I was given an iPhone for Christmas and want to know how I can scan QR codes? My Google searches all point to articles or reviews about apps you can install, but some of these don’t even exist anymore. Some of my Google searches took me here where’s there’s questions and answers about installing QR code apps, but these all seem dated to me.

Can I do this natively? Or do I really need to install an app for this?

I just want to be able to scan the QR code and have my iPhone automatically open the web page, play the video, or whatever it is the code is set up to do.

  • 1
    Since you mentioned Google, the Chrome browser app for iOS has a QR code reader built in (reference). For me, this is a far superior solution to a dedicated scanner app.
    – MTCoster
    Dec 28, 2017 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


You don’t actually specify whether your iPhone was brand new, or just new to you, but if you’re running iOS 11 you can just open the Camera app and point it at a QR code. It will automatically recognise it for what it is and present you with a notification you can tap on to complete the action.

For example, using your camera to scan a QR code will prompt you to open a website, make a phone call, add a contact, launch a video, make a payment, etc.

Below are some screenshots showing examples of the prompts you can get:

Website QR code

Phone QR code

Contacts QR code

By tapping the prompt iOS will open the appropriate app and perform the related action.

NOTE: If the iPhone you got for Christmas is not a new iPhone and it's running an older version of iOS, then you’ll need to install a QR reader app (of which there are many) or, if the iPhone supports it, you can upgrade to iOS 11.

  • 1
    Does it also understand QR codes containing network SSID and password? That has been the simplest way to connect an Android phone to a WiFi network since about 2009, but I have never seen it work on iOS.
    – kasperd
    Dec 28, 2017 at 17:12
  • 3
    Yes, it supports WiFi network QR codes. And web URLs, contact info, and quite a number of other things. It doesn’t automatically open the app, but it shows you a notification telling you what network it’s joining, website it’s going to, etc so you know what’ll happen when you tap it.
    – rickster
    Dec 28, 2017 at 17:18
  • It won’t automatically open it - a notification will pop up that if you tap it you’ll be redirected to whatever is embedded in the QR.
    – DonielF
    Dec 28, 2017 at 18:25
  • @rickster Thanks for your feedback. Upon re-reading my answer I decided to edit it to remove any ambiguity and clarify how this works. Thanks again! :)
    – Monomeeth
    Dec 29, 2017 at 12:14

A QR code reader is built into the camera app. Open Camera, point at a QR code and tap the notification shown at the top. There's no need to take a photo with the camera.

If it's not working, make sure it's enabled in Settings → Camera → Scan QR Codes:


  • Well, I don't have any notification. What should I do now?
    – Bob
    Dec 28, 2017 at 14:37
  • @Alex Check if it's enabled, see edit
    – grg
    Dec 28, 2017 at 14:39
  • 3
    @Alex It's only available on iOS 11 but you can update to iOS 11 on an iPhone 6
    – grg
    Dec 28, 2017 at 14:44
  • 3
    It's probably worth pointing out that it's not a good idea to update to iOS 11 on a iPhone 6. Just download a QR reader app if you want to scan QR codes for some unknown reason...
    – Coxy
    Dec 28, 2017 at 23:02
  • 7
    @Coxy That's not really a generalisation you can make, there's no arbitrary reason to hold off on updating for so long. iOS 11.2 runs better than 10.x on my iPhone 5s.
    – grg
    Dec 28, 2017 at 23:05

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