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How To Scan a Barcode On iPhone?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Paul McCoy
How To Scan a Barcode On iPhone?

Have you ever found yourself at the store wondering if a certain product is worth buying, but don’t have the time to compare prices and reviews on the spot? Fret not, because with the technology at our fingertips, scanning a barcode on an iPhone can give you all the information you need. Whether you’re a bargain hunter or want to know more about the product before making a purchase, we’ve got you covered with an informative guide on how to scan a barcode on your iPhone. Read on to discover how this handy feature works and how it can save you time and money while shopping.

1. Understanding the Basics of Scanning Barcodes on iPhone

Before we jump into the details of how to scan a barcode on iPhone, let’s take a moment to understand what a barcode is. In simple terms, a barcode is a graphical representation of data in the form of black and white lines that can be easily read by a barcode scanner. These barcodes are used on various products, packaging, and other items to provide information about the item, such as its price, manufacturer, and other details.

To scan a barcode on iPhone, you need to use the built-in camera app or a third-party barcode scanner app. The camera app uses the iPhone’s camera to scan the barcode, while the third-party apps offer additional features such as price comparisons, product reviews, and more.

It’s important to note that not all barcodes can be scanned by iPhone’s camera app, as it may not support certain barcode formats. Therefore, it’s advisable to check the type of barcode you want to scan and ensure that it’s supported by the camera app.

In the next section, we’ll look at how to use the iPhone’s native camera app for barcode scanning.

2. Using iPhone’s Native Camera App for Barcode Scanning

You might not be aware that your iPhone already has a built-in barcode scanner, and it comes with the native camera app. With iOS 12 and later versions, Apple has integrated barcode scanning features in the default camera app. This feature eliminates the need to download and install third-party apps, and you can scan barcodes directly from the camera app without switching to another application.

To use the barcode scanner on your iPhone’s camera app, you need to follow these simple steps. First, ensure that your iPhone’s software version is iOS 12 or later. Next, open the camera app on your iPhone and point it directly at the barcode until the code is visible on the screen. Your iPhone’s camera app will automatically detect the barcode and focus on it.

Once the barcode is in focus, you will see a notification pop up at the top of the screen, showing the product name and a website link to get more information. If the barcode is not recognized, reposition your iPhone’s camera or move the barcode to a well-lit area to get a better scan. However, if you are trying to scan a QR code, your camera app will automatically recognize it and present options to open the QR link.

How to Enable QR Code Scanning using iPhone’s Camera App

QR codes, also known as Quick Response codes, are a type of barcode that contains a web URL that can take you directly to a website or to product pages. Enabling QR code scanning on your iPhone is simple. Go to your iPhone’s “Settings” app, tap on “Camera,” and toggle on the “Scan QR Codes” option. Once enabled, you can scan QR codes instantly without needing to download a separate QR code scanner app.

In conclusion, scanning a barcode on your iPhone can be done quickly and easily using the native camera app. With a few simple steps, you can have your iPhone scanning barcodes and QR codes like a pro. However, if you find that your iPhone’s default camera app isn’t accurate enough for your needs, you can always explore other barcode scanner apps available in the App Store.

3. Exploring Third-Party Barcode Scanner Apps for iPhone

If you want to take your barcode scanning game to the next level, you should check out third-party barcode scanner apps for iPhone. These apps often have additional features and functionality that are not available in the native camera app, such as batch scanning, instant product lookup, and price comparison.

Top Barcode Scanner Apps for iPhone

Here are some of the best third-party barcode scanner apps for iPhone:

  • ScanLife Barcode & QR Reader: This app supports scanning of various types of barcodes, including UPC, EAN, Code128, and QR codes. It can also save and track your scan history and create custom QR codes.
  • RedLaser: This app allows you to compare prices from online retailers, find local deals, and track your loyalty programs. It also features a flashlight and auto-focus for easy scanning.
  • ShopSavvy: This app not only scans barcodes but also provides product reviews, information, and deals from local and online retailers. It also allows you to create shopping lists and receive notifications for price drops.

How to Choose the Right Barcode Scanner App?

When selecting a third-party barcode scanner app for your iPhone, consider the following factors:

  • Supported Barcode Formats: Make sure the app can scan the types of barcodes you need, such as UPC, EAN, Code39, and QR codes. Some apps may also support scanning of PDF417 and DataMatrix codes.
  • Extra Features: Look for apps that offer additional functionality, such as price comparison, product search, and loyalty programs integration. These features can save you time and money.
  • User Experience: Choose apps that have a clean and intuitive interface, responsive scanning, and fast results. Apps with ads or pop-ups can be distracting and annoying.
  • Privacy and Security: Make sure the app is trustworthy and doesn’t collect or share your personal information without your consent. Read reviews and check the app’s privacy policy before downloading.

By , you can find the best tool for your needs and take advantage of advanced features and functionality. With the right app, you can simplify your shopping and product search and save time and money.

4. Tips and Tricks to Improve Barcode Scanning Accuracy on iPhone


Scanning barcodes on iPhone can sometimes be a tricky task. The camera may fail to focus, or the lighting conditions may be unfavorable, which produces inaccurate scan results. However, you can practice certain tips and tricks to improve the accuracy of scanning barcodes on your iPhone.

1. Proper Lighting is Key

Ensure that the barcode is adequately illuminated. The camera on the iPhone needs sufficient light to focus properly, and the barcode must be bright enough to capture all the information accurately. If the lighting conditions are poor, move to a well-lit area or increase the brightness of your phone. Prevent shadows from falling over the barcode as this can cause distortion, and instead, hold the barcode scanner perpendicular to the barcode.

2. Keep a Steady Hand

Camera shake is a common problem that affects the accuracy of barcode scanning on an iPhone. Make sure that you hold your hand steady while scanning the barcode and avoid moving the iPhone during the scan. If necessary, rest your elbow on a stable surface, such as table or countertop, to keep your smartphone steady while scanning.

3. Check for Compatibility

Not all barcode scanners on the iPhone can read all types of barcodes. Some apps are designed to identify only specific types of barcodes such as 1D or 2D. Before you begin scanning, ensure that the app you are using is compatible with the type of barcode you want to scan. Moreover, make sure that your iPhone is compatible with the app, as some older models might struggle to identify certain barcode types.

4. Clean Your Camera Lens

A dirty camera lens can negatively affect the accuracy of barcode scanning on the iPhone. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the lens surface and impair the focus of the camera. Clean your camera lens regularly, wiping it gently with a soft cloth or tissue to clear off any dust or dirt.

By practicing these tips and tricks, you can improve the accuracy of scanning barcodes on your iPhone. Being mindful of the lighting conditions, keeping a steady hand, checking for compatibility, and cleaning your camera lens regularly can enhance your scanning experience and save you time and effort.

5. How to Use Barcode Scanning to Simplify Your Shopping and Product Search?

Barcode scanning is a powerful tool that can simplify your shopping and product search. Once you scan a barcode, you can instantly access product information, compare prices, and read reviews. Here are some ways to use barcode scanning to enhance your shopping experience.

1. Scan Before You Buy

Before purchasing a product, scan its barcode to access detailed information about the item. This can help you make informed buying decisions and avoid purchasing items that don’t meet your needs. Additionally, scanning barcodes can help you compare prices among various retailers, ensuring that you’re getting the best possible deal.

2. Keep Track of Your Purchases

Barcode scanning can also simplify the shopping experience after you’ve made a purchase. Consider using a third-party app that lets you keep track of your receipts by scanning their barcodes. This can help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t lose track of important receipts.

3. Discover New Products

Scanning barcodes can also help you discover new products that you may never have heard of otherwise. Consider using a third-party app that suggests similar products based on the items you’ve scanned. This can help you discover new brands and products that you may love.

Using barcode scanning while shopping can be incredibly helpful. By scanning barcodes, you can access product information, compare prices, keep track of purchases, and discover new products. To ensure a smooth scanning experience, be sure to use the native camera app or a reliable third-party app and always scan in good lighting.

6. Security and Privacy Considerations While Scanning Barcodes on iPhone

Barcode scanning can be a convenient and efficient way to simplify your shopping experience. However, it is important to be aware of the potential security and privacy risks that come with it. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind while scanning barcodes on your iPhone.

Protecting Your Personal Data

When scanning barcodes with third-party apps, they may collect and store your personal data, such as your location or search history. It is important to carefully read the app’s terms of use and privacy policy before downloading and using it. Look for options to control or limit the access to your personal data.

Tip: You can also adjust your iPhone’s privacy settings to control access to your camera, location, and other sensitive information.

Scanning Unfamiliar Barcodes

Scanning a barcode that you are not familiar with may lead you to malicious websites or scams. Protect yourself by avoiding scanning barcodes from sources that you do not trust. It is also recommended to use a mobile security app that can detect and warn you about potential malware or phishing scams.

Securely Storing Your Barcode Data

If you frequently use barcode scanning to keep track of your purchases or loyalty cards, it is important to securely store your barcode data. Avoid sharing screenshots of your barcodes or storing them in an unsecured location, like your photo gallery or cloud storage. Use a secure and encrypted password manager app to store your barcode data and protect it from unauthorized access.

By following these security and privacy considerations, you can ensure that your barcode scanning experience stays safe and secure.

7. Troubleshooting Common Issues While Scanning Barcodes on iPhone

No technology is perfect, and it’s possible that you’ll encounter some issues while using your iPhone to scan barcodes. This section will cover some of the common problems that users might face and ways to resolve them.

Barcode Not Scanning

If your iPhone’s camera isn’t reading the barcode, try focusing on the barcode and holding still for a few seconds. Another trick is to reduce the brightness or turn off the flashlight if you’re in a brightly lit area.

Invalid or Unsupported Barcode

Some barcodes may not be supported by the scanning app you’re using, or they may be invalid. If this happens, try using a different app or double-checking the barcode to ensure it’s valid.

Slow Scanning

Slow scanning can be frustrating, but there are ways to speed up the process. You can try clearing out your iPhone’s camera roll or disabling any unnecessary apps running in the background. Additionally, ensuring that your iPhone’s software is up to date can help speed up the barcode scanning process.

In conclusion, while scanning barcodes may seem like a simple task, there are times when things may not go as smoothly as planned. By following some of these troubleshooting tips, you can quickly resolve any issues and ensure that your barcode scanning experience is as easy and seamless as possible.

People Also Ask

1. Can iPhone scan barcodes without an app?

Yes, iPhones have a built-in QR code scanner in the camera app. To scan a barcode, launch the camera app, point it at the barcode, and the scanner will automatically detect and capture the barcode.

2. How do I enable barcode scanning on my iPhone?

Barcodes are enabled by default on iPhones. To make sure it is enabled, go to Settings > Camera > Scan QR Codes and toggle it on if it isn’t already.

3. What kind of barcodes can my iPhone scan?

iPhones can scan all standard barcode formats, including UPC, EAN, and Code 128, as well as QR codes.

4. Can I use my iPhone to scan product barcodes while shopping?

Yes, you can use your iPhone to scan product barcodes while shopping. Just point the camera at the barcode and wait for the scanner to capture the product information.

5. Is there a limit to the number of barcodes I can scan on my iPhone?

No, there is no limit to the number of barcodes you can scan on your iPhone. You can scan as many barcodes as you want, as long as your phone has enough storage to store the data.


Scanning a barcode with an iPhone is quite simple and can be done using the built-in camera app. iPhones can scan all standard barcode formats, including QR codes, without the need for a separate app. For users looking to scan product barcodes while shopping, it’s a quick and easy way to get information on a product. Overall, barcode scanning on an iPhone is an efficient and convenient tool.

John Alexander

John Alexander

Digital Content Producer/EditorNovice 👶
Living in the vibrant city of Seattle, Washington, I thrive as a Digital Content Producer where the intersection of technology and creativity energizes me every day. With a passion for storytelling and an insatiable curiosity for innovation, I craft content that engages, informs, and inspires. My experience extends beyond content creation; I also excel in the role of editor, meticulously refining digital narratives and overseeing the editorial process to ensure optimal quality and coherence. This dual expertise allows me to not only create compelling content but also to guide and collaborate with fellow creators to elevate their work. Fueled by coffee, indie music, and the endless rain that defines my beloved city, I find the perfect backdrop here in Seattle to produce digital narratives that resonate across global audiences. When I'm not immersed in the digital realm, you can find me exploring Seattle's eclectic neighborhoods or attending local tech and creative events, always seeking new sources of inspiration for my next project.

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