How to Scan and Read a QR Code Using Your Computer Webcam

How to Scan and Read a QR Code Using Your Computer Webcam - How to Scan and Read a QR Code Using Your Computer Webcam 3

QR codes have become ubiquitous in recent years. You can find them on products, advertisements, menus, tickets, business cards, and more. A QR code is a type of barcode that can be easily scanned using the camera on a smartphone or tablet. However, you may sometimes want to scan a QR code using your computer instead.

Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to scan and read QR codes directly on your Windows, Mac, or Chromebook computer using just your webcam.

Benefits of Scanning QR Codes on Your Computer

Here are some of the benefits of scanning QR codes directly on your computer rather than using your phone:

  • Convenience – You don’t need to grab your phone, open the camera app, scan the code, then send the URL to your computer. You can scan and open QR codes seamlessly on your computer.
  • Privacy – Scanning on your computer keeps things isolated on one device rather than sharing data between your phone and computer.
  • Accessibility – If you don’t have a smartphone handy or lack phone service, you can still scan QR codes with your computer’s webcam.
  • Preview links – Some computer QR scanning tools let you preview the link destination before opening, allowing you to avoid malicious or unwanted sites.

How to Scan QR Codes on Windows PCs

The easiest way to scan QR codes on a Windows 10 or 11 computer is by using the built-in Camera app:

Open the Camera App

You can find the Camera app by opening the Start menu and searching for “Camera”. Your computer needs a webcam to use this method.

Select Barcode Scanner Mode

In the Camera app, click the dropdown arrow on the right side and select the “Barcode” mode at the very bottom.

Scan the QR Code

Point your webcam at the QR code. It should automatically scan the code. You’ll then see a clickable link for the QR code contents below the live camera view.

Open the Link

Click the link to open the URL or perform the QR code’s intended action.

That’s all there is to it! The Camera app provides a quick and easy way to scan QR codes without any extra software.

Alternative Ways to Scan QR Codes on Windows

If you have issues using the Camera app or want additional options, here are some other good methods for QR code scanning on Windows:

Use the CodeTwo App

CodeTwo is a free desktop app specifically for creating and reading QR codes. To scan, choose “From webcam” and point your webcam at the code.

Install Browser Extensions

Extensions like QR Code Reader for Google Chrome provide right-click context menu options to scan QR codes from webpages or screenshots.

Use Online QR Scanners

Websites like allow QR code scanning directly in your browser using your webcam.

Scan from Screenshots

You can scan QR codes from existing image files or screenshots on your computer using many of the above apps and services.

How to Scan QR Codes on Mac Computers

How to Scan QR Codes on Mac Computers - How to Scan and Read a QR Code Using Your Computer Webcam 5

Unfortunately, macOS does not have a built-in QR code scanning feature. However, you can easily scan codes by using third-party apps or services:

Use the QR Journal App

QR Journal is a free Mac app that enables webcam QR code scanning. Simply download it from the App Store, open the app, click “Scan”, and point your webcam at the code.

Install Browser Extensions

The Chrome extensions mentioned above like QR Code Reader also work for scanning QR codes on Mac using your webcam.

Use Online QR Scanners

Web-based QR scanners like allow you to scan codes by allowing webcam access in your browser.

Scan from Screenshots

You can scan QR codes from screenshots or image files on your Mac using QR Journal or online services that support uploading images.

How to Scan QR Codes on Chromebooks

Since Chromebooks run Chrome OS which is based on Chrome browser technology, you can use the same methods for scanning QR codes on Chromebooks as you can for Chrome browser on other platforms:

Use Chrome Extensions

Install QR code scanner extensions from the Chrome Web Store. Then right-click a QR code on a webpage or import a screenshot to scan.

Use Online QR Scanners

QR scanning websites work on Chromebooks the same as on other platforms by allowing webcam access. Position the QR code in front of your webcam to scan.

Scan QR Codes in Google Lens

You can scan QR codes through the integrated Google Lens technology in Chromebooks. Just right-click an image with a QR code and select “Search image with Google Lens”.

Tips for Scanning QR Codes with Your Webcam

Follow these tips when scanning QR codes using your computer webcam:

  • Position the QR code 6-8 inches from the webcam for best recognition.
  • Provide good lighting and avoid shadows covering the code.
  • Center the code in the scanning interface and try to get all four corners visible.
  • Hold the webcam steady for a couple seconds during scanning.
  • If it doesn’t scan, try adjusting the distance and angle.
  • Test different methods if one tool has issues recognizing a code.


With built-in software, third-party apps, browser extensions, and web services, you have many options for conveniently scanning QR codes on Windows, Mac, and Chromebook computers.

Give your device’s webcam a try the next time you need to scan a QR code rather than grabbing your phone. It provides a quick and seamless way to access the information encoded within the code.