Quick Info
  • There are several ways by which you can scan QR codes using an iOS or Android device for codes present on your phone itself.
  • You can use these methods not only to scan QR codes present in photos but also in PDFs and websites by screenshotting them first.
  • Some methods, such as the Live Text feature, are exclusive to one platform while others, like Google Lens, can be used on both.
  • Several third-party apps are also available that can help you scan QR codes without using another device.

Depending on whether you use an iPhone or an Android device, there are different ways by which you can scan QR codes without using another phone.

Using the Photos app on iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you can use the Live Text feature in the Photos app, which is present on devices running iOS 15 or later.

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Locate the QR code and press and hold on it for a few seconds.
  3. You will get a few options – if the QR code is a URL, you will be able to open it using the Safari browser.
  4. Otherwise, tap on the 'Share' button to open it in another app.
  1. For payment QR codes, it will also show the relevant apps where you can open the QR code to make a payment.

Using the Camera app on Android

Depending on the manufacturer, some Android devices can scan QR codes directly using the camera, just like iPhones.

  1. Open the camera app and check whether it has Google Assistant Mode or Google Lens support. If it does, switch to it by tapping on the Lens or Assistant icon.
  2. Then, tap on the photos icon that will take you to the Gallery or Photos app.
  1. Navigate to where the QR Code is located and tap on it to select it.
  2. Google Assistant will scan the code and show you the relevant options.

Using Google Lens

Google Lens is available on both Android and iOS devices, and you can use it to scan QR codes you cannot scan using the Photos/ Camera app on either device. On iOS, Google Lens is available within the Google app.

  1. If you don't already have the Google Lens app installed, download it from the Play Store or App Store.
  2. Once it is installed, open the app and navigate to where the QR code is stored. Tap on the QR Code to select and scan it using Google Lens.
  3. Once Google Lens scans it, it will provide you with relevant options, such as a link to a webpage, Search, Translate, etc.
  1. On iPhone, first switch to 'Google Lens' from the Google app.
  2. Then, select the photo with the QR code.
  1. Alternatively, select the QR Code from your gallery and tap on the 'Share' button.
  2. From the options that appear, tap on the Google Lens icon/ 'Search with Google Lens' on iPhone.
  1. Google Lens will open the QR Code, scan it, and show you the available options.
Note: You can also download third-party QR code scanners from the Play Store and App Store and use them in the same manner to scan such codes without having to rely on another device.

Using Bixby Vision on Samsung phones

If you have a Samsung device, you can use Bixby Vision to scan QR codes.

  1. Open the Samsung Gallery app to do so.
  2. Select the QR code from the gallery.
  3. You will find the Bixby Vision button on the top right to scan the selected code.

From the QR Scanner in Notifications Panel on Android

Some Android devices also allow you to scan QR Codes from the photos gallery directly from the QR scanner in the Notifications Panel.

  1. Drop the Notifications Panel down and tap on the 'Scan QR Code' or similar icon if it is present.
  2. Tap on the Gallery icon and you can navigate to the QR Code in the gallery.
  1. Select the code by tapping on it and your device will scan it and show you the relevant options and links. You can tap on the link to visit the website.