How to scan a QR code on iPhone

how to scan qr codes ios
(Image credit: AFP/Getty)

QR codes used to be everywhere before dropping off in popularity. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of restaurants have turned to these codes in lieu of giving customers physical menus. Instead, you just look at the menu on your phone to keep things more sanitary.

Despite how long these things have been around, scanning QR codes isn’t always an intuitive process. Many people have resorted to third-party QR scanner apps for years. In addition to cluttering up your phone with unitaskers, some of the QR code scanners are pretty dubious apps. It's best to have a built-in solution.

Fortunately, if you've got an iPhone or an iPad, there's an easy way to scan QR codes without having to download a separate app. Here's how to scan a QR code with your iPhone or iPad. (But beware scam QR codes, which do exist and are easily to stick anywhere.)

How to scan a QR code on iOS: Use your device's camera

how to scan qr code ios

(Image credit: Apple)

Scanning a QR code on iOS and iPad OS is really as simple as launching the Camera app and aiming the lenses at the code you want to scan. Make sure the QR code is in the phone's or tablet's viewfinder, and the app should automatically recognize it.

A notification will appear on your device's screen; tapping it will take you to the link that the code represents. 

Bear in mind that you don't have to actually take a picture of the QR code. Just let your iPhone or iPad see it and the Camera app's built-in QR reader will do the rest.

More iPad and iPhone tips

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Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.