Is there a QR-Code reader application for Mac OS X? I'm using Mac OS X 10.6 and an iSight.

8 Answers 8


There is an Adobe Air application you can download called QR Reader - works on any platform that has Air installed, and a bunch of online services you could try too - QRGen looks pretty neat - you upload an image of the QR code and then it processes it for you.

Hope that helps.

  • 1
    I tried QRGen but it didn't manage to resolve the QR Codes which I uploaded. But I think your answer is still acceptable as there could be quality issues with the QR Codes I took pictures off ;)
    – elhombre
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 21:08
  • Have you tried QR Reader as well? Might work better. I've tried QRGen with pictures taken on my iPhone 4 and it worked 4 times in a row. Maybe you are right about the resolution issues. Hope you can get it worked out. Cheers.
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Mar 7, 2011 at 21:38
  • When QR Reader detects a URL, it automatically opens a browser window and does not give you the option of not opening that window. I hate computer programs that presume what I want to do and then do it, especially when it is not what I want to do.
    – Bruce
    Commented Aug 10, 2023 at 16:27

I just discovered QR Journal, which works fine for me. The latest version requires OS X 10.8/10.9 but there is a legacy version available which works with 10.6.

Now desktop users with an iSight (or iSight compatible) camera can read QR codes. Found a QR code in a magazine or catalog? Simply hold up to the iSight camera to scan, store and browse to. Received a QR code in an email? Just drag it into QR Journal to read it.

  • 1
    Sadly, for my purposes, my MacBook Pro's camera can't focus near enough for the QR codes to be readable. :( Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 13:15
  • Worked very well for me to read QR wifi code from my android to my mbp.
    – Nikola
    Commented Dec 12, 2020 at 10:35
  • 4
    brew install --cask qr-journal , see formulae.brew.sh/cask/qr-journal .
    – Huge
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 20:42
  • How do I know if my Mac has an iSight camera? It's a new M1 MacBook Air and there's no iSight app... Commented May 15, 2021 at 1:12

There is an open source command line tool named ZBar. It takes a photo as an argument and extracts the information out of any QRCode that it detects in the image.

The open source project QR-Reader-Mac provides an Applescript script that acts as a wrapper to zbar. You can create a shortcut to the script for processing QRCodes or create a service, as explained below. The script will automatically open the URL contained within the QRCode in your default browser.



Step by step

ZBar can be easily installed with Homebrew:

brew install zbar

To install QR-Reader-Mac:

  1. Open the QR-Reader-Mac GitHub project page, select Code and download the project as a ZIP file:

    enter image description here

  2. Double click the ZIP file to extract it.

  3. Double click the workflow you want to install. The following Pop-UP should appear:

  4. Confirm by pressing install.

  5. Open System Preferences and add a shortcut to the open_QRCode service under Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services > General: image

(Important: Note that QR-Reader-Mac expects to find the executable 'zbarimg' in /usr/local/bin/zbarimg, which is the standard path Homebrew will install it.)

Copy to Clipboard

The QRCode2Clipboard.workflow can be used to extract the content of the QR-Codes into the Clipboard. It can be installed in the same way as the open_QRCode.workflow.


No free app that I'm aware of, but for a few dollars/euro you can download QuickMark from the Mac App Store, here's the link

  • Since someone down-voted this, it would be helpful if they commented to say why. The app I've linked to does exactly what the OP asked for. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 18:40
  • 5
    I think it's because the poster asked for a free app. QuickMark does look good and reasonably priced though. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 19:29
  • My mistake, you're right. I read the question and not the title. Commented Feb 18, 2011 at 19:50
  • I'd be inclined to download since it doesn't work reliably.
    – user22356
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 15:04
  • This app is not available from the UK app store FWIW.
    – volvox
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 8:46

Online encode/decode:

http://www.patrick-wied.at/static/qrgen/ (based on ZXing)

QR Lab http://www.onlineqrlab.com/


The app that worked flawlessly in my macOS Big Sur is this: https://apps.apple.com/ie/app/code-reader-qr-scanner/id1225393668

I tried QR Journal, as suggested by others here, but for some reason the camera didn't detect the QR code so I ended up finding the other app.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with either of these apps.


It's not free, but LensOCR is exactly what I needed. I use it solely for the barcode/QR scanning feature.


It allows me to screenshot a portion of my screen containing a barcode or QR code and instantly saves the result to the clipboard. I know OP asked for free... but when you find the right app that you will use a ton the $11.99 one-time cost is justified in my book.

Note: The original question implies the use of a webcam for scanning. The app I recommended above does not use the webcam at all. It just interprets screenshot content.


I've just download this; seem to work exactly as you'd want:


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