How To Scan a QR Code From a PC

QR codes are everywhere. They are a quick portal to hidden gems of information, and all you ideally need to access them is a phone camera. However, there are times when you find yourself without it. Also, you could be looking at a QR code on your laptop and have no ways to scan it the usual way.

How To Scan a QR Code From a PC

Luckily, there are more ways to read the code, and they don’t include scanning them with a camera. QR codes are readable from a PC, and here are some tips on how to process them.

How to Scan a QR Code on a PC Without a Camera

Scanning a QR code with a camera is the primary way to interact with QR codes. However, as practical as it is, accessing QR-packed information can also be hazardous. Camera-scanning QR codes lead you straight to the web location provided in the image. That way, they can put you at risk of infesting the device with malware. It’s the sole reason why scanning the codes and hoping for the best is risky.

As previously mentioned, accessing codes from a PC requires no camera. All you need to safely access the content provided by the QR code from your computer is a web browser with a safety extension. Moreover, you can also use the Google app or, eventually, third-party apps designed for code reading. We will explain this further in the article.

Scan a QR Code From a PC With a Browser

QR codes are accessible via various websites designed for reading them. One is Web QR, which allows you to read a QR code using browser-based software. These solutions are excellent for decoding when you cannot install third-party programs on the PC for any reason.

Here is how to use it for scanning a QR code without having to enable access to your camera.

Once you enter the website, you will see the message about the website wanting to use your camera. Disable this option by clicking the “X” button in the dialogue box. Additionally, suppose you intend on using this website further in the future. In that case, you can permanently block the camera’s access.

You can start reading the code once you disable the camera option. Go through the provided steps to do it:

  1. Upload the image version of the QR code to your PC.
  2. While on the website, click on the camera icon on the right side of the “plain box.”
  3. Select the “Choose file” button.
  4. Find your QR code image file and click the “Open” button.
  5. The website will automatically read the code once you upload it.
  6. Visit the provided link embedded within the QR code.

That is how you can read a QR code using a web browser. It’s quick and straightforward, and it doesn’t require a camera.

Read QR Codes Directly From the Web Page

Additionally, if you want to ensure that the QR code doesn’t infest your PC with any malware or unwanted intrusions, install an add-on to your browser. Chrome users can opt for the QR reader browser extension, which will read any QR code from the image. This extension will enable you to read the QR codes on your PC directly from websites without using external camera-based devices.

In addition to reading the codes, it helps you examine the codes for malicious content and protects your device from what lurks between the pixels.

Here’s how to apply QRreader to QR codes you encounter in PC-based web browsers.

  1. Right-click on the code. The drop-down menu will open.
  2. Select “Read QR code from the image.”
  3. The extension will read the code and provide you with two options:
    • If the code offers you a link, a new tab will open.
    • Any other content type will pop up in a window.
  4. Select “OK” to copy the data to the clipboard.

Read the QR Code Without Camera Using Google Lens on a PC

Google Lens is a versatile tool. While primarily camera-based, its features allow you to scan and identify things by uploading images. The app uses neural networks to analyze images or camera-scannable surroundings and matches the impressions with the search results.

Google Lens has a desktop version of the app, which works on Windows 7, 8, 10, and Mac computers. The app also allows you to scan QR codes. Before using the app, ensure that you have enabled Google Lens on your Chrome browser.

However, this feature is currently still under testing. Hence, you must first enable it in Google Chrome’s “Flags” mode, which is meant for experimental features.

When you encounter a QR code while surfing from a PC-based browser, follow through the provided steps to scan it:

  1. Open Google Chrome on your PC.
  2. Type chrome://flags in the search bar and press enter.
  3. Press “Ctrl+F” to use the word search bar. Type “Google Lens.”
  4. Find the “Search your screen with Google Lens” flag in the search bar.
  5. Click on the drop-down menu and choose “Enabled.”
  6. Restart Chrome by clicking the “Relaunch” button.
  7. Open Chrome again.
  8. Go to the relevant website where the QR code you want to scan is located.
  9. Right-click the code and select the “Search image with Google Lens” option from the drop-down menu.
  10. The Google Lens interface will provide you with the results summary.

The app also allows you to upload images directly from your PC, including the QR codes. Before applying Google Lens, ensure that you have first uploaded the QR code image to Google Photos. Import the photos from your PC or Google Drive.

 To apply Google lens on a QR code, follow these steps if you want to upload directly from your PC:

  1. Visit Google Photos and click the “Upload” icon.
  2. Click on “Computer” if you want to import the image from your PC.
  3. Click “Open” to upload.
  4. Alternatively, find the code image in the library if it’s already there.
  5. Locate the newly uploaded image of the code and select it.
  6. Right-click on the picture and choose “Search image with Google Lens.”
  7. The Google Lens panel will present you with the results.

Note that this option is still labeled as “in development,” meaning your results may vary and some options may be limited. Those features may not work correctly on some devices and can negatively affect your browser’s performance. The Google Lens QR scanner factually works best on the mobile version of the app. It also allows you to scan codes camera-free by uploading the images from the library.

The Many Faces of QR Scanning

QR codes are versatile, and there are many ways to approach them. Many software solutions designed for visual decoding allow accessing the encrypted content without a camera. Those apps emulate the decryption provided by the lens and understand the language of the QR code.

However, be careful when experimenting with different QR readers. As much as QR codes allow a versatile approach, use the ones that provide secure engagement with the code-provided content.

How do you scan QR codes from the PC camera-free? Feel free to leave your impressions in the comments section below.

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