How to easily scan a QR code in Android 13

Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock

In the past, to scan a QR code in Android, you had to install a third-party application. Most of the time that was fine. However, every once in a while you installed an app that contained malware or ransomware and things went decidedly wrong.

In response, Google added the ability to scan a QR code in Google Assistant, but that was fluffy at best.

Sometimes the QR code would be scanned, and sometimes Android would either take a picture or the assistant would tell me what I was looking at.

I needed my phone to just read the QR code.

This became particularly problematic when the pandemic hit and many restaurants I visited put QR codes on every table so their waiters didn’t have to come into contact with the diners. It was an intelligent solution to a challenging problem.

Likewise: Here’s how to install Android 13 on your Pixel phone

But when Android wasn’t exactly designed to easily scan those codes, simply ordering a meal became problematic. And because I know what I know, I didn’t want to install a third-party QR code reader on my phone. You see, I’m into minimalism when it comes to apps. Unless I absolutely needed it, it wouldn’t install.

Turns out I needed this QR code reader.

Fortunately, Google has solved this problem with Android 13. In fact, reading QR codes with Android 13 is now very easy. Let me show you how it’s done.

How to easily scan a QR code in Android 13


The only thing you need for this is a device with at least Android 13. That’s it. Let’s move on to scanning these QR codes.

Likewise: How to create a QR code for free

The QR code reading feature focuses on the quick settings tiles, which are a collection of tappable tiles at the top of your notification panel. You can add and remove Quick Settings tiles as needed to easily access specific features. One such feature of Android 13 is the QR code reader.

Pull down your notification shade twice and tap the pencil icon to edit the quick settings section.

The edit button for Quick Settings tiles.

Editing quick setting tiles on Android 13.

Image: Jack Wallen

Scroll down until you see Scan QR code listed under the Hold and drag to add tiles section. Tap and drag this tile until it’s near the top of the quick settings section of the notification bar.

Scan QR Code Quick Settings tile in Android 13.

Add the Scan QR Code Quick Settings tile to the notification panel.

Image: Jack Wallen

After placing the quick settings tiles where you want to scan QR codes, tap the left-pointing arrow in the top-left corner of the window.

The Scan QR Code Quick Settings tile in the Android 13 notification bar.

Added the Scan QR Code Quick Settings tile.

Image: Jack Wallen

Scan QR Code tile Quick Settings

At this point, whenever you need to scan a QR code, all you have to do is pull down the notification shade, tap the Scan QR code quick settings tile, and point the camera at the QR code.

Likewise: How to assign a different language to apps in Android 13

There’s no need to install a third-party app, open Google Assistant, or mess with your phone’s camera. Just a few quick touches and your phone will read those QR codes like the champ that it is.

Dead easy.

Leave a Comment