How to Scan QR Codes With the Camera App on Your iPhone

It is becoming more and more common for businesses and restaurants to use QR codes for important information and menus. But if you haven’t used one before you may be wondering how to scan QR codes on your iPhone.

QR codes are a popular method for allowing people to access something on the Internet from a piece of paper, or other physical media. Typically the other available option is to put a URL in place of that QR code, but this can often be inconvenient, especially if the URL is lengthy.

The QR code is more useful because you can simply scan it with a compatible app, then be taken directly to the intended location on the Internet. If you have used QR codes previously on your iPhone, then you most likely needed to download a third-party app.

Fortunately this is no longer necessary, as the iPhone’s Camera app is now capable of scanning QR codes. Our tutorial below will show you where to find the setting for this feature so that you can turn it on.

How to Use the QR Scan Reader for iPhone with the Default Camera App

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Camera.
  3. Enable the Scan QR Codes option.

Our guide continues below with additional information on scanning QR codes on an iPhone, including pictures of these steps.

How to Scan QR Codes on an iPhone 7 (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed on an iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.3. By enabling the setting in the steps below you will turn on a feature in the iPhone’s default Camera app that lets you scan QR codes.

If you do not see the option described in this guide, then you may be running an older version of iOS that does not support this option. Find out how to update to iOS 11 to get this feature, as well as many others that were added with the iOS 11 update.

Step 1: Open the Settings menu.

enable qr code scanning option iphone

Step 2: Scroll down and select the Camera option.

scan qr codes with iphone camera

Step 3: Tap the button to the right of Scan QR Codes to turn it on.

The setting is enabled when there is green shading around the button. I have turned on the QR scan option in the picture below.

how to scan qr codes on an iphone 7

How to Scan a QR Code on Your iPhone Once It’s Enabled

Now that you have enabled the iPhone’s QR scanner it’s time to use it.

Simply open the Camera app and position the QR code in the viewfinder.

It may take a second for the camera to focus but, once it does, a pop up window will appear at the top of the screen. If you tap that pop up you will be taken to the Web page linked by the QR code.

How to Stop Scanning QR Codes with the iPhone Camera App

While this QR functionality is useful when it’s something that you are trying to take advantage of, it might be problematic if the Camera keeps giving you Safari pop ups when you don’t want them.

Fortunately you can stop your camera from scanning QR codes in the same manner. Simply go to Settings > Camera > Scan QR Codes and turn it off.

If you often use the filters on the iPhone’s camera when you take pictures, you may not like how it remembers the last filter you used. Find out how to stop preserving the filter setting on the iPhone camera so that you can easily choose a new one each time.

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