How to Scan QR Codes Without an App on Android Phones


QRStuff Admin

It is possible to view the content of a QR code without using a third-party QR codes scanner.  There are ways to scan a QR code even without downloading an app from Google Play Store. 

It's true, installing third-party apps is sometimes beneficial. However, there are also downsides to using them. 

So how can you scan a QR code without an app? 

Risks of Using Third-Party Apps 

Hundreds of free mobile applications are available in Google Play Store. But even if they are continually scanning each app for security flaws doesn't guarantee that all apps are safe. 

Google and Apple do not scan the adverts for possible viruses. As a result, advertising may lead you to potentially hazardous websites or even include malware.

Here are some risks of using free third-party apps: 

  • Hidden malware: Because people download free apps straight to their devices, it's easy for developers to conceal harmful software in them. This software can infiltrate your phone and steal personal information such as bank logins and passwords.
  • Lack of support and documentation: When utilizing free software, the developers do not publish their progress notes. As a result, no one can notice any modifications or crucial information in the source code.
  • Loss of Interest: One of the most serious issues with free software is that the creators may occasionally stop improving or upgrading it.

Also, some free apps that you install on your phone invade too much of your privacy. Fortunately, you can avoid those risks because Android devices have built-in QR code scanners. 

Using Built-In QR Code Scanners 

Newer versions of Android have a QR codes scanner tool, courtesy of Google Lens. This feature is available starting Android 9. 

Just open the default Camera app and tap on the Settings icon to activate Google Lens. 

After that, go back to the main interface of the camera app and point it at a QR code for a few seconds until it comes into focus. There's no need to snap a shot; Google Lens will recognize and interpret the code and show a link, which is generally to a web page. 

To open and read the contents of the code, tap the notification on the screen or your notification bar. 

QR codes Scanner on Older Android Versions

If your device runs on older versions of Android, you can still scan QR codes without an app. 

Scanning QR Codes on Android 8 

Using Google Screen Search - With Google Screen Search, users can immediately scan QR Codes without having to download an app. Simply aim your camera at the QR Code, press and hold the Home button, then select 'What's on my screen?' Consumers will be able to access the QR Code URL. 

Open the Google app and tap Navigation if your smartphone's screen search is turned off. Next, enable Screen Search in the settings.

Using Google Lens - Google Lens is an artificial intelligence (AI) interface that detects everything in the camera, including QR codes. It can be found in both the camera app and Google Assistant.

Scan QR Codes with Android 7 and Below

Android 7 and below don't have built-in QR codes scanner features. So if your device is this old, you can either download and install a third-party app or use the web-based QR code scanners. 

What is a Web-Based QR Code Scanner?

A web-based QR code scanner, as the name suggests, is a QR code scanner that you can only access online.

We know that it's hard to trust some third-party apps. That's why we developed our own safer tool to scan QR codes. 

Unlike apps, our web-based QR code scanner is safer to use. That's because it only requires permission to access the camera of your device. 

Just allow the web-based QR code scanner to access your camera. After that, you can then start scanning the QR code on your other phone. 

Moreover, web-based QR code scanners can also work similarly to apps. You can even save it to your home screen. 

To do that, open the web-based QR code scanner using your preferred browser. Next, save the page as a bookmark and drag it to your home screen. 

Our web-based QR code scanner is free to use along with our QR code generator.

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