How to Scan QR Code in Windows Laptop or PC? 4 Different Ways

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How to Scan QR Code in Windows Laptop

QR codes are everywhere, offering quick access to information but scanning QR codes on your Windows PC may seem like a hassle. We usually grab our phones, open the camera, scan the code, and then share the URL with our computers. But did you know there’s a faster way? This guide recommends five easy methods to scan QR codes directly on your laptop or PC, making the process much simpler.

1: Scan QR Using the Windows Camera App

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Windows devices often come equipped with a built-in camera app that can be used for scanning QR codes. This method is convenient as there’s no need for third-party apps or online tools. To scan QR codes using the Windows Camera app, follow these steps:

  • Press the ‘Win+S’ keys, type “Camera”, and open the “Camera” app on your Windows device.
Type Camera
  • Now, on the right side, you’ll see buttons for various modes eg. “video” or “photo”. Use the arrow to reveal and select the “Barcode” button.
Select Barcode icon in Camera app
  • Align the QR code within the camera’s frame, ensuring it is clearly visible.
  • Wait for the camera app to recognize and decode the QR code.
  • Once successfully scanned, the “Camera” app will display the information within the QR code.
Align QR code within the camera's frame

Please note that the QR code scanning feature may not be visible in your “Camera” app if you’re not using the latest version of Windows. If you encounter this issue, you’ll need to activate the experimental features of the Windows Camera app to access the QR code scanning option. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this:

  • Press the ‘Win+S’ keys, type “Camera”, and open the “Camera” app on your PC. 
  • Once the “Camera” app is open, locate and click on the gear icon in the top-left corner. This will open the “settings” menu for the app.
  • Now, look for the “Related settings” option and click on it. 
  • Within the related settings, you should find an option to “Try out new experimental features”. Turn this feature “On” by using the Toggle.
Toggle on Try out new experimental features
  • Once done, restart the “Camera” app, you should now see the QR code scanner option available within the Camera app.

2: Scanning a QR Code Image Using Web-based Scanners

Although it’s pretty easy to scan a QR Code using a Windows Camera, it can’t be used to scan an existing image present in your computer. For this, you can use an online service for scanning QR codes. Here’s how you can scan a QR code using a web-based scanner:

  • Open a web browser on your Windows device.
  • Search for any reliable web-based QR code scanner like “Scanqr” 
  • Now, scroll down and under “Select QR image”, upload or drag and drop the QR image.
  • Or, scroll further and use the “Webcam QR code scanner” option, give camera access, and show the QR Code.
Use ScanQR
  • Wait for the scanning tool to recognize and decode the QR code. The website will then provide you with the information contained within the QR code.

Using a web-based QR code scanner delivers effective results without requiring additional software installations.

3: Using Google Lens to Scan QR Code

“Google Lens” by Google Chrome is pretty versatile, it allows you to scan images in real-time while browsing on the web and also the QR code images saved in your files. Let’s see both ways:

Scanning QR Codes in Real-Time

Imagine you’re browsing a website using Google Chrome, and you come across a QR code that catches your interest. To uncover what’s inside the QR code, simply right-click on it and select “Search image with Google” from the options.

“Google Lens” will immediately scan the QR code and present a side menu within your browser, containing information about that code. If it’s a web link, you can click on it to visit the website. Just keep in mind that your internet speed can affect how quickly this process works.

Scanning QR Codes in Real-Time

Scanning QR Codes from Existing Photos

If you have a QR code saved on your computer and want to scan it, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Launch the “Chrome” browser on your PC.
  • Step 2: Go to “Google” and click on the Google Lens camera icon “Search by Image” button.
  • Step 3: Drag and drop the QR code you want to scan, or upload it from your computer.
Upload QR Code in Google Image
  • Step 4: “Google” will instantly scan the QR code and display results containing information about it. If it’s a web link, you can click to visit the site directly.

4: Using a QR Code Scanner App

The other simple way to scan QR codes in Windows is by using a QR code scanner app. These apps are readily available for download on the Microsoft Store and provide an easy-to-use interface for decoding QR codes. You can also download them from a third-party installer. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Open the “Microsoft Store” on your Windows device or browser.
  • Search for a QR code scanner app, such asCodeTwo or barcodrod.io“.
  • Download and Install the preferred app on your device.
Search for QR code scanner app
  • Launch the app.
  • Now, you’ll find various scanning options provided by the app such as Webcam, Snipping Tool, Clipboard, Image file, etc., you can choose any of them based on your requirements.
  • Allow the software to recognize and decode the QR code.

The software will display the decoded information, along with any additional features specific to the program

Troubleshooting QR Code Scanning on Windows

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Scanning QR codes on a laptop or PC is a simple process but it can be a challenge due to factors like size, clarity, etc. Here are some troubleshooting tips for common scenarios:

  • Clean Camera Lens: If the camera lens is dirty or smudged, it may have difficulty scanning QR codes accurately. Use a soft cloth to clean the lens gently and remove any dirt or fingerprints.
  • QR Code Size Issues: If the QR code is too large or small to capture effectively on your laptop or computer screen, consider taking a photo of the QR code using a mobile device and then manually uploading the file to your laptop or PC. This ensures you capture the entire image without missing any crucial details.
  • Blurry or Unclear QR Codes: Ensure you are in a well-lit environment when attempting to scan QR codes on your PC or laptop. Additionally, adjust the screen brightness to provide optimal visibility. This can help improve the clarity of the QR code image and enhance scanning accuracy. For example, if you are scanning a QR Code image saved on your phone using your PC. You would need to lower the brightness. 

And that’s that!
Scanning QR codes on Windows has never been easier, with the various methods we collected and provided in this guide. Whether through a web-based scanner, the Windows Camera app, or dedicated QR code scanning software, you have multiple options to choose from.

We hope that this article has provided valuable information for your QR code scanning needs.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section below.

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About the author
Mendy Lieberman
Mendy Lieberman - Founder, PC repair expert

Mendy is a founder of WindowsFixHub.com. He’s been a ‘tech-geek’ for a decade.
He has a background in IT consulting and has gathered a team for WindowsFixHub which main purpose is to provide the most helpful PC tech and software repair guides in the market!