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Person holding a phone against a QR code with the QR code shown on the phone screen

How to Use a QR Code

You’ve probably seen these popping up on restaurant menus or at businesses around town. Here’s how to use a QR code.

By Clover Health

QR codes have been around for a long time, but since the pandemic they’ve been more popular than ever. If you’re not sure what a QR code is, you might be more familiar with it than you think. 

One place you might have seen or even used a QR code more recently is at a restaurant. They’re usually placed on tables where seated guests can use their phones to scan and view the menu online. QR codes are sometimes even used to direct customers to a link to pay for their meal.

We understand that QR codes can be confusing to use for some people. Here, we’ll walk through how to scan a QR code so you’re well prepared for the next time you come across one.

What Is a QR Code?

A QR code is a type of barcode that stores information and can be easily scanned by a digital device (like a smartphone or tablet) to open a website, connect to Wi-Fi, or view a menu at a restaurant. Most modern smartphones have built-in QR scanners in the camera. 

Because they’re easily scannable from your own personal device, QR codes have become more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic to help diners avoid high-touch items like menus or checks.

How to Use a QR Code

  1. Open the camera app from your phone.
  2. Point your device to the QR code as if you’re going to take a photo. Once your device recognizes the QR code, a notification will pop up on your screen.
  3. Tap the pop-up notification to be directed to the content associated with the QR code.

Test Your Phone on a QR Code

Here’s a sample QR code that you can test with your device using the instructions above. This QR code should take you to

QR code that directs to

And there you have it! Using a QR code is as simple as that. The next time you see one, try it out so you can practice using QR codes to easily access information right on your device. 


Published 3/7/22

Photo credit: iStock