Scanning QR codes with your phone is now well integrated into our society. This feature is helpful for multiple activities, such as signing up for a subscription or making a reservation at your favorite restaurant. But it can be pretty frustrating when your phone doesn’t seem to recognize the QR Code and therefore can’t scan it. Even though most of the newest phones can scan even damaged QR codes, there are a couple of reasons why your particular phone cannot scan the QR code.
The following reasons can prevent your iPhone from scanning the QR code:
- Scanning QR codes are disabled in your camera settings.
- You use an iOS version that is older than iOS 11.
- Your camera lens is not clean enough.
- You hold your iPhone too close to the QR code.
- You’re not holding your iPhone vertically.
- The screen from which your try to scan the QR code is not bright enough.
- The quality of the QR code is simply just bad.
- The size of the QR code is too small.
Now that you’ve got the reasons that cause problems with scanning QR codes let’s dive deeper into each of these arguments.
Scanning QR codes are disabled in your camera settings.
You might not have thought about enabling your camera to scan QR codes, and that’s understandable. Most of the time, we use our camera for other purposes and rarely for scanning QR codes. So scanning QR codes is enable by default. But in some cases, it’s not, and therefore you need to activate it manually.
To enable scanning QR codes on your iPhone, you need to go through the following:
- Go to the settings app and tap on it.
- Could you scroll down to the camera and tap on it?
- The last feature in the first section says “Scan QR Codes”.
- If it’s switched off, tap on the toggle to switch it on.
After enabling your camera to scan QR codes, go back to your camera to test it. If this was the problem, then congratulations, you’ve just solved this problem right away, and you don’t have to read any further. If not, then the problem that you’re dealing with is somewhere explained in this article. But don’t worry because seven other reasons could be the cause of this problem.
The iOS version of your iPhone is older than iOS 11
If you still use an iOS version older than iOS 11, you will not be able to scan any QR code. At least, not with the camera app that comes natively with your iPhone. So if you have an old iOS version and you want to be able to scan QR codes, then you have two options:
- The first one is to upgrade to the latest iOS version. Pretty straightforward.
- The second option is to use a third-party app.
Different third-party apps make it possible to scan a QR code even if you use an iOS version older than iOS 11. A quick search of the best apps to scan QR codes (on iPhone or Android) will give you good results.
Read Also: How to Change the Date and Time on iPhone.
Your camera lens is not clean enough, and therefore, it can’t scan the QR code properly.
Having a lens that’s covered with smudges is something that we all deal with. Since we carry our iPhone throughout the day, it’s easy to touch the camera lens and therefore cumulating smudges on the camera.
Just take a microfiber cloth and start cleaning your lens(es). This is not only good for scanning QR codes but for making astonishing photos as well. You can improve the quality of your pictures drastically by just cleaning your iPhone lenses before taking any photograph.
Holding the iPhone too close to the QR code
Here is a fun fact: You can scan a QR code from your TV while sitting on the couch, but if you hold your phone’s camera way too close to the QR code, it will not scan it. So having the iPhone too far to the QR code shouldn’t be a problem. But if you held the camera way too close to it, then you might not be able to scan the code since you might be scanning just part of the code.
So if your iPhone can’t scan the QR code, you might be holding the camera way too close to the QR code. So try to keep your phone a bit away from the QR code while doing the scan.
You’re not holding your iPhone vertically while scanning the QR code
Another mistake that people make is scanning the QR code while holding their iPhone horizontally. Your phone will not be able to scan the code this way. Just rotate your iPhone 45 degrees to the right (or left) and hold it vertically while scanning the code. Most likely is this simple mistake that is causing your problem.
Did You Know
Did you know that QR codes were invented in 1994 in Japan? The Manufacturer, Denso Corporation, ran into the problem of not being able to store a lot of information in the traditional code. So he came up with QR codes.
The screen from which your try to scan the QR code is not bright enough.
Let me tell you that nine out of the ten times that I wasn’t able to scan the QR code was due to the fact that the display brightness from which I try to scan the code was just low. It took me sometimes minutes to scan the QR code just to find out that the cause of my problem was the fact that its display brightness was just too low.
Bring the display brightness from which your try to scan the QR code a notch higher, and most likely, your problem would be fixed.
The quality of the QR code is just bad
Having a screenshot of another screenshot of the QR code can mess up the quality of the picture. I know it sounds like Inception, but believe me, you can lose the quality of any photograph (or video) if you reuse it a couple of times.
And having a good quality picture for QR codes can be decisive. You need a clear photo to be able to scan it. If the image is worse than the QR code, it will most likely also be bad, preventing you from scanning it. So the problem of not being able to scan it isn’t because you have any problems with your phone but because the quality of the QR code is bad.
The size of the QR code is too small
Finally, we came to the last reason that might prevent you from scanning the QR code: its size. If the QR code is too small, you might be thinking of making it bigger; otherwise, you will have difficulty scanning it.
Increasing the size of QR codes shouldn’t be a problem is they often are digital, which means that you have to zoom in on the picture. If the QR code is printed on a piece of paper, then you might bring your phone close to the code. And I know I just said that getting the camera too close to the code might prevent you from scanning it, but that’s when it has an average size. When you deal with a small QR code, then it is perfectly fine to get your camera close to it.