You may have seen QR codes in an advertisement, a webpage, or maybe in a magazine that you were reading. If you were wondering what they are for, they are a way to store media that can be scanned and transferred to your phone.

These small QR codes are useful in comparison to a barcode because they can store more information. Once you can it, it can give you details about a business, a URL, or even a coupon.

You don’t need a handheld high- tech piece of equipment to scan them. You have a scanner right at the tips of your fingers. The following sections list ways in which you can use your Android device to scan a QR code.

If you have an older Android device, you may want to use an app, but with a newer device, you will be able to scan the code without an app.

Scanning QR Code with Scanner App

There are many QR scanning apps for Android. One simple search on Google Play yields many results. Below you will find the steps to scanning a QR code on one of the highest rated apps for reading QR codes: the QR Code Scanner by WonderTech Studios.

The app is simple to use, and it is free with ads. To remove ads, it is 99 cents.

1. Download the app of your choice. Any app will work so long as it is a QR code scanner and not a barcode scanner; most apps are both.

choose QR Barcode Scanner options

2. Choose the first option that is titled “QR/Barcode Scanner.” Press that option to be taken to a camera.

3. Press “Allow” when the app asks for permission to take pictures and record video. If you do not give the app permission, you will not be able to scan the QR codes since you need the camera to do so.

aim camera at QR code

4. You will see a box come up as the app will begin using your camera. You must make sure that when the camera is aimed at the QR code, it is in the borders of the green lines. You may need a flash.

5. If this does not work, you can try taking a picture and then using the square in the bottom left corner of the screen to upload the QR code picture into the app from your Gallery in your phone.

Without Scanner App

You must have a device that is compatible with Google Assistant, also known as the “Okay Google” function on your device. Most Android devices have this function.

1. First, you must activate the screen search on your Android device before you can scan QR codes. Most devices do not have this function enabled.

2. Open the “OK Google” feature by holding the Home button on your device.

press compass icon on the right

3. Press the compass icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. After clicking that circle, it will take you to the Explore page.

tap your profile picture

4. Tap your profile picture that is in the upper right- hand side of the screen. It is a small circle that will be grey unless you have a profile picture uploaded. After clicking the profile picture, a drop- down menu will appear with a few options to select.

5. Click “Settings” which should be the fourth option on the drop-down menu.

Assistant

6. After clicking settings, swipe over to “Assistant.”

7. At the bottom of the page if you scroll, you will see “Assistant Devices.” Select the type of device that you are using. You can also add a device here.

use screen context

8. Toggle on “Use screen context.” Switch that on.

9. After this, you can launch your camera and scan the QR code. Make sure that your camera is focused on it. Google will display the information that is on the QR code.