Best macOS QR Code Readers


QR codes appeared in the scene for the first time in 1994, as they were created by Denso Wave, a company based in Japan that specialized in automotive components.

QR codes were created to be “quick.” They are bar codes composed of multiple squares. As the name suggests, they were designed to be quick, and that’s why they have such a peculiar appearance and why you can scan them so quickly.

Although most devices can scan QR codes nowadays, trying to do so in macOS can be tricky. You can use some tools, but it’s a more compound process than what you would do in most cases.

How to scan QR codes on mac

If you’re using a Mac, you should know that macOS does not have a built-in tool to scan QR codes. Although there are some apps available (which we’ll mention later in the article), first, we’re going to explain how to scan codes by using an online QR code scanner.

There are only a few steps, and you don’t have to download any third-party program that may harm your computer. For starters, you’ll need to visit the WebQR website. The site uses your computer’s built-in webcam to scan the codes.

  1. If you’re using certain browsers, such as Google Chrome, you may have to allow the browsers to access your device’s webcam. Once you’ve done that, you can move onto the next step.
  2. Take the QR code you desire to scan and hold it near the camera. It should be completely visible on the screen you see on the page. If you do not have a physical version of the code, you can also upload it by clicking on the “Choose file” tab. There, you must find the correct file, and the website will do the rest.
  3. While scanning the QR code, please make sure all edges are visible. Otherwise, the website won’t be able to provide any results.
  4. Once the code is visible completely, please wait for the website to scan it. You’ll notice that the process is done once the code appears in the page’s bottom area. At this point, you can already click on the content you want to have access to if that’s what you want.

How to scan QR codes on mac using third-party apps

Although there aren’t as many programs as in other operative systems, it is still possible to find software specialized in scanning QR codes. 

When it comes to macOS, there are a few apps you can use for scanning QR codes. There are no clear reasons why there are few options with QR readers, but so many QR creators/generators.

Still, we have compiled a list with some QR readers you can find on the App Store, so you don’t have headaches later.

QR Journal

According to many users, the only “reliable” App available in the App Store is QR Journal. QR Journal functions almost exactly as the WebQR site.  You hold the bar code up to the camera, and the App will do the rest. You will see all the information available below once the QR has been scanned successfully.

Still, some users have reported that QR journals may not be effective on their systems. 

Additionally, QR Journal is capable of generating QR codes starting from v2. Although they’re minimal, the new version also brought some aesthetic changes, and the App still preserves its essence. 

You can find QR Journal on the App Store. This App is for free, although you can donate to the developers, so they keep bringing updates to the App in the long term.


For the next App, we have QrScan. However, unlike the previous option, you may have to think twice before using this App. 

You must purchase this App to use it – it costs around three dollars. However, as the App was launched a few months ago, it may still lack some features and may present problems.

This App allows you to read, generate and even scan QR and Barcodes. All the codes you scan with it will be stored in history, and you can easily access them from the UI. You can migrate all the information from one device to another so that you can use it on your iPad and your Mac, for example.

QrScan also implements some extra aesthetic enhancements. One of the major differences between QrScan and QR Journal is that the first App has dark mode available.

It also allows you to link multiple apps and scan QR codes from there.

You can find QrScan on the App Store. It requires macOS 10.15 or beyond.

More information about QR Codes

Going more into detail, “QR” stands for “Quick Response.” Each code is a unique combination. Although all of them look similar, if you look closely for a few minutes, you’ll notice that they’re all different.

In the modern-day, you can find QR codes almost everywhere. For instance, you may find them in your phone or any other product’s packaging box.

QR codes can contain multiple types of information, maybe a link to a particular website or a bank account’s details. It all depends on the content the creator is trying to store there.

Furthermore, you have two basic types of QR codes. They can be static or dynamic.

  • You cannot modify QR codes once you’ve created them, as their name suggests. Therefore, you must be sure the information is correct before confirming its creation.
  • On the other hand, you can edit dynamic QR codes at any time if you require them. Therefore, the same QR code may have some changes over time if that’s what you want.

There are too many apps in the App Store and third-party websites to generate QR codes. However, these apps do not have an option to scan these codes, and therefore, you must use different software.

The list of QR code readers may be short for macOS users, but you won’t have any long-term problems with the solutions provided.

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