How to Scan a QR Code from a Screenshot in 3 Simple Steps

How to Scan a QR Code from a Screenshot in 3 Simple Steps

You want to scan a QR code that was sent to you as an image or screenshot but don’t know how to scan it with your camera app or your regular QR code scanner app. What do you do?

If you’re a regular QR code user, you are very much likely to face this dilemma and are in need of an urgent solution.

With today’s technology, scanning QR codes from an image or screenshot in your image gallery is perfectly doable, so do not despair. If you want to know how, keep reading.

Also see: How to Easily Create a Custom QR Code with Logo

Table of Contents

How to Scan the QR Code From a Screenshot

Scanning a QR code from inside your phone might sound like a paradoxical issue. But, in fact, downloading the right tools and knowing how to use them will help you scan QR codes from your image gallery very easily. These are the best ways to scan a QR code.

Also see: Barcode vs QR Code 101: The Ultimate Head to Head

With Google Lens

You can use the Google Lens app to scan QR codes in a screenshot. Google Lens is an app by the internet giant that lets you point at objects and identify the information contained therein.

Google Lens will also let you identify objects within images, a very handy functionality that lets you scan a QR code in a screenshot.

To do so:

Step 1. Get Google Lens

Google Lens being downloaded from the Play Store to scan a QR code from a screenshot

If you don’t have the Google Lens app installed on your Android smartphone, download it from the Play Store.

Step 2. Select the image with the QR code

Google Lens accessing the image gallery on a smartphone to scan a QR code from a screenshot

Since the QR code is in a screenshot, go to your Photo Gallery > Screenshots and select the image you want to scan the QR code from.

Step 3. Let Google Lens do the job

QR code on a screenshot being scanned with Google Lens

Once you select the screenshot, Google Lens will open the QR code and scan it, and will open the embedded information for you.

With Google Photos (Android and iOS)

Google Photos includes Google Lens, which means you can scan the QR code from a screenshot.

To do so:

Step 1. Download Google Photos


If you don’t have it, you can download Google Photos for both Android and iOS on their respective app stores.

Step 2. Open the Google Photos app and go to the Library

When opening the app for the first time, you might be prompted to back up your photos, so tap Skip to continue the scanning process.

When you open the app, it will show you all the images and videos stored on your camera app. So, go to Library at the bottom-right of the screen so you can select the Screenshots folder.

Step 3. Open the image and scan it


Once you’re in the Screenshots folder, tap the image with the QR code and tap the Lens icon at the bottom. The scanner will read the QR code and take you to the embedded data.

Also see: QR Code Text Message: Sending SMS with One Scan

With the Google App (Android and iOS)

Google app will also allow you to very easily scan QR codes from screenshots.

To do so:

Step 1. Download Google app

iOS users will have to download the Google app as it is pre-installed only on Android phones.

Step 2. Enable the app to scan

Open the Google app and tap on the camera icon on the right side of the search bar.

Step 3. Select the image with the QR code

Once you tap on the camera icon, the Google Lens app will be enabled and show all the images in your gallery. Tap on the image of the QR code you wish to scan and let Google Lens do the magic.

Also see: How to Create a Customized Snapchat QR Code

QR Code Scanner

If Google Lens is not up for the challenge on an Android phone, you can use third-party scanners available on the Play Store.

To do so:

Step 1. Download a scanner app

Go to the Play Store and search for a reliable third QR code scanner app such as Kaspersky’s and QR Droid Private.

When you activate the app, your camera will follow suit, which will allow scanning the code from your image gallery. Once you do so, tap on the image icon and on the top of your screen to activate the scanner function.

Step 3. Select the image

From your gallery, select the screenshot or image with the QR code that you wish to scan. Once you do this, the app will display the embedded data.

With CodeTwo

This is a third-party app that works well with Windows devices and will allow you to scan the QR code.

To do so:

Step 1. Open the QR code reader

CodeTwo is a desktop QR code reader, so open it from your Windows device to start the process.

Step 2. Select the file

Click on File to browse the screenshot or image containing the QR code you want to scan.

When you’ve selected the image, the app will scan it and give you a link in the code’s text field, which you will copy and paste onto the search bar on the browser so you can access it.

Also see: How to Scan a QR Code on Samsung Devices Quickly and Effectively

Also see: Venmo QR Code: Transfer Money Very Easily on Your Smartphone

Anatomy of QR Codes

QR codes have a specific structure that allows a QR code reader to pick them up. These are the parts of a QR code.

Position markers

The position markers are the squares on three of the four corners of the code. They support the QR code scanning process by showing the scanner the code’s position. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to scan the QR code with your smartphone at an angle.

Also see: How to Make a QR Code for a Google Form

Alignment marker

The alignment marker is the smaller square on the righthand side of the data matrix —it contains a tiny dot. Its purpose is to tell the QR code scanner how the code is oriented.

Also see: QR Code Color: How Important Is It When Creating a QR Code?

Timing pattern

The timing partner is the two lines —one vertical, one horizontal— that connect the three position markers. It shows the scanner how large the data matrix in the code is.

Quiet zone

It might be called “quiet zone” but it is actually the most important part of the QR code, as it helps the scanner single out the code from the surrounding elements. Without it, the code would not be scannable.

Data and error correction module

In simple terms, this part is the actual central dot pattern —black and white modules— of the code that makes it so distinguishable. However, this is where the actual data is stored. This part is also designed to allow the code to take up to 30% damage.

Also see: This Is How You Run a Proper QR Code Test


How to scan a QR code from a screenshot —iPhone

To scan a QR code from a screenshot on iPhone you can:

  1. Use the Google app as instructed above
  2. Use Google Photos as instructed above
  3. Use Google Lens as instructed above
  4. Use Android’s Gallery app as instructed above
  5. Download a third-party scanner

How to scan a QR code from a screenshot —Android

  1. Use the Google app as instructed above
  2. Use Google Photos as instructed above
  3. Use Google Lens as instructed above
  4. Download a third-party scanner

What are the best third-party QR code scanners for Android and iOS:

  1. QR Code Reader
  2. Kaspersky QR Scanner
  3. QR Code & Barcode Scanner
  4. NeoReader
  5. QR Reader for iPhone
  6. QR Code Reader & QR Scanner
  7. Qrafter – QR Code Reader
  8. Scanner QR & Barcode Reader


Scanning a QR code from a screenshot might sound a bit mind-bending but happily, this is not the case. There are several default and third-party solutions on iOS and Android systems, so don’t let screenshots get in your way!

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Cristian Bustos

Cristian is Senior Content Manager for He is an experienced and versatile writer with a demonstrated history of working in journalism, public relations, and B2B marketing.