How to Scan QR Code on Mac

Updated on April 13, 2023
how to scan qr code on mac

Even though there are tons and tons of other viable options, the computer user world is largely firmly split between Windows users and Mac users at the time of writing. And while there can be no doubt that the former does bring a lot of attractive and worthwhile offerings to the table, one area where it has constantly and consistently paled in comparison to the latter is in terms of simplicity of use and user-friendliness.

Mac devices remain to date one of the easiest tools and resources you can leverage, this fact will always remain immutable. But even with that said, there are certain points at which you might have a little trouble when it comes to using even these devices. One such area is when it comes to scanning QR codes on Mac.

How to Scan QR Code on Mac – What to Expect

For those who aren’t too familiar with their Mac devices, it is only natural that this process will come off like a herculean task. However, there is absolutely no reason at all why it has to be!

Don’t forget, Mac devices are arguably the very epitome of simplicity and ease of use. The direct implication of this is that you will not have any problems at all getting this task done. All you have to do to ensure this is to simply make sure that you know and leverage the right tools and resources necessary for the task at hand.

With that in mind, we’ll be extensively covering various easy and efficient ways that you can scan QR codes on your Mac. In addition to that, we’ll also be extensively exploring the different merits and demerits associated with each method of approach. That way, you’ll have a more comprehensive view of what each way of scanning QR code on Mac has to offer and if that technique suits what you’re looking for well enough to merit deployment.

Without further ado, here’s all you need to know about scanning QR codes on your Mac device!

The Best Ways to Scan QR Code on Mac in 2023

As you would have likely surmised by now, there are quite a lot of ways that you can use your Mac device to scan a QR code. But having said that, it is essential to point out that all of these methods of approaches aren’t exactly created equal.

What this essentially implies is that, while all of the ways you can scan QR code on Mac will help you get the job done, there are certain variables that come attached to each method that makes one way appear much more viable to some PC users than the other.

Knowing all of the methods of approach as well as the pros and cons of each approach well ahead of time will give users much-needed information to base their decision-making in this area. As you would be well aware of what to expect going in, you would be (at least, in theory) far better prepared to handle anything that might come your way if and when you finally settle on any given approach to use to scan QR codes on your MacBook.

Having established that, here are some of the most popular ways that you can scan QR codes on your Mac device as well as the perks and potential downsides to implementing these approaches respectively.

Method 1 – By Using QR Journal

Arguably one of the easiest ways that you can learn how to scan QR code on Mac is by simply downloading the Mac app, QR Journal. Readily available on the app store, this tool can go a long way in extensively simplifying this process for users.

Once you have downloaded the app on your device, the very first thing that you have to do is launch it. When you do, you’ll be presented with various options and functionalities such as “Import” and “Scan”.  These options serve critical purposes that you should be aware of.

As an example, the “Scan” option is used by the webcam to read the details of the QR code while the “Import” option is used to read a QR code that has been converted to an image file.

To get a better hang of how these features operate, you should consider testing them. For instance, you could use the “Scan” option to read a QR code that has been printed on a sheet of paper.

When the code has been successfully read, you can then proceed to take steps like open the link, save it, and finally close that window on your web browser. It’s quite literally that easy!

Similarly, you can test the capabilities of the “Import” function by dragging or dropping the displayed image of the QR code into the required section of your screen. The code will be duly recognized (this may take a couple of seconds) and then you can perform any number of activities that you so wish on it.

Merits of Using QR Journal

Some of the biggest advantages of leveraging this method of approach are that:

  • It can be used through a webcam which significantly enhances user comfort and convenience.
  • It reads QR code printed on paper remarkably well.

Demerits of Using QR Journal

On the con side;

  • There is very little variation when it comes to the types of apps that offer this functionality.

Method 2 – Using the QRQR – QR Code Reader App

Just like the first method, this approach allows you to take advantage of an application so you can get the task of reading QR codes on your Mac done. However, while the first app was a Mac app, the QRQR – QR Code Reader app is an iPhone app.

Before going into any further details on this particular method of learning how to read QR codes with your Mac, it is important to stress that due to the tech involved, this approach is only ever viable for M1 Mac devices and other Arm Macs. By implication, you wouldn’t be able to access this feature if your device is an Intel Mac.

With that out of the way, let’s get into what you need to know to access this particular channel.

In most instances, you would be able to scan and read any given QR code of your choice with your webcam from the very moment that you download and launch this tool. However, in a few cases, launching the app alone might not get it to work as expected for you.

When using this app, you just need to make your way to the bottom center of the app and click on the bracket-shaped icon located there. This will activate an automatic scan and the QR code in proximity to the webcam will be promptly read.

You can then go on to perform any given operations that you would like from that point.

Merits of Using QRQR – QR Code Reader App

There are several merits that Mac users can enjoy when they opt for this method of approach. These include:

  • Printed QR codes can be read with an economy of fuss.
  • There are tons of variations available for exploration with this resource.
  • It can be used through a webcam which significantly enhances user comfort and convenience.

Demerits of Using QRQR – QR Code Reader App

There are a few potential deal breakers to be aware of here as well though. Some of these include:

  • As this tool is only good for M1 Mac and other Arm Mac users, Intel Mac users will not be able to leverage the resource in any capacity.
  • There are instances where this tool might not work as expected (or even at all) even on Arm Mac devices.

Method 3 – Using QR Code Reader (From Google Chrome Extension)

Finally, users have the alternative of leveraging Google Chrome’s extension, the QR Code Reader. On many levels, it’s just as simple to use as the other options we’ve highlighted so far. The best ones to use for people who just want to read QR code on their Mac and nothing more are the single-function extension readers.

To leverage this resource, you simply need to find and click on the “QR Code Reader” extension list. This you can find in the upper right corner of the Google Chrome app. The recognition software will run and you’ll be presented with your result promptly.

Merits of Using QR Code Reader (From Google Chrome Extension)

On the plus side:

  • It makes reading QR codes on websites very easy.
  • The method of approach isn’t restricted to any given operating system.

Demerits of Using QR Code Reader (From Google Chrome Extension)

On the other hand:

  • These extension lists are only featured on Chrome so you won’t get them on Safari.


And that’s all about covering the basics of how to scan QR code on Mac! You don’t have to break your back doing it and there are tons of great approaches you can follow, too!

Which do you prefer?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

Article by:
Erwin Valles

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