How to Scan a Screenshot QR Code: A Comprehensive Guide

Save a screenshot QR code now in your gallery and have it ready for scanning later, whenever or wherever you are.

Scanning QR codes this way is so convenient, but the thing is that most users don’t know how to do it. The most well-known one is the traditional method: pointing the camera app or a third-party scanner directly on the QR code.

Today’s QR code technologies have greatly advanced, so you no longer have to practice the traditional scanning method. Most smartphones now have a built-in feature to read screen-captured QR codes.

Read on to learn how to scan a QR code saved in your gallery as a screenshot in this blog by Free QR Code Generator.

Can you scan a QR code from a screenshot?

Screenshot QR code

Learning how to scan a QR code from image seems counterintuitive because most users are accustomed to scanning QR codes using their smartphone cameras only.

It’s not surprising, though, because QR codes were introduced to a lot of people when scanning was only possible using the camera app. 

However, as QR code technologies become more advanced, different scanning methods are now possible. Users can now scan QR code from screenshot—no need to open the camera.

How to scan QR code from image or screenshot?

Android and ios screenshot QR code

Scanning a QR code depends on the smartphone and operating system (OS) you use. iOS and Android are two of the most common operating systems for users worldwide. 

While the specific step-by-step process varies depending on the OS, both offer a way to read a screenshot QR code for iOS version 11 and above and Android version 8 and above. 

The native camera app serves as a built-in QR code scanner, but there are other ways as well. Check out the methods below:

Scan a screen-grabbed QR code on  iPhone

Iphone screenshot QR code

With the power of AI, enhanced live text, visual look-up, and image recognition, Apple users can scan QR codes in photos stored in their camera roll. Here’s how:

            1. Open the Photos app.

            2. Find a screenshot in your iPhone device or camera roll.

            3. Click the live text detection icon on the bottom right corner of the screen.

            4. Tap the QR code to view the embedded web page or content.

            A notification will appear at the top part of your screen if the QR code is recognizable.

            Scan a screen-captured QR code on Android

            Unlike iOS, scanning a QR code on Samsung and other Androids can be very different depending on the user interface (UI) of your smartphone. 

            However, as all Android devices are powered by Google’s image-recognition technologies, including Google Assistant, Google Photos, and Google Lens, Android users can scan the screenshot QR code directly on their smartphones. 

            Here are different ways to scan a code from your screenshot.

            Scan a QR code in screenshot form via Google Lens

            Google lens QR code scanner

            Google Lens is an image recognition technology that identifies different elements within an image, including QR codes. To scan,

            1. Open the Gallery app.
            2. Find the screenshot with the QR code to scan.
            3. Click the Google Lens icon, usually at the top-right corner of the screen.
            4. The app detects the Google Lens QR code and decodes the QR code link.
            5. Tap on the pop-up link and access the content.

            Scan a QR code in screenshot form via Google Photos

            Google Photos is Google’s version of a Gallery app, modified to include features such as photo sharing and storage solutions with other Google services. Here’s how to use it:

            1. Open Google Photos.
            2. Select ‘Library’ at the bottom right corner of your screen.
            3. Find the screenshot QR code to scan.
            4. Tap the Lens icon at the bottom of the screen.
            5. Google Photos will read the information embedded within the QR code.

            Scan a QR code in a screenshot via the Google app

            Finally, even for the basic Google app, Android users can scan their screen-captured QR codes. Here’s how.

            1. Open the Google app.
            2. Click the camera icon beside the microphone button on the right side of the search bar.
            3. Select the photo with a QR code to scan it.

            Scan QR code from screenshot via Bixby Vision

            Bixby Vision is available exclusively on Samsung Galaxy devices. It uses a mix of artificial intelligence and image recognition systems to identify the element within the image. Here’s a guide:

            1. Open the Gallery app.
            2. Navigate to the Screenshots folder.
            3. Open the image of your QR code.
            4. Click the Bixby Vision prompt at the bottom right corner of the screen.
            5. Bixby Vision will read the whole image and reveal information embedded in the QR code.

            Alternatively, you can long-press the Bixby Vision icon at the top right corner of the screen to read the QR code—and that’s how to scan QR code in Android without an app.

            How to scan a screenshot QR code through third-party scanners

            If your device has an older version OS that doesn’t support these built-in features, you can use a third-party scanner. It also comes in handy for smartphones that don’t use these operating systems.

            The specific step-by-step process differs depending on your chosen QR code scanner. Generally, it follows the same steps, including:

            1. Open the third-party QR screenshot scanner.
            2. Allow permissions to access your storage and camera.
            3. Tap the storage or image icon in the scanner function.
            4. Select the image with the QR code from your gallery.
            5. It displays the information embedded in the QR code. 

            The thing with third-party QR code scanners is that they may not follow security features. Choose trusted mobile QR scanners from credible brands, such as Free QR Code Generator.

            What are the best practices for scanning screenshots with QR codes?

            Ideally, capturing QR codes via screenshots should deliver high-quality results, allowing easy scanning. However, factors such as distortions, complex backgrounds, and quality discrepancies can greatly affect the scanning experience.

            Here is the best QR code guide for creating and scanning QR codes in a screenshot. 

            Screenshot codes from safe and secure websites only

            One of the best practices for scanning QR codes in images is to take screenshots from safe and secure websites only. If the QR code image comes from an unsafe and unsecured website, think twice before scanning it. 

            Enlarge or zoom in on the QR code on the web page

            If the QR code is only a small part of the web page, enlarge and zoom in all the way before making a screenshot. This prevents iOS and Android systems from confusing other image elements as a QR code to scan.

            However, you must note that scanning distance is relative to size, so how small can a QR be for it to remain scannable? The smallest QR code should only be 2 cm by 2 cm in size and should be scanned at an inch mark.

            Use image editing tools to enhance the screenshot of QR code

            When capturing the QR code through a screenshot, the quality may deteriorate slightly, affecting its delicate visual elements, such as eyes and patterns.

            Before scanning these QR codes, enhance the contrast or brightness to make it more recognizable.

            How to generate a QR code using Free QR Code Generator

            Now that you know how to scan a QR code, it’s time to know how to generate one, too! Simply follow these seven steps below:

            1. Visit Free QR Code Generator website.

            2. Select a QR code solution that fits your needs.

            3. Enter the information you want to embed in the empty field.

            4. Choose between ‘Static’ and ‘Dynamic’ QR codes.

            Tip: Dynamic QR codes enable editing and tracking scan data through in-platform analytics.

            5. Personalize the QR code by choosing from different color, design, and frame choices. Add a logo and a call to action (60 characters max).

            6. Check if the QR code design is recognizable by scanning it first using your smartphone.

            7. Hit the ‘Download’ button. You can download the QR code from one of two formats: PNG and SVG.

            Tip: SVG offers a high-resolution, print-quality QR code that can be scalable for printed files.

            Scan a screenshot QR code without limitations

            You’re not limited by the traditional method of scanning QR codes anymore! 

            Thanks to continuous advancements in QR technologies, you’re free to scan all types of QR codes without limitations. Yes—even without opening your camera app at all.

            A QR code’s ability to be limitless doesn’t only apply to scanning; creating one is easier and more convenient than ever before. With only seven steps, you can create a free QR code. 

            Start creating QR codes using Free QR Code Generator. Visit our website today.

            Frequently Asked Questions

            How to scan QR code on screen using an iPhone?

            If you’re using a QR code on a screen, simply open your iPhone’s camera, point it toward the QR code, and wait for the information to show up. Click the information on the preview to be redirected to the web or information page. 

            This process should work similarly on Android devices, too.

            Can you screenshot a QR code?

            Of course! There’s no reason why you can’t screenshot a QR code. To take a screenshot using iOS devices, click the side button and the volume up button at the same time. 

            On Android devices, press the power and volume down buttons simultaneously. You can also press and hold the power button and then select ‘screenshot.’