6 Best Ways to Fix QR Code Scanner Not Working on Android

Is your Android QR code reader acting up? Explore these troubleshooting tips, from app permissions to hardware checks, to get your scanning functionality back on track.

By Abhishek Chandel
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6 Best Ways to Fix QR Code Scanner Not Working on Android

6 Best Ways to Fix QR Code Scanner Not Working on Android

QR codes offer a simple yet powerful way for our phones to quickly interact with the physical world around us. By scanning a code, your device can instantly open websites, download apps, save contacts, and more. However, sometimes an Android phone’s built-in scanner can unexpectedly stop recognizing QR codes that previously worked fine. Fortunately, this guide will walk through the top troubleshooting tips to get any QR code reader app back up and running smoothly. We’ll explore fixes ranging from app permissions and updates to possible hardware issues that could hamper scanning reliability.

1. Check App Permissions

If your designated QR code reader app suddenly stops scanning, first ensure the app has permission to access your phone's camera. Over time, Android can disable permissions, causing features to break.

How to Verify App Permissions

  1. Go to Settings > Apps

  2. Select the QR scanner app

  3. Choose Permissions to view and enable access if disabled

Granting camera access almost always resolves permission-related scanning failures. Reboot your device after updating app permissions.

2. Clear App Cache and Data

Unoptimized caches along with outdated app data often lead to glitchy performance over time. Erasing these temporary files prompts your QR app to rebuild cleanly.

Steps to Wipe App Caches/Data

  1. Go to Settings > Apps

  2. Select the problematic QR scanner app

  3. Tap Storage > Clear Cache and Clear Data buttons

Give your phone 30-60 seconds after wiping before re-launching the refreshed application.

3. Check Internet Connectivity

Today's QR codes frequently contain URLs pointing to websites. Without an internet connection, your phone cannot follow these links after scanning.

Ensure Your Android Device Has an Active Internet Connection

  1. Check for available WiFi networks and connect

  2. Alternatively, enable mobile data if WiFi is unavailable

  3. Launch any web browser to confirm connectivity

Once internet access is verified as working, try scanning your QR code again.

4. Update/Reinstall Scanner App

Installing the latest update of your QR reader app allows you to automatically fix bugs. Developers release patches to improve camera scanning reliability.

Updating or Reinstalling the App May Resolve Crashing Issues

  1. Search for your scanner app in the Play Store

  2. Download the latest version if updates are available

  3. You can also uninstall/reinstall the app altogether

Updating or reinstalling provides a clean slate, often resolving odd application freezing scenarios.

5. Restart Your Android Device

A simple device restart clears programs running in memory and resets operating system processes. Power cycling your phone offers a quick fix for temporary glitches.

How to Restart an Android Phone or Tablet

  1. Long press the Power button

  2. Choose Restart when prompted to safely reboot

  3. Wait 1-2 minutes for full restart before retrying QR scan

Allow apps and services to reload following a restart. This wipes previous state data that may have been causing conflicts.

6. Check for Hardware Issues

Though rare, it's possible for lens covers or sensors to be physically dirty or damaged. Testing both rear and front cameras helps isolate faults.

Inspect Camera Lenses and Sensors for Obstructions

  1. Inspect rear/front cameras for dust, smudges, cracks

  2. Clean any debris gently with a microfiber cloth

  3. Download alternate scanner apps and compare the scanning ability

  4. If issues persist, hardware service may be required

Being unable to scan QR codes across multiple apps indicates a deeper device issue beyond software. Consider visiting an authorized service center if cleaning lenses proves unsuccessful.


In summary, from app cache clearing to camera lens inspections, work through the potential QR code scanning fixes covered step-by-step. The vast majority of functioning issues can be resolved by adjusting software permissions, updating the scanner program itself, restarting your device, and confirming camera access. While unlikely, hardware problems can disable scanning if cleaning attempts prove unsuccessful. By applying the solutions systematically, you can get back to effortlessly opening links and media just by pointing your phone’s camera at a QR code in no time.

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