How to Scan a QR Code on Your Android

  • You can scan QR codes on an Android device using the default camera app or the Google Lens app.
  • As long as your Android device has a camera, it should be able to scan any QR code.
  • Once you’ve scanned a QR code on your Android, you can open the URL or share it.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Over the last decade, QR codes have boomed in popularity. You can find them on restaurant windows, at bus stops, in stores, and even in books. They’re a useful way to quickly direct people to specific websites.

And as QR codes become more standard, more devices are designed to scan them. That includes smartphones.

You can scan QR codes on any Android device that has a camera, whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet. And once you’ve scanned the code, you can open or share its URL (the website it points to) freely.

How to scan a QR code on your Android

You can use the basic camera app to scan QR codes on most Android devices.

1. Open your Android device’s camera app.

2. Move your camera so the QR code is in the frame. If the code is easily scannable, you’ll see the code’s URL appear at the bottom of the frame. Tap it to open that URL.

A QR code being scanned on an Android device. The URL that the code leads to is highlighted.

Give your camera enough room to see the entire QR code.

William Antonelli/Insider

If your camera won’t recognize it, try closing your camera and opening it again, or moving the QR code so it doesn’t take up the entire screen.

If that still doesn’t work, you’ll need to use Google Lens, an app that lets you search the web with your camera. Lens also gives you more options for using the QR code you’ve scanned.

Some Android phones, like the Pixel 5, have Lens built into the camera app. Just tap Modes at the bottom of the screen, then Lens, and try again. Otherwise, download it from the Play Store.

The menu in the Android camera app that lets you activate Google Lens.

Some Androids have Google Lens built in.

William Antonelli/Insider

1. Open Lens and move your camera so the QR code is in the frame.

2. The QR code’s URL will appear over it. Tap the URL to open it immediately, or tap the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen to uncover more options.

Scanning a QR code on an Android device with Google Lens.

The QR code’s URL will appear in front of the code.

William Antonelli/Insider

3. If you tap the magnifying glass, you’ll be given three options:

  • Website opens the URL in your web browser.
  • Copy URL copies the URL to your phone’s clipboard, so you can paste it anywhere.
  • Share lets you send the URL to someone in a text message, email, or using another app.

The "Search" menu that appears when you scan a QR code in Google Lens.

You’ve got three options for your QR code.

William Antonelli/Insider

If neither of these methods work, the QR code itself might be invalid.

Leave a Comment