2 Ways to Scan a QR Code on Windows in 2024

Discover two easy methods for scanning QR codes on your Windows computer. Use the Camera app or online tools for quick access to encoded information.

By Abhishek Chandel
New Update
2 Ways to Scan a QR Code on Windows

2 Ways to Scan a QR Code on Windows

QR codes are everywhere these days. The black and white square barcodes can contain website links, text, contact info, Wi-Fi logins, and more. Scanning them with your Windows PC can be a quick and easy way to access the information encoded within. In this article, we'll look at the 2 different methods for scanning QR codes on Windows. So without further ado let's get started!

Method 1: Scan a QR Code on Windows using the Built-In Camera App

The fastest way to scan a QR code on Windows is by using the Camera app that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and 11.

Step 1: Open the Camera App

You can open the Camera app by clicking the magnifying icon on the taskbar or by pressing Win + S to bring up the search menu. Type in "camera" and select the Camera app result.

Step 2:  Reveal the Barcode Scanner

When the app opens, click on the arrows below the shutter button to reveal additional options. You should see a barcode scanner icon. Click on it to switch the camera over to QR scanning mode.

Step 3: Scan Your QR Code

With the barcode scanner enabled, simply point your computer's camera at the QR code you want to scan. The app will automatically detect and scan the code.

How to get your Windows camera to read a QR code?

If you don't see the barcode scanner option, your Camera app might need updating. You can enable experimental features that will add the QR tool.

Open the Camera app settings by clicking the gear icon. Go to Related settings > Try out new experimental features and toggle it on. Restart the Camera app and the barcode scanner should now be visible.

Method 2: Scanning QR Codes from Images on Windows

The built-in Camera app on Windows can only scan live QR codes, not ones contained within existing images. To scan a QR code from a photo or screenshot, you'll need to use an online scanning tool.

Step 1: Upload Your Image

Head to a website like ScanQR which offers QR scanning from images. Click on the "Drag & Drop or Browse" option and select the image file from your computer containing the QR code.

Step 2:  QR Code Will Be Scanned

Once uploaded, the site will automatically scan the image and detect any QR codes present. The contents of the code will be displayed in the Scanned Data box on the right side of your screen.

Step 3: Copy or Use Scanned Data

From here you can copy the QR code data or click visit links that were encoded. It's an easy way to retrieve info from QR codes saved on your device.

Tips for Scanning QR Codes

To maximize your chances of quickly and accurately scanning QR codes, keep these tips in mind:

  • Proper lighting and distance are key for clear scans. Avoid shadows covering the code.

  • Try scanning the code from multiple angles if you are having issues.

  • Test scanner apps and sites with different QR code types and sizes.

Additional Scanner Options

Beyond the Windows Camera app, there are a few other ways to scan QR codes:

  • Download dedicated QR code scanner apps from the Microsoft Store. Many offer advanced features.

  • Use QR scanning extensions/add-ons available for your web browser.


Thanks to the native camera app capabilities, scanning QR codes on Windows is a breeze. The simple workflow for enabling the barcode scanner and scanning live codes makes accessing QR code content faster than ever. For codes contained in images, online services fill the gap. With these tips and tools, QR codes are sure to provide a wealth of useful information at your fingertips.

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