- If your Android device is not scanning a QR code, make sure the code is properly framed on your screen.
- Cleaning your camera lens and getting better lighting on the code are other potential solutions.
- You can also try using Google Lens or a third-party QR code app.
QR codes have been around for a long time, but it seems like they’ve recently found new, heightened popularity. Many restaurants, for example, have switched to leaving a QR code at the table so you can read the menu on your phone rather than printer paper.
That’s great, most of the time. But what happens when your Android phone won’t scan a QR code? There are a handful of ways to quickly troubleshoot and try to solve this problem.
Center the QR code on the screen
Often, your phone might not scan the QR code because of how you’re trying to position your phone. Start by opening the camera app on your Android phone — whether that is the Google Camera app found in Android OS devices or a custom camera app. Center the QR code squarely in the frame, being sure the code is at the center of the viewfinder. Wait a few moments, and you should see the option to open the page associated with the code.
Check your lighting and distance
It’s also possible that you are too close, too far, or trying to connect with insufficient lighting. Make sure that the QR code is focused in the frame. If the camera is having difficulty identifying the code, move closer or farther to allow the lens to focus, and make sure the QR code is lit well enough for the camera to read it properly. Move it into better lighting if needed, or have someone else shine their phone’s flashlight.
Clean the lens
It’s not just being too close or far from the QR code that can keep your phone from reading it properly; The camera lens is also susceptible to smudges and other grime. Give it a quick wipe (ideally with a microfiber cloth) to let the camera see the code better.
Tap and hold the screen
If you’re pointing your phone directly at a QR code and — despite decent lighting and good framing — the camera still isn’t scanning the QR code, here is a trick that will work with many camera apps: tap and hold the screen. Depending upon your phone model, the camera app may launch Google Lens and give you the ability to launch the page for the QR code.
Try Google Lens
If tapping and holding the screen doesn’t work, your camera app might not be designed to launch Google Lens automatically. In that case, install Google Lens (if it’s not already installed on your phone) and launch the app. Google Lens makes it easy to scan QR codes.
Make sure Google Lens suggestions are turned on
If you are using the Google Camera app, make sure Google Lens suggestions are enabled — this makes it much easier to scan QR codes in just a few moments. Start the Camera app, tap the Options icon at the top of the screen and then tap More Settings. In the General section, make sure Google Lens suggestions is on by swiping the button to the right.
Try a third-party QR code reader
If you aren’t having luck with your phone’s built-in camera and either Google Lens isn’t working for you or you prefer not to use it, try a third-party QR code scanner app. There are many to choose from in the Google Play store, though one of the best is QR & Barcode Scanner. The app is easy to use and can accurately scan QR codes; just point the phone at a QR code and go.