has a 4.6 out of 5 rating.
QR & Barcode Scanner/QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Free
Gamma Play’s QR & Barcode Scanner for Android and the QR Code Reader & Barcode Scanner Free for iOS is our final option on this roundup list.
It’s a comprehensive scanner option, handling not only QR codes but barcodes as well. You can do your research right in the store and leave satisfied that you’ve found the best deal. If a QR code encodes contact details, the app can save a new contact to your phone from there. It can also do the same with Wi-Fi networks, calendar dates, product details, text messages, and other connecting features, making it easy to save your essential info.
With those features, we’d argue that this is one of the best QR scanner apps to have, especially if you need something more robust with the chance to save critical information automatically. It has over 1 million reviews on the Google Play Store and an average rating of more than 4 out of 5. It has an impressive rating of 4.7 out of 5 on the App store with overwhelmingly positive reviews.