How to Read a QR Code Without a Camera

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

  1. 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.
  2. a browser notification asking for access to a camera

  3. 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.
  4. a mobile browser notification request for access to the device camera

  5. Now click (or tap) the camera icon found on the right side of the ’empty box’ (see screenshot below)
  6. an arrow pointing to a camera icon

  7. Select the Choose File button.
  8. an arrow pointing to a button titled Choose File

  9. Navigate to your QR code file/image, select it, and click the Open button.
  10. selecting a QR code on a Mac without a camera

  11. If you’re using an iPhone, select Photo Library and select the QR code from there.
  12. an arrow pointing to a button titled Photo Library

  13. Web QR will display the “human readable” message embedded within the QR code. In this example, the QR code links to the website That’s it!
  14. a QR code with its encoded message being displayed

  15. If you want to test out the Web QR site, here’s a QR code for you to try:
  16. QR code that points to simplehelp dot net

Read a QR Code Using the Google App

  1. Tap the Google icon to open the App.
  2. the Google App icon

  3. Tap the Camera icon at the end of the search box.
  4. an arrow pointing to the Google Camera icon

  5. 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).
  6. an iOS camera permission dialogue box

  7. 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 :)
  8. an arrow pointing to a button titled Open camera

  9. 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)
  10. an arrow pointing to the photo button next to the shutter button in the Google Lens app

  11. Tap Allow Access to All Photos
  12. an iOS permission request message asking for permission to access all photos

  13. Select the QR code image file from your library.
  14. selecting a QR code

  15. 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.
  16. a QR code and its encoded message being displayed inside of the Google Lens app

  17. That’s it! Now you know two ways to read QR codes without having to use a camera.

If this article helped you, I'd be grateful if you could share it on your preferred social network - it helps me a lot. If you're feeling particularly generous, you could buy me a coffee and I'd be super grateful :)

buy a coffee for

Home » Mobile Phones » iPhone » How to Read a QR Code Without a Camera

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.