What do you do when you want to scan a QR code but you find yourself without a camera? Or you’re looking at the QR code on the device with a camera? Have no fear – you can still read it!
In fact, there’s more than one way to read a QR code without a camera. If you have access to a web browser (any browser – on your phone, laptop/desktop or “other”) you can upload the QR code to a site that will decode it for you. If you’re using an Android device or you already have the Google App (which is also available for the iPhone or iPad).
Whichever method you opt for, save the QR code to your Photos (Photo Library) if you’re using a mobile phone or your Downloads folder if you’re using a Mac/PC. If you need help saving an image on your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps.
Read a QR Code Using the Web
- Visit the Web QR site. If you’re using a desktop browser you’ll see a message about the site wanting to access your camera – just click the X to close that box.
- If you’re using a mobile device you’ll probably see a message similar to the one below – just click the Cancel or No button.
- Now click (or tap) the camera icon found on the right side of the ’empty box’ (see screenshot below)
- Select the Choose File button.
- Navigate to your QR code file/image, select it, and click the Open button.
- If you’re using an iPhone, select Photo Library and select the QR code from there.
- Web QR will display the “human readable” message embedded within the QR code. In this example, the QR code links to the website www.simplehelp.net. That’s it!
- If you want to test out the Web QR site, here’s a QR code for you to try:
Read a QR Code Using the Google App
- Tap the Google icon to open the App.
- Tap the Camera icon at the end of the search box.
- If this is the first time you’re accessing your camera via the Google app, it will probably need to be granted permission first. Tap the OK button (Android users tap the equivalent Allow or Yes button).
- Now tap the Open camera button. It’s probably also a good time to point out that the last couple of steps won’t be required every time you do this – it’s normally much faster :)
- Instead of taking a picture of something and then performing a search of the item(s) in the picture, tap the photo button next to the shutter button (see screenshot below)
- Tap Allow Access to All Photos
- Select the QR code image file from your library.
- Ta-da! The app will decipher the QR code for you and display the results right on screen. If the QR code contains a URL, you can even launch it in a browser by clicking the Website button.
- That’s it! Now you know two ways to read QR codes without having to use a camera.