Brand New Method: How to Add a QR Scanner to Control Center on iPhone & iPad

In the past, if we wanted to use our iPhones as a QR code scanner, we needed to download an app. Then, at last, iOS 11 made it possible to use the Camera app as a QR scanner. Now, with iOS 12 things have gotten even more convenient; we can add a QR code reader to the Control Center on our iPhones, so it's always just a swipe away. If you frequently use QR codes and would like to add this feature to your iPhone or iPad's Control Center and learn how to use your device as a QR scanner once you've installed the QR reader feature, read on. 

Related: How to Add Accessibility Features to iPhone & iPad Control Center

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  • Open the Settings app.
  • Scroll down and tap Control Center.

scan qr code iphonehow to scan with iphone

ios 12 guide - a step-by-step guide to all the new features
  • Tap Customize Controls.
  • Look under More Controls, and you should see an option for Scan QR Code; tap the white plus sign in the green circle to the left. Now you'll see Scan QR Code under Include. 

code scanner appqr scanner

How to Use Your iPhone's QR Scanner

Now all you need to do to use your iPhone's QR scanner is to open Control Center

  • Swipe down from the upper-right corner of your screen if you have an iPhone X, XS, or XS Max, or XR. Swipe up from the bottom of the display for earlier versions of the iPhone. To open Control Center on your iPad, swipe up from the bottom or just double-click the Home button.
  • Tap on the icon that looks like a QR code; your iPhone's Camera app will open. Hold your iPhone over the QR code you want to read, and follow the directions on screen. In my case, my iPhone indicated I needed to move my device closer to the QR code. 

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  • When you're in range of the QR code, your iPhone will offer the option to follow the link in the code, like in the photo below. Tap the link and your iPhone will navigate to the web page.

qr code scanner

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Leanne Hays's picture

Leanne Hays is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life.  She loves reading and blogging, and is never without a book in her backpack or an audiobook on her phone. Short-term goals include finishing painting her house and starting an aquaponics farm, long-term goals include a bike tour of Italy and writing a novel.