How to Scan a QR Code With an iPad

By Melly Parker

Use the rear iPad camera with the QR code reader.
i Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A QR code may look like blocks of black and white, but it quickly directs you to a website. The built-in camera on the iPad can be used with an app to scan QR codes and display information. Different features are available in QR code readers, depending on what app you download.


Many apps available in iTunes can be downloaded to the iPad. Not all of them are optimized for the larger screen and other features of the iPad, however. Look at the requirements listed on each app to see what hardware it will run on and whether it is optimized for the iPad.

Quick Scan

Quick Scan by iHandy Inc. is a free QR code reading app that can also scan business cards. To use QuickScan, launch the app and position the code in the box on the scanning screen. When the scan is complete, other actions like storing contact information or visiting a site can be done within the app; you don't have to close it. Quick Scan has four-and-a-half stars out of five with many ratings. It's optimized for the iPhone 5, but will work on an iPad as long as you're running iOS 4.3 or later.

QR Reader for iPhone

QR Reader for iPhone by Tap Media Ltd. can scan QR Codes, barcodes and URLs; to scan, start the app and line the code up with the line on the center of the screen. The app can also create PDF files from items it scans. In addition to its scanning capabilities, QR Reader can export and share data about the items you scan. While the app itself is free, you can upgrade it and remove ads for 99 cents or add a cloud feature for 99 cents. QR Reader for iPhone is optimized for the iPhone 5 and requires iOS 5.0 or a later version of iOS.


Scan by QR Code City scans a code when you position the code in the center of the scanning screen after opening the app. It displays text from a QR code, launches the site from the QR code or prompts you to use another app to display the information, depending on what the QR Code contains. Scan includes a kiosk mode that locks the scanner when you use it as a display at an event. Scan is free in the App Store and has a rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five. It requires iOS 5 or a later version of iOS to work on your iPad.

Choosing an App

Consider the price, reviews and extra features of the QR Code scanner when you decide which app to download -- there are a lot to choose from in the App Store. Reviews may address whether the app works well on the iPad, when compared to the iPhone and iPod. Free apps can be tried without risk but, on the other hand, apps with a cost may include additional features. Read the app description and check out the screenshots before downloading it to your iPad.