QR Code Test: How To Check If a QR Code Works

June 18, 2024Roman Shvydun
QR Code Test: How To Check If a QR Code Works

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QR codes are quickly becoming an essential part of our digital lives. As these QR codes become more widespread, software testers must understand the importance of testing them. Testing QR codes requires unique skills and knowledge that can be difficult for inexperienced testers to acquire.

This tutorial blog post will discuss the basics of QR code testing and why it is so important. We’ll look at common scenarios where you may need to test a QR code and tips and tricks on how to do so effectively. By the end of this article, you should better understand why it’s critical to test your applications’ QR codes and how best to do it.

What is a QR Code?

A QR code (also known as a Quick Response code) is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read by smartphones, tablets, and even cameras. It stores data such as website URLs, contact information, and product codes. The main advantage of using QR codes is that they are much easier to read than traditional barcodes and can store more data.

Benefits of Using a QR Code     

QR codes have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and efficiency. QR codes can quickly direct users to websites with helpful information, making complex processes such as product research and shopping much more effortless.

They are also very secure, providing a worry-free method of transferring data safely and privately. Additionally, because QR codes are so small and require no additional power or mechanical assistance, they are instrumental in retail settings, as businesses don’t need to invest in costly technology to implement them.

In addition, these codes are also used for tracking and verifying deliveries, making them invaluable to retailers and customers alike.

According to Statista, in the US alone, nearly 11 Million households were projected to have scanned a QR Code during 2020.

In other words, using QR codes is an affordable way for businesses to keep up with modern tech advancements while utilizing their benefits without investing too much money. It offers a secure and efficient way of transferring data, making it easier and faster for customers to find the information they need.

According to Colin Palfrey, CMO of Crediful, “QR codes have quickly become our preferred method of data transmission due to their efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness. This makes them the ideal choice for many businesses and their customers.”

How To Test QR Codes

QR code testing can be a daunting task for inexperienced testers. However, it is an integral part of software testing that should be noticed. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:

1. Validate QR Code Structure: The structure of a QR code should follow certain specifications. To verify that the code is valid, you can use a validation tool to check for errors and inconsistencies. These tools can also help you identify potential security risks your code may contain.

2. Test Scanned Data: Once you have validated the structure of the code, you should test that the data being scanned is what was intended. This will ensure that users are directed to the correct destination when scanning the code.

3. Test for Error Handling: It is also essential to test how errors are handled when scanning the code. You should ensure that users are given an appropriate response if something goes wrong, such as a message informing them that the code is invalid or that they have been redirected to the incorrect page.

4. Test for Performance: You should also test a QR code for performance, ensuring they scan quickly and accurately. You may need to adjust the size of the code to optimize its performance. For example, a more extensive code may take longer to scan than a smaller one or be more challenging to read in certain conditions.

5. Double-Check Security: For adequate QR code testing, you should also double-check to ensure that the transferred data is secure and encrypted. This will help protect your customers’ information from malicious attempts to access it.

How To Test a QR Code and Check if it Works

There are a few different methods you can use for QR code testing. The most common way is scanning the code using a smartphone or tablet. This will immediately inform you if the code is working correctly and redirecting to the intended page.

Another common way to test QR codes is to use a validation tool. You can enter the URL or data associated with the code, and it will tell you if there are any errors or inconsistencies. One issue to remember when using these tools is that they can often be finicky and may only accurately identify a problem if the code is structured correctly.

If you find that the code is not working correctly, you should start by double-checking that the URL or data associated with it is correct. If everything looks good on your end, you may need to adjust the size of the code or optimize its structure to improve performance.

Finally, you can manually test the code by typing in the URL associated with it into your browser. This is not a recommended method, as it is only sometimes reliable, but it will give you an idea of whether or not the code is working.

Enough Contrast between the QR Code and its Background

When creating a QR code using a QR code generator, contrast is one of the most important things to consider. To ensure that scanners can easily read your code, you must ensure enough contrast between the code and its background.

If printing your QR code, ensure that your printer uses black ink on a white background. If you display the code digitally, ensure it is not too small or too close to other objects, as this can affect the contrast and make it difficult to read.

Scannability on Different Devices

Another essential thing to consider when testing QR codes is their scannability on different devices. Different devices have different scanning capabilities, so you should test the code on various smartphones and tablets to ensure it works correctly. This will also help you identify device-specific issues that need to be addressed.

For example, some devices may have trouble scanning codes that are too small or printed on reflective surfaces. Testing on various devices will help you identify issues and ensure your code is scannable across all devices.

Scannability from an Appropriate Range of Distances

The distance the code will be scanned must be considered when testing QR codes. Generally, a code can be scanned up to a few meters away. You should try the code from different distances to ensure that it can be scanned even when it is not right in front of the user.

The best way to do this is to use a simulation tool. This will allow you to test the code from different distances and angles, giving you an accurate picture of how it will scan in real life.

Internet Accessibility

Finally, you should test that the code is accessible over the internet. This will ensure that users can access the content associated with the code no matter where they are. To do this, you can use a testing tool to check that the code is accessed correctly from different locations.

You could also manually test the code by accessing it on other devices and networks. This will help you identify any issues that different ISPs or internet connections may cause.

Prerequisites To Follow while Working with QR Codes

Before testing QR codes, there are a few prerequisites that you should consider. By following these, you can ensure that your code is scannable and accessible across all devices.

Right Size and Image Format of the QR Code

Firstly, you must ensure that the code’s size and image format are suitable for scanning. This means choosing a size large enough to be scanned and a format such as JPG or PNG that is compatible with most devices. It also means ensuring that the code does not contain unnecessary elements, such as a logo or other design elements.

One of the most common mistakes code creators make is to reduce the size of the code too much. Doing so can reduce the number of lines and pixels, making it difficult for scanners to read the code. When you make a QR Code using a tool like Beaconstac, you don’t have to worry about whether the QR Code will work or is accessible. The real-time scannability score of this solution will ensure you only deploy a properly working QR Code.

Avoid Over-Customization of QR Codes

Another common mistake is to over-customize the code. This can include adding logos, custom shapes, or other elements that make it difficult for scanners to read the code. It is best to keep the code as simple as possible, sticking to a 2D design that scanners can easily read.

Doing this can often be a contention between developers and testers, as the developer may want to add extra elements for branding or aesthetic reasons. In these cases, it is essential to remind them of the importance of keeping the code simple and uncluttered so that scanners can read it.

Generating Sample QR Codes to Scan Test

One of the best ways to test a QR code is to generate and scan a sample QR code for testing. This will help you identify any issues with scannability or accessibility and ensure that the code works correctly.

Generating a sample code can be done in a few simple steps. Firstly, you will need to create a URL for the code. This should be a valid URL that can be accessed over the internet. Once done, you can use a QR code generator to create the actual code.

While many different QR code generators are available, some of the best ones are free. You can find these by doing a quick search online. Some examples include QRCode Monkey, QR Code Generator, and Unitag. Once you have found one, enter your URL and generate a sample QR code for testing.

To test the code, you can scan it with your device or use a simulation tool. Both methods help test the code from different distances and angles and ensure that it is accessible over the internet.

Shawn Plummer, CEO of the Annuity Expert, recommends the following when working with QR codes: “Make sure you understand the purpose of your QR code and have realistic expectations for its use. It is not a magic bullet and should be used as part of a larger strategy. Also, ensure your codes are high quality and that you have tested them properly.”

Best Practices when Generating Your Sample QR Codes to Scan More Accurately

Generating a QR code is often a fast, easy and straightforward task. However, several best practices exist to ensure that your QR code can be quickly and accurately scanned.

Be mindful of how sophisticated your graphics become since intricate designs may require longer processing time for the scanners to identify them. Following these simple tips will ensure that your scanning rate is reasonable.

Testing QR Code Online Using Camera Image Injection: Example

Camera image injection simulates you taking a picture using a mobile app. Doing this allows for testing your app’s camera functionality while providing the best user experience.

Test QR codes using camera image injection is an invaluable tool for business owners, marketers, and developers. As a quick and easy way to test the accuracy of QR code technology, camera image injection can help save time spent creating and troubleshooting potential errors in marketing materials or projects.

This simple-to-use process allows testing a QR code without specialized equipment or software, making it even more appealing to those who need fast and accurate results. On top of that, it’s convenient since all you need is a smartphone or laptop with camera capabilities – no software or scanner necessary.

Here are the steps for testing a QR code using camera image injection:

  • Visit the website of your favorite QR Code Generator and input your desired URL, text, or other data.

  • Generate the QR Code and then open it on another device with a camera, such as a laptop or a smartphone.

  • Ensure that the camera is focused on the QR Code and click “Take Picture” or “Capture.”

  • The camera image injection should be successful, and a URL will be displayed if the code is valid.

Let’s give an example.

We can use a free online QR code generator to create the following QR code:

QR Code Test:

We put in the URL we want the QR code to direct to (in this case, the destination URL is https://testsigma.com).

We can then scan the code with our phone and ensure we are directed to the right destination.


QR codes can quickly and simply share website links or contact information. However, before distributing your QR code, ensure it works properly. It is simple to test a QR code. You can quickly and easily test that a QR code is working correctly and avoid any problems for your users by following the methods suggested in this blog post.

Furthermore, it is critical to remember that you should test and inspect your QR codes frequently, even after they have been printed, because elements like damage, smearing, or even sunshine can degrade the QR code over time and render it unreadable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about QR code testing.

How Do I Know if a QR Code Is Legit?

Knowing whether or not a QR code is legit can be tricky business. To avoid any risks, it pays to look closer at the source of the code. Always trust renowned organizations and companies, as they will likely use legitimate codes. Additionally, check to see where the code will lead you before scanning it.

If it takes you directly to a website or page, then chances are it’s safe to proceed with caution. Remember, though, that using an up-to-date anti-virus program is critical when engaging with unknown QR codes – not only because of potentially malicious links but also for the risk of personal data theft.

How Do I Test a QR Code With My Phone?

Testing a QR code with your phone is easy and essential to ensure it works properly. You can open your phone’s camera app and point it at the code – if the code is linked with an actionable item, your device will display information about what action it can take based on the data in the QR code.

If there’s no indication that anything happened when you scanned the code, ensure that the lighting conditions are adequate and that the camera can focus on it. If all else fails, try downloading a QR Code Reader from your app store, as these often yield quicker results than general camera apps.

Can a QR Code Be Scanned if It Was Damaged?

It’s possible to scan a QR code that has been damaged, depending on the severity of the damage. If the damages are minor – like only one of its four modules has been compromised – most consumer-grade mobile scanners should still recognize it and accept the information.

However, more extensive fragmentation may require a different approach. For example, you could use an app that identifies and retrieves partial data from damaged QR codes or even attempts to reassemble the physical pieces yourself.

Regardless, if either of these cases happens to you, it’s best to contact experienced specialists to help you decode whatever is left of your QR code and recover its data.

Will a Screenshot of a QR Code Still Work?

While screenshots work in some cases, such as providing access methods, it is not always advisable since taking a photograph of the code often distorts its readings and makes it difficult for software to recognize it.

Therefore, although technically possible, taking screenshots of QR codes may yield unreliable results, and if accuracy is essential, it is usually best practice to scan directly from the source.

Explore Testsigma, a low code test automation tool, to automate your end-to-end UI tests for web, mobile, desktop and APIs, from the same place, 5x faster.

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