How to Read QR Codes on an iPhone

By Spanner Spencer

QR Codes are two-dimensional bar codes that encode alphanumeric information into black and white mosaic images. These images can be read by a variety of devices, and their information extracted and used accordingly. Unlike other models of camera-equipped smartphones, the iPhone doesn't have a built-in QR Code reader application. A large number of free and paid third-party applications are available that provide this feature for the iPhone, however.

Things You'll Need

  • QR Code reader application

Step 1

Launch the App Store application on the iPhone by tapping its icon on the home screen.

Step 2

Tap the "Search" button at the bottom of the screen and type "QR Code" into the text box at the top.

Step 3

Select a QR Code reader application from the search results and press the "Buy" button to download and install it on the iPhone. Tap the button a second time when its text changes to "Install" to confirm the app's download.

Step 4

Launch the QR Code reader application once installation is complete.

Step 5

Initiate a new QR Code scan within the application. Consult the app's instructions for details on how to do this. Once initiated, the iPhone's camera will be activated and a live image displayed on the screen.

Step 6

Align the QR Code with the reticle on the iPhone's screen and hold the handset still until it can focus. The application will detect the QR Code automatically once it's correctly positioned inside the reticle. The information encoded in the QR Code will be automatically extracted and displayed within the application.

Tips & Warnings

  • QR Codes can contain contact details, website addresses, email addresses, text messages and any other form of alphanumeric data.
  • Some iPhone applications also allow you to encode your own QR Codes.
  • Available QR Code reader applications include BeeTagg Reader, QR+Emoji and i-nigma QR Code.