How to scan a QR code in your camera roll

If you’re struggling to open a QR code that’s a photo in your iPhone's camera roll, don’t worry, it’s not just you! The iPhone Photos app doesn’t let you open saved images of QR codes with its inbuilt settings — you need to use a different app.  

In this guide, we’ll show you how to scan a qr code in your camera roll using the Google iPhone app.

Step 1: Open the App Store  

If you don’t already have the Google app installed on your iPhone, you’ll need to download it. 

Go to your iPhone's home screen and navigate to the App Store app. It’s the big blue icon with a white A in the center.

Step 2: Search for the Google app in the App Store

Once you've opened the App Store app, tap the “Search” bar at the top of your screen. 

Type in “Google”, then press the big blue Search Button at the bottom right hand side of your iPhone’s keypad. 

The result should look something like this:

Step 3: Press “Get” and install the Google app

Make sure you’re looking at the correct Google app. We’re looking for “Google” as one single word here, rather than “Google Chrome” or “Google Drive.”

Click the blue “Get” button next to the Google app. You should only download apps from trustworthy providers with good reviews. Google is a trustworthy provider and has good reviews, so it’s safe to proceed.

You may be prompted to log into your Apple ID at this point. You’ll need to be logged into an Apple ID account in order to get the app.

Step 4: Open the Google app

Go back to your home screen and open the Google app. If you’ve just installed the app for the first time, there’s a good chance it’ll be the last option in the back page of your apps.

Step 5: Select the camera icon in the Google app to open your photos

Once you’ve opened the Google app, tap the small camera icon on the right hand side of the search bar at the top of the page. 

Step 6: Allow the Google app to access your photos

You’ll then be asked whether you want to allow Google to access your photos. For this to work, you need to let it access the photo that you’re trying to get the QR code link from. 

To do this:

  • Tap select photos
  • Select the photo with the QR code you want to read

It’s good practice to only share as much data with an app as you need to, so I recommend only sharing the selected photo you need rather than all your photos.

Step 7: Open the photo with the QR code and tap “Website”

The photo with the QR code should have now opened in the Google app. 

The Google app should also have magically detected the QR code and given you the opportunity to open it. 

To open it, click “Website” in the bottom left hand corner of the app.

An example of the Google App scanning my Blinq QR code which I use to share my contact details.

And there you have it - success! You’re now able to open QR codes straight from your camera roll. 

Want to share your contact details with your very own QR code? Try a Blinq digital business card.

Troubleshooting ⚠️

If you’re struggling with any of the steps above, here’s some troubleshooting tips.

I can’t get into my Apple ID account

There’s 2 possible solutions to this: 

  1. Reset your Apple ID account password. You can learn how to do this by following the steps in this guide.
  2. You may not have an Apple ID in the first place. If this is the case, you can set up an Apple ID by following the steps in this guide. 

I don’t have enough space on my phone for the Google app

At 270mb, the Google app is pretty chunky, so you need suitable space to download it. You can make space for the app by deleting some files on your iPhone. Video files tend to be the chunkiest, so that’s a great place to start.

I’ve opened the QR code link and there’s nothing there

A broken QR code link isn’t necessarily your fault, more often, it’s the fault of whoever set the code. If the code is managed by a company or someone you know, reach out to them and let them know the QR code isn’t working.

I’m getting a “no network connection” sign when I open the QR code

To open a QR code link, you need to be connected to the internet. If you’re getting a “no network connection” prompt, you’re not connected to the internet. Either connect to a reliable Wifi source or move your phone to somewhere where you’ll get more reliable cellular data.

The popularity of QR codes linked to business cards is rising. But what are they? And how do they work? Read our 2022 guide on QR Code Business Cards

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