If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they’re these modern-day barcodes that let you open a web page, download an app, send a text message, or do much more with the tap of a smartphone. You’ll find them on everything from candy wrappers to billboards. Many restaurants and stores even use them to create digital menus that you can scan with your phone.
They may look complicated, but QR codes are pretty simple to scan. Just open your camera, frame the code, and tap the screen. Your smartphone will then automatically open the link or open a website associated with the code. If you’re using an iPhone, make sure the Scan QR codes feature in your Camera settings is enabled.
You can also scan a QR code with Google Lens, a feature in the Android search app that’s available on phones with Android 9 and later or iPhones running iOS 11 and higher. Tap the camera icon in the search bar to open Google Lens, then position your phone so the code is fully in view in the viewfinder. If your phone can automatically scan a QR code, a notification will appear in the upper-right corner of your screen.
If you’re using an older Android device, or if you want to scan a QR code without Google Lens, you’ll need to download a third-party QR scanner app like Kayako’s Reader or QR Journal. If you’re on a Samsung phone, you can also enable the Camera app’s Quick Response code feature in your settings—just make sure that the QR Codes option is turned on.