How to Troubleshoot QR Code Reader Failures - dummies

How to Troubleshoot QR Code Reader Failures

By Joe Waters

Sometimes your QR Code reader won’t read the code, or the reader will just keep working like it’s trying to do something but won’t. Or it will take you to the wrong page or an error page.

Here are the first things you should check if this happens:

  • Are you scanning a QR Code or a barcode? It sounds silly, but people try all the time to scan a regular barcode with a QR Code reader. The good news is that a lot of QR Code readers also read barcodes. But not all do, so this may be your problem.

    Don’t forget what a QR Code looks like: small squares within a larger square on a white or light background.

  • Is your device connected to the Internet? QR Codes link the offline world with online content, so being connected to the Internet is kind of important.

    If you’re not on a network (such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and so on) you need to be in a hotspot, a location with Wi-Fi. Even if you are, make sure you’ve enabled your Wi-Fi in your device’s settings so it can find and connect with the network.

  • Are you too close to or too far away from the QR Code? Most readers indicate a sweet spot, so to speak, within which your code can be scanned. Make sure the QR Code is within that area.

  • Is the QR Code blurry? Make sure it appears clearly within the screen by moving your device back or forth to adjust the focus.

  • Is the problem the QR Code or your reader? Try scanning a different QR Code. If your reader works, the problem probably lies with the QR Code.

  • Did the reader not scan a second code? Try deleting the QR Code reader from your device and reinstalling it, or try a different reader.