How to use the iOS 12 QR code reader

How to use the iOS 12 QR code reader

Last updated: October 28, 2018 

Although the iOS 12 QR code reader works the same as it did with iOS 11, it’s now easier to access. QR stands for Quick Response. The code is a square, two-dimensional label that contains more data than a standard UPC barcode. QR Codes convey numbers, letters, URLs, vCards, phone numbers, and email addresses with a simple scan. They are popular because they eliminate the need to manually key in cumbersome bits of information into a browser or other app.

Up until the release of iOS 11, iPhone and iPad users needed a third-party app to read QR codes. The App Store still offers free and paid apps for that purpose to this day. There is no need for them because not only can you read QR codes with the iPhone camera, you can access the iOS 12 QR code reader more easily. Here’s how to use the QR Code scanner on iOS 12, and how to add it to your iPhone Control Center for quick access.

Step 1. Launch the Camera app

Use your favorite method to launch the Camera app. Tap the app icon on your home screen, swipe left on your lock screen, or swipe up for Control Center.

iOS 12 QR Code reader

Step 2. Find a QR code

Unless you’re already out and about, you may need to generate a QR code for testing purposes. Bing has a handy¬†QR code generator in its search results.

iOS 12 QR Code reader

Step 3. Point Camera at the QR code

Point your iPhone camera at the QR code. The camera reads the code without requiring you to do anything. A QR Code notification displays over the camera view.



iOS 12 QR Code reader

Step 4. Drag or tap the notification

When the notification displays, carefully review what was read before taking any action. If satisfied, tap the notification to launch the QR code data in the specified app. For example, if you scanned a URL, the notification will prompt you to open the address in Safari. If you scanned an email address, the notification will prompt you to compose an email. Tap and drag the notification downward to see a preview of your content or choices. Tap and drag it upward to remove it.

Add a QR Code scanner shortcut to Control Center

iOS 12 QR Code reader

Step 1. Go to Settings app > Control Center

Step 2. Tap Customize Controls

Step 3. Scroll down to Scan QR Code and tap the green plus sign. That adds the Scan QR Code shortcut to the Control Center.

iOS 12 QR Code reader

Disable Scan QR Codes

To disable automatic QR Code scanning while using the Camera app, launch Settings > Camera and toggle Scan QR Codes to the Off position.

iOS 12 QR Code reader

Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to use the iOS 12 QR code reader.


Henry Irvine Writer

Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails or at the GAMH when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously.¬†Hank on Twitter